By Sabaah Ahmed
You’re a person who loves to be alone but you no longer want to watch the infinite amount of animal rescue videos to fill your time? Don't worry, you’re not alone on that one. To the people out there that say being alone is boring, I’m sorry, but you’re doing it completely wrong. So, as a professional of the term “me, myself and I”, let me tell you how it’s done.
How to be alone outside
Alright loners, we hate not being inside – but hear me out. We can go outside and avoid the outside world at the same time. How you ask? Earphones. I wear the wired ones because they’re now considered ‘retro’ and for the fact that I personally use my student loans to survive.
Museums, art galleries and libraries are great. Not only do you get to go back in time for hours or read your favourite book, but entry is completely free! They’re open all year round so no matter how many seasons of “the real loners of Manchester” go by, you can always depend on them. I definitely recommend the Whitworth Art Gallery. It’s in walking distance of the universities so you can easily spend a lunch break over there… or two… or all of them.
However, if you feel fancy and want to spend a few here or there without crying to the lack of cha ching, cafes are your friends. Sometimes we want to study in places that look nicer than the unwashed dishes your roommate has left in the sink. Need internet access? No problemo mi amigo, most if not all cafes you go to will have free Wi-Fi. There’s a Central Perk café in Manchester that will always ‘be there for you’. Plus there’s a cat café at 103 High Street if humans aren’t for you. Purrfect!
You want to see new things and have the shmoney!? Well aren’t you a lucky egg. So, stop ‘yolking’ around and travel the world. Skyscanner has loads of great deals going around. Return flights to Europe cost anywhere between under £10 to as much as the amount a student will have to pay back after they finish studying their degree. I’ve heard France is ‘Nice’ this time of year.
With that said, you could easily stretch those legs and go for a walk or a jog. Not the sporty type? Reading in the park and talking to ducks is a great pastime, you can be your own Disney princess. Go for a bike ride to a place you’ve never seen. Go on a ‘Lidl’ grocery shop. There’s also nothing wrong in going to watch a movie in the cinema by yourself. Who wants to share popcorn anyway? Better “easy peasy lemon squeezy” by going outside than “stressed depressed lemon zest”.
How to be alone inside
Ah the indoors, so warm, so safe. If like me, you’re an introverted bean and you like to spend your time indoors, this bit is for you. If you want to feel like you’re somewhat outside, then open a window.
So you’ve been out all day socialising and now you want to spend some quality time by yourself, but you’re hungry. Well look up new recipes and prove to yourself that you are no idiot sandwich. They say a relationship with food can be compared to Romeo and Juliet because you cannot live without each other… literally. Romantic, right?
Alright, now that you’ve channelled your inner Gordan Ramsey, it’s time to keep in touch with your creative side. If you’re not the social media type then I recommend screaming in frustration whilst you find the 4 corners of a 1000 piece puzzle. Don’t like puzzles? It's all good, we can totally solve that. Bob Ross painting tutorials are your well-wisher, you can create art whilst rethinking all of your life choices.
I get it, maybe you just want to stress watch a movie or tv show instead of writing that essay that’s due in 2 days. In that case go ahead, but let’s make it comfortable. Creating a blanket fort not only exercises your creativity, but gets you cosy for all your streaming services. DIY lighting is also doable although I am in no way, shape or form responsible if you set anything on fire.
Wait, what’s that smell? Is that a pizza hut box from Freshers week? I'm sorry dude but do us all a favour and clean the mess that isn’t invisible to everyone else. Make us proud and use the KonMari method. Be honest, do you love that short sleeve shirt because it’s in style or do you love it because it was on sale for £3?
Well would you look at that... it’s 9pm. It's late, so I suggest that you go towards the love of your life, your bed, and hug it all you want until you fall asleep. “Oh but I don’t need to hug my bed I have someone”. Listen here Linda, if that was the case then you wouldn’t be reading this article like the rest of us.
So what did we learn?
I’ll be honest, I’ve tried my best to bestow upon you my words of wisdom on how to be alone, b but everyone has their own way they like to spend personal time. So, you do you boo boo. But I just have one more thing to say… did you meet that deadline though?
Sabaah Ahmed is a first year English and Creative Writing student at Manchester Metropolitan University.