In college the concept of “being alone” is talked about endlessly. Girls leave relationships in hopes of finding themselves. It almost never works out, because leaving your safe relationship for the unknown is horribly romanticized. Being alone is more than face masks, GNO’s, and sitting in solace. Being alone is move out day: watching everyone’s boyfriend push their carts for them. You lugging your own cart down the hall as items fall everywhere with no one to pick them up, while you’re struggling to keep the door open. Being alone is pasta jars that won’t open, holding your own hair back when you’re sick, crying about your day without someone there to make you feel better in a matter of seconds.

I truly believe that all girls should know how to brave the world on their own. I also know that it’s incredibly difficult. If you leave your relationship for your Eat, Pray, Love moment I wish you the best. It’s a process that takes years. It’s hard to get over someone, and it’s even harder to not run back to them once you realize being alone isn’t nearly as glamorous as you imagined it to be.

I’ve learned that the key is to surround yourself with people who don’t allow you to feel like you’re missing out. The support from a partner is wildly different than the support of friends, but it’s support nonetheless. Dabble in a variety of things. Join 12 clubs. Learn how to knit. Read books for days… or be like me and watch a season of the arrangement in a day. Do whatever you need to do to find yourself, because one day you’ll be so busy with your 3 kids and you’ll laugh at all the freedom you once had.

“these are your selfish years”

–  a quote I often hear when eavesdropping on others conversations in the library