Letters from the dorm: Living alone can be enriching


One student learns time alone can be a rewarding, calming experience

Cyril Ip |

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Room with a view: peaceful surrounding of my studio.

The greatest thing I have learned about myself from living in a studio flat, is that I really do love the moments I spend alone.

A year ago, when I was living with nine other students in university accommodation, I had company almost every moment of the day, which I mostly enjoyed. So when I began searching for somewhere to live in my second year, I was worried that I might struggle with such a change in my living environment, from being constantly surrounded by a playful group, to just myself.

When I moved into my studio last September, I was apprehensive. I was truly unexcited about my new home. I thought that since I am really not an extrovert, living by myself was only going to make things worse.

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I was wrong. By the end of the first week, I realised how much more efficient my daily chores became. With less small talk, I cooked my meals, tidied my clothes and left my room quicker. This efficiency allows me more time and energy to explore the campus and the city, which is much more meaningful than being comfortably isolated in my flat.

Unlike last year, I now spend more time outside rather than inside my residence and a distinct separation between work and life has developed.

My studio is my favourite place to chill, and the city has become my favourite place to do everything else. To read my books, I go to the library; to write my blogs, I go to the cafe; to clear my mind, I go back to my studio.

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After a long day outside, I have a different kind of excitement returning to my studio. I need a few hours of calmness and quietness before I sleep, and my studio provides me with exactly that. Whether it is watching my favourite shows on my phone, or simply putting my favourite music on, I can do so without interruption.

To those of you who fear living alone at university, I hope my experience has inspired you to be more open to that idea. Living alone will not make you lonely, if you take advantage of the efficiency that it offers. Being with a group of fun individuals all the time was nice, and it still is, but it may also have stopped me from having an experience that could’ve been a lot bigger and a lot richer. Living in a studio has certainly made me realise what is best for myself.