I never ever had an issue with being alone. Growing up, I always spent quite a bit of time by myself. I never really had to, but by nature, I have just always been kind of a loner. When I started college, I was a little surprised at how easy it was for me to make friends. Those friends never did anything alone, and eating was no different. I don’t mind eating alone though. Many people often assume that because I am eating alone, I don’t have friends. That is not the case. I choose to eat alone and often get annoyed when people want to sit with me just because they think I have no one to sit with. I prefer eating alone, and there is nothing wrong with that.
I have a super busy schedule. Between class, work, clubs, homework, and all the other things going on in my day, I typically don’t have time to sit down for more than a few minutes to eat a regular meal. I am often rushing to get anything in me before running off to my next task of the day. When people, even my friends, sit down with me, I feel like I am stuck until they are finished. I don’t want to be rude by getting up and leaving the stranded, but I also can’t afford to stay and be late. So it seems safer for me to just eat alone to avoid the situation altogether.
I have never been much of a social person. I don’t really enjoy sitting and having a conversation for hours on end. Some people can, but it’s not for me. I prefer dining alone because it gives me a few moments in the midst of my busy day all to myself. It is a much-needed break and I use the time to clear my head. I don’t enjoy small talk in any situation with anyone and I don’t enjoy talking about my day most of the time. Therefore eating a meal with another person is a social engagement that I don’t need in the middle of the day.
I know people take pity on me when they see me eating alone. They think I have no friends. The truth is, I have friends, and I love them dearly. But that time alone is valuable to me. I enjoy that time to myself where I can eat at my own pace. College is a time for learning about yourself and growing. I found that I can eat alone and not feel uncomfortable while doing so.