I could not imagine sitting at home alone on a Saturday night when I was 16 years old. I would have rather died than miss out on a party or hanging out with friends. My main priorities at the time were my friends and boys and that's about it. You could say that my priorities were whack back then, and I would 100% agree with you.
I didn't know what it felt like to truly be alone.
Obviously, I always had my family and my friends there for me, but because of this, I never had actually been forced to confront loneliness face-to-face before. There was no need to. I had a great life with so many people who loved and cared for me that I didn't have to face that demon, at least not then.
As I grew up and college was around the corner, I started to realize that I was going to have to start over. I would have to make new friends and try and stay close to my old ones because they were all I had, at the time. Freshman year hit me like a bus and I almost called it quits. I have never had trouble making new friends because I was a social kind of person and loved being around people, but this was different.
By the end of my freshman year, I started to get my groove back and felt more confident in myself.
I met a guy and he helped me get back on my feet. My biggest mistake was made when dating him. The mistake wasn't dating him, it was the distraction he had caused for me when trying to make new friends. At that point, I had more friends than I did when I first got to college, but I still didn't feel secure enough.
All summer, I let go of my focus on building relationships with others because I was too focused on the relationship I had with my boyfriend. I put all my time and happiness into him and I didn't even realize that it could all be thrown away at any second.
At the beginning of sophomore, my worst nightmare happened.
All that time and emotion I put into our relationship was kicked to the curb when he decided to break up with me. Yes, I was heartbroken and crushed, but what he said to me before things ended was, "You need to find what makes you happy and be fine with being alone." That hit me hard. I wanted to hate him forever and keep telling myself he didn't know what he was talking about, but those words are what helped me change my life around for the better.
Not even two weeks after we broke up, I decided to apply to study abroad for a month during the summer. I didn't care who was going and if I knew anyone because this was going to be the moment I became OK with being alone. And that is exactly what I did.
After a month of reflecting and working on myself, I came back a better person with a lot more wisdom in me than before I left.
It is crazy what a little self-reflecting can do for the soul and the mind. I realized I didn't need someone with me 24/7 and that I was in a whole different country with no one I know and I was still me. But now, after the trip was all said and done, I am still me but something has changed inside of me and I am now back on track to finding my happiness.
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