Life Happens When You Actually Leave Your Apartment

No one met their significant other while home alone on their couch. No one met a new best friend while hiding under the covers and watching The Hills on Netflix Instant. No one got their dream job by doing nothing but watching TV all day. All of the important things happen when you actually leave your apartment, when you shut off the computer, throw away the pad thai, get dressed, and go outside.

People tend to exaggerate when they tell people, “I’m SUCH a hermit. I haven’t left my apartment in days. Well, besides to go that really cool fashion after party. Oh, and I did go to my best friend’s birthday party. That was a crazy night but other than that, I haven’t left my bed.” People tend to think that staying in gives them some sort of cool kid credibility. Like, they could be social but they’re above it somehow. They’re usually lying about laying low though and that makes real hermits like me look bad, or worse, like we’re fakers. Don’t get me wrong. I go out, I do my thing, but lately it’s felt like every activity has required some coaxing from me or my friends. In the past month or two, I haven’t felt pumped about leaving my cave of a room to do real life people things. I know that I’ll end up having fun but it’s been taking some convincing, which I hate. Why don’t I want to leave my apartment?

I’m writing this though as motivation to me and anyone else who has felt disenchanted with going out. We need to do it. For the sanity of our minds, we must suck it up and participate in having a young adult life. After all, you never know who you might meet and what might happen. Life doesn’t happen to you in bed. (Well, at least when you’re alone.) Whenever I go on a hermit binge, I start to snap out of it by thinking about regrets. When I’m older and going to the bars is considered creepy, I don’t want to feel like I didn’t take advantage of my youth. I don’t want to feel like I spent my twenties in my room watching YouTube videos and telling my friends that I’m going to have a solo star night.

But I didn’t always feel this ambivalent. In college I genuinely enjoyed going out and I would actually be upset if plans fell apart and I stayed in on a Saturday night. The weekend seemed full of possibilities and I had a lot of pent up energy from spending the week in the library writing papers. So is this new hermit attitude a direct result of entering the work force and having a full-time job? A few weekends ago, I decided to throw a house party (it meant that I didn’t have to leave my apartment so I was stoked obviously) and for some reason, a freshman from NYU showed up — don’t judge, I think she was someone’s younger sister — but seeing this fresh-faced 18-year-old enter my party and essentially take it by storm made me feel so… old. Here was someone who just moved to New York and had all the energy in the world. Every party she went to had the possibility of being The Best Party and you could tell she was excited by every little thing. I wanted there to be a “Before” and “After” picture of the two of us — an 18-year-old who just moved to NYC contrasted against a 25-year-old who stopped believing in The Best Party.

Incidentally, seeing this NYU freshman is actually what inspired me to stop being a hermit and start leaving my apartment. After meeting her, I realized that I’m too young to be feeling this old. I’m not going to let what could be the best years of my life pass me by in my bedroom. And neither should you. So go outside. Stop reading my articles and go out tonight, for the love of God. I will if you will. Deal? TC mark

Ryan O'Connell

I'm a brat.


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  • koty

    As a freelance writer that works from the comfort of my pjs this is all way too true.

  • xstella

    maybe i’d go out if i actually had friends

    • Ana Figueiredo

      Yeah… That’s kinda the thing.
      Being a single-twentysomething sucks ass. 

    • brm

      my god that is so sad

  • Orquidea


  • Parker

    Except for those of us who are introverted and genuinely benefit from our alone time, who are satisfied with our daily interactions with people enough to not need to seek more socializing. Some of us don’t want to socialize. We just don’t. We’re different from you. I’m different from you. I think this article doesn’t acknowledge it. 

    • The Drone

      But we, as humans, benefit from interacting with others that we share interests with on a daily basis. If you already do that, then yea, this article isn’t for you.

  • Mashka

    “All of the important things happen when you actually leave your
    apartment, when you shut off the computer, throw away the pad thai, get
    dressed, and go outside.” I need to have this statement on a post-it everywhere in my apartment. On my laptop. As soon as I walk in my bedroom. As soon as I walk in my room. On my couch. On my kitchen table. On my TV. On the internet anytime I type in grubhub, facebook, buzzfeed, thoughtcatalog, bloglovin, etc. 

    • Mashka

      As soon as I walk in my apartment* 

  • ayrababy

    i actually left my house the other day and had this same epiphany haha.  everything was so busy and people were everywhere having fun and i was like wtf WHY HAVE I BEEN ON THE COUCH FOR A WEEK?  fuck fall, let’s have fun this winter.

  • Asdf

    Another Ryan O’Connell article, another lede photo of him sticking his tongue out at me.  Please lose this fetish ASAP.

    • Anonymous

      Whaat? I love it when Ryan O’Connell sticks out his tongue. Ryan, whenever you come out to the West Coast I guarantee sticking out your tongue will get you laid. 

  • Sally Mae

    I agree with you for the most part.  But, as a crotchety old 29 year old let me tell you, sometimes life happening outside your apartment = shouting the same inanities over the same terrible music at the same bar (any/every bar) at the same people that you always shout inanities over loud, terrible music to at bars.

    Often times, for the introverted among us, Harry Potter and a pint of mint chocolate chip is more memorable.


      I too am tired of going to the same bars and seeing the same people that I’ve seen in this same college town for the past 3.5 years.  

      1. Stay in and enjoy my own company
      2. Go out and bore myself doing the same things I’ve done a million times, while pretending to have fun for the sake of my friends, who apparently don’t get tired of doing the same thing.

      • Sally Mae

        Agreed.    Stand around!  Hold beers!  Shout about work!  Drink to make the conversation more interesting! Sing Bon Jovi drunkenly!  Go home!  Repeat!

      • The Drone

        Then why don’t you go to different places? Take an exercise or yoga class where you can interact with others or maybe start taking music lessons – something low cost, but productive. Marginalizng your choices to bars is nonsense, just as is sitting on the couch every night.

      • Sally Mae

        Let’s break this down.  I live in NYC and have taken the same dance class for 7 years.  Over time I’ve made 2 or 3 friends in class.  Great people, all of them, but guess what they all want to do outside of class?  Could it be stand around getting hammered?  You guessed it!

        As for the underwater basketweaving classes, you must be a more ambitious person than I when it comes to sniffing out social interaction.  The thought of signing up for a  ukelele retreat in the hopes I’ll come away with a new BFF makes me yearn for a nap.

        I already have a solid group of friends, the problem is it’s like pulling teeth to get them to do anything except race to the bar after work.  And, seeing as how every gallery/book party/organized snowball fight I’ve attended also concludes in a hotly anticipated trek to the bar, unless I start attending AA meetings to make friends, my options are limited.

  • charlotte

    wow… i needed to read this. thank you. i’m kinda hermit too, and after reading this i’m thinking about leaving the house for a while.
    so thank you, really  :)

  • Katherine


  • Brandon h

    You know, Hermitism must be common to our generation because I feel like I could have written this exact article myself. And its good to hear it happens in NYC too, because often I tell myself “If only I was within walking distance to all this stuff I’d be out more often and meet people”. 

    Maybe the anxiety that comes with the shit economy is taking its toll on the late 20 somethings. 8 to 10 hours of work coupled with worry and sleepless nights about whether or not your going to make your loan payments makes you want to just curl up into a ball and watch cat video’s on Youtube.

  • Anonymous

  • Loser

    I seriously haven’t left my bed in a month. It’s getting pretty ridiculous. I’m going to run away from the city back to my small town and maybe I’ll be alive again.

    I have no future or present. I just smoke weed until I pass out and then start all over again.

  • Anonymous

  • Anonymous

    Ryan O’Connell, why on earth are you going to Princeton to speak?  It’s quite, the hilarious…

  • Dan Hoffman

    Does this mean your coming to the party at my apartment next weekend?!?

  • Frida

    I’m going to be 18 soon, but it feels more like I’m going to be 30.
    I need to snap out of it!
    Thanks for the inspiration.

  • rgar

    HOLY FU*KING BAST*RD NUGGET! Deal, man. Deal.

  • Kevin McCutcheon

    You have predicted exactly what I am doing right now and how i feel about it, Good points I really do need to get out and away form the computer

  • Paul Humphries

    You are a dolt

  • Megaphon

    Ummm. Maybe it’s normal. Maybe it’s just because it’s getting cold and dark outside. Or maybe you’re starting to get clinically depressed. Please watch out for yourself, ok?
    Won’t hurt to go see a play or visit friends or take random pictures though.

  • bones

    you fool! obviously your vitamin D levels have leached from your tissues and the last one to know is you. better get a jugfull before you find yourself watching reruns of “the big bang theory”. if that happens, speedial your phone to the pharmacy that delivers.

  • Scott

    LOVE this article. in the words of Robyn, “You can cry when you get older.”

  • Lucy H

    As a 24 year old who often stays in, I know what you mean. I think it was easier to go out in college, there were always new things to do, fun things to do. Post-college is harder, we have to manage full-time jobs that can be exhausting (due to working too much, or just because they’re tedious), and we feel like we’ve done everything. But hey, sometimes you just have to get yourself off your ass and take a walk- this will remind you about the world around you, and make you want to be involved again.

    And besides, there are always new things to do. You just have to find them.

  • Lloyd

    I read this at 2am. I ended up going to a corridor party and meeting a bunch of new people. When the party got shut down at 3.30, I headed home content. When I got to my floor I heard an after party happening upstairs. I went up, met more people, danced to trashy music and got a free chicken feed.

    Cheers for the inspiration.

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