By CAROLINE WILLIAMS
Is there a kinder way to say this? Or, perhaps, a kinder way to act upon this? Colorado College has a relatively small campus, with many students in fairly concentrated locations. While I appreciate the occasional text from someone telling me that they saw my bright orange backpack from across Tava Quad, I also appreciate going into hiding mode in the depths of the windowless Armstrong. However, I must admit, finding time to be alone is very difficult on such a small campus. Whether you have a roommate, apartmen mates, or housemates, you are never really alone. There always seems to be someone napping somewhere, another person on the phone with their grandma, and one more person just sitting there — who no one remembers inviting. Yet, I believe that I have come up with a few great solutions to this small school problem.
It is imperative that you figure out the locations on campus that people either do not like to go, or simply do not go. I would argue that these go hand in hand. Either way, once you do that, it will help you find a quiet space. Armstrong, a commonly disliked building on campus, is really great for this function. Not many people willingly choose to do work there. However, I often work there when I don’t want to run into everyone I know. I have also noticed that Cornerstone is rather empty after class. I feel it has great potential for this reason.
Another useful tactic to find some alone time is lying. Yes, learn how to flat out lie. You could be honest and tell someone that you just want to be alone, but let’s be honest, we’re a sensitive bunch. Simply put, when a friend asks you where you are going to do work, you can attempt the ambiguous answer: “I think I may go to the library, but I’m not sure yet. Depends how crowded it is.” That will be met with a response along the lines of this: “All right, just let me know! I’ll text you when I leave to see where you are.” I suggest just telling them one location you will not be going. If they say they could not find you, apologize and say you changed your mind.
This can apply to working out, too. While some people love to work out with friends, I think it is a great time to find some peace. Friends may ask about your gym plans. Again, simply think of something that they would not like to do, and then they will not attend with you. Regardless of whether you are telling the truth or not, you will gain your alone time.
My last ingenious suggestion for finding some alone time on campus is taking advantage of early mornings. As a rather early riser, I can say with confidence that most people at CC are not early risers. This campus is empty until close to 11 a.m. on weekends. If you can force yourself to stop hitting the snooze button on your phone and drag your body out of bed, you will likely be able to find some solo time in most places around campus.
The fact of the matter is that CC is a social campus. Most students I know enjoy being around other humans during the majority of hours in a day. It doesn’t matter if a door is locked, because a housemate can find a way to break in. It doesn’t matter what time of day it is since someone with the audacity will wake you up. It doesn’t matter how much work you have; someone has a story they need to tell you. It’s sweet, when you think about it. We are a comradely, caring, and confident group of students. Yet, I do think it is important that we find spaces for time to have with ourselves, too. Every now and then, it can be healing to sit alone to make your Trader Joe’s grocery list in peace and quiet.