Screw #SquadGoals, You Can Do It All By Yourself
by Thao Nguyen
Imagine this. You’re me. It’s spring break and all of your friends are out of town but you’re stuck at home because a few days ago, you had your wisdom teeth removed. Your face is swollen but you’re also incredibly hangry. Disney’s live action Cinderella is in theaters, and you’ve been waiting forever to watch it. What do you do? Go watch the movie alone? Or stay at home and stare longingly at the rib roast in the fridge you can’t eat?
I decided to swallow my pride (and a whole lot of spit) and go to the movies alone for the first time in my life. I was incredibly self-conscious about it. Not just because I resembled a chipmunk, but because I didn’t want people to think I was a sad, friendless loner. It was the same reason I hated when my friends would show up to events late, leaving me to sit at a table alone while scrolling desperately through my phone. But going to watch Cinderella in solitude ended up being one of the best decisions I ever made. Sitting by myself in the theater showed me the difference between being lonely and being alone. I found that I didn’t need someone by my side to be comfortable doing things that are normally reserved for groups in public.
With hashtags like #squadgoals popping up everywhere, its clear that we are really into showing the world that we have friends, and we do super fun and enviable things with these friends. But I’m here to say we start considering the benefits of being #allaloneyonmyowney. We shouldn’t use our friends as crutches to be out and about. There will come a day when those friends won’t be available to hang out, and as a result, you might lose out on a great experience because you decided to stay at home. The fear that people are going to pity you for your lack of a companion is irrational; you probably wouldn’t think that of someone who was going out alone, and as research shows, neither would many others.
Find enjoyment in your own company. It might surprise you to see how much fun you can have when you let go of the pressure of being perceived a certain way by society.