So you’re in college now, and you’re loving the high-energy environment and constant exposure to new people and things. You might notice soon that your time, whether it was a couple hours or all day, is no longer spent alone like it was at home. Where did all the “me time” go? Having a roommate, a constant workload, and a lack of private space on campus can make those occasions when you do need some alone time hard to find. So, where can someone go to find it? Read below for five ways you can get space to clear your head, call home, or just relax from your hectic schedule.
1. Plan it out with your roommate
The first step toward finding some “me time” in college is establishing a good relationship with your roommate so that you can each have the room to yourselves once in a while, like when you need to call home or when you just want time to meditate or dance like a maniac to your unconventional musical tastes. Ask what your roommate’s schedule is so that you know when they’ll be in class or at a club activity. You could also talk to them ahead of time if you know you’ll be calling your mom or a friend from home. Just make sure to be courteous because it is their room too. Extend the same favor to them when they ask for it and they’ll likely be more willing to let you have your own time.
2. Take a walk
Sometimes spending time alone in your dorm can’t be arranged, whether it’s because your roommate isn’t agreeable (an unfortunate circumstance!) or your schedules just don’t click. But never underestimate the power of a calming walk around campus. At small schools it’s usually easier to find a local park or quiet tree-lined path, but urban areas work too. Walking around can give you a better idea of what you can do around campus while at the same time give you time to sift through your thoughts and get your healthy steps in. (Pro tip: walk with a buddy the first time you go just to make sure it’s safe, and tell someone where you’re going if you go alone so that your pleasant walk around campus doesn’t turn into a horror story.)
3. Find a secluded spot on campus
Perhaps on that walk you took around campus (see tip #2) you found a little bench or picnic area and no one was really around. If no one was sitting there when you found it, you might find there's nobody there next time you visit that spot on campus either. Bring a music player or book and that spot can turn into your sanctuary, whether people pass by often or not.
4. Go to a church
Places of worship are usually very welcoming to people who want to use the space to pray or meditate when services aren’t going on. Even if spiritual things aren’t your forte, bring a book or some relaxing music (with headphones, of course). The quiet environment can be a nice place to be by yourself for a few moments.
5. Or a local café
Have you ever been to a coffeehouse and seen those people on their laptops and thought they must be writing a novel or be part of some important blog? Well, bring your laptop and that person can be you—except you can spend time working on homework. (Playing games or checking social media aren’t bad options either.) People won’t know it’s just you getting your “me time.”
How do you find time for yourself with your crazy college schedule? Share your “me-time” strategies in the comments!