‘I get by with a little help from my friends’
This week just gone I have been alone in my new third year house. Due to one thing and another, my flatmates haven’t moved in yet. I love my own space, and so have been pretty happy during the day (not to mention busy), rarely being in the house- but on Tuesday evening I began to feel a little bit…well, lonely.
Monday I had a lot of little things to sort out admin wise, and so didn’t have much time anyway. Tuesday I planned to meet up with one friend during the day, and spend the whole day together, and one other friend during the evening. Both cancelled on me, albeit for genuinely unavoidable reasons. And on Tuesday evening I realised that my house it very empty when it gets dark. And you can hear every word the neighbours say- and because the houses are laid out like two “L”s slotted into each other, it sounds like people you don’t know are in your house. And that evening I became so grateful that the next few days were packed with socialising.
As I’ve said, I love my own space. But there’s a big difference between alone and lonely. Whilst I love my “alone-time” to recharge, I also like to have (select) people around. Usually, at home and also in last year’s flat share, there was someone around constantly, in addition to meeting all of my friends during the day. In fact, it had the opposite affect on me: I just wanted to be alone. I’ll admit it: I was lazy when it came to social stuff, partly because I was complacent.
From Wednesday morning onwards I met two friends individually for coffee and a massive catch up, was adopted by one friend’s flat two nights to watch GBBO and Extra Slice, I’ve been for a meal with another friend and we went window shopping, I went to a Zumba class alone and spoke to new people, I met another friend for brunch and catch up time on Sunday. This week has forced me to appreciate the friends I have, and how much they help me day to day. Because once it popped up in the conversation that I was by myself in a new house, they told me that although they know I like my space, I was coming to theirs. Whether I liked it or not, in one friend’s case.
One thing this week has taught me is that although I’m a confident person in general, I begrudge asking people for help, or admitting that I need other people. I have no idea why. Asking friends I am close to even, if I could go around to theirs, or if they wanted to meet- was completely out of my comfort zone. But when I did, and when I said “yes”, it made me unbelievably happy. And did they mind? Not one little bit.
So: life lesson. Trust your friends and make time for them. Because even if you love alone-time, it’s different to being lonely, and you never know when that could happen. This week try and give as much time as you can to your friends, and enjoy their company. I usually cram my life with so much, that it’s my social life which can suffer. After this week, I’m going to be making sure that I actually leave enough time to be social and enjoy moments with friends that really matter to me. I now have a flatmate, but instead of just being someone I live with, we’re talking a Bridget Jones and Fro-Yo Night flatmate. When my other two flatmates move in we’re hosting a house warming and a Halloween party, and going off on a night out. As well as obligatory chilled movie nights and hopefully snow ball fights/ exam stress pamper sessions. I’m taking it in turns with two other friends to have a GBBO night (yeah, that wild), where whoever is hosting is cooking (or ordering in). I’m planning a rock climbing trip with another friend, and a regular weekend meet up with my pet medic student, who works in a hospital during the week and so can’t see me Monday-Friday. I’m making time for what matters.
Don’t get me wrong: saying “no” when you feel you need time to yourself is equally as important, and FOMO (fear of missing out) is as much of an issue as being lonely. I fully believe that being okay with your own company is important, and who knows, maybe I’ll have to schedule in a me-time evening/day once a week to give me the space I need. But at the end of the day you should be happy, and I think for this week made me realise just how much happiness my friends bring me.