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Eating alone

DJ2012DJ2012 Registered User Posts: 13 New Member
edited September 2012 in College Life
I find myself eating alone quite a bit in the dining hall, the main reason being that the friends/teammates I've met in college so far (only been here going on 2 weeks) all have different schedules. I'm usually a confident person, but there is just something about eating alone in public that lowers my confidence for that time being, its kind of a hard feeling to explain. It's almost like the feeling you get when you feel as if everyone is watching you, and I just try to get out of there soon as possible.

I've tried to join others that are also sitting alone but that doesn't really help due to the conversation always dying quickly.

Anyone else going through this or has been through it? Suggestions?
Post edited by DJ2012 on

Replies to: Eating alone

  • harrisce4harrisce4 Registered User Posts: 61 Junior Member
    I've been through it before too. I think everyone experiences it in college from time to time. Rather than sit in the middle of the cafeteria, I would try to find a window seat, where I would sit on the edge and it would make me a little more comfortable. I know that's silly, but I used to have anxiety eating by myself. I used to feel that everyone was watching, but in reality NO ONE is watching because they all have their own lives to worry about.

    You could also maybe take your food to go and eat it elsewhere if it makes you really uncomfortable. Also, if you see someone else eating alone, maybe ask if you can join them. Chances are, they feel just as self conscious as you about eating alone. Not to mention, you could meet a great friend!

  • kenzie1992kenzie1992 Registered User Posts: 1,003 Senior Member
    I used to be super sensitive about eating alone, I think everyone is at first. Everyone is so stressed about making friends that ANY sign that you're not making friends is a cause for worry. Even if you clearly do have friends, it's just a scheduling thing.

    Last year whenever I was coming into the dining hall at a low-traffic time without friends I'd just bring a book or homework or grab a newspaper on my way in. No one is going to judge you for wanting a little me-time now and again (even if you don't ACTUALLY want it), and you can still sit with friends if you see them.
  • aunt beaaunt bea Registered User Posts: 8,371 Senior Member
    Completely agree with Kenzie! People with lots of self-esteem and confidence eat alone a lot. Bring a book or a crossword puzzle. Get your daily college newspaper and read it while eating lunch. It goes by extremely fast.

    Don't worry about others judging you for eating alone. They aren't judging you; they are there to eat.

    As your semester progresses, you will find that sometimes you won't have time to eat with your friends and you will really appreciate your ALONE time. You'll grab your pannini and go! So, don't worry about everyone else. Eat your meal, get hydrated, and catch up on your reading.
  • Writer1992Writer1992 Registered User Posts: 1,072 Senior Member
    I feel better if I have a magazine or newspaper with me, too. A lot of people bring their headphones and listen to music while they eat but I usually just stare around me or out the window.

    Also, if possible, go at a time where there aren't that many people. Like at 5:15 pm instead of 6:30 pm.
  • Davidabb84Davidabb84 - Posts: 1,355 Senior Member
    I've been bringing my laptop and trying to look like I'm "working," whether or not I'm actually am. It eases the awkward feeling.

    My class schedule is really weird, so I often have no one I know to eat with either.
  • ohiobassmomohiobassmom Registered User Posts: 1,401 Senior Member
    Adults have that issue too in restaurants :) If it makes you feel more comfortable, bring reading you need to do for a class. You might as well kill two birds with one stone, right?
  • spectasticspectastic - Posts: 847 Member
    when I can't find anybody, I just take out and go somewhere quiet. But normally the lines are insane, so when I enter, I just take one glance at the line, make a :( face, and walk out to bike off campus to eat. Finding people to go to lunch with you just becomes a chore sometimes, especially if you only have 40 minutes; or at least I do.
  • smwhtslghtlydzedsmwhtslghtlydzed Registered User Posts: 1,556 Senior Member
    I was a bit worried about that at first too, but just know that nobody cares. This might not help if your fear isn't exactly reasonable (I don't mean this as an insult, I have plenty of fears that aren't logical so arguments against them just don't help) but just look around the dining hall and you'll see plenty of people who are eating alone. It's so common to not have friends to sit with all the time that most people eat alone at one point or another and nobody cares. If you get nervous about people looking at you, bring something to do that'll keep you distracted. I don't have a lot of friends here yet bc I'm pretty shy and it's only been a week so I've been eating a lot of meals by myself and while it gets a bit lonely sometimes, I really don't feel like I'm being judged because there are so many other people eating alone at the same time.
  • ThisMortalSoilThisMortalSoil Registered User Posts: 928 Member
    Have you ever sat down at a restaurant or cafe with your friends and pointed out all the people sitting alone? Have you ever been like "hah, look at that person eating alone, what a freak!"?

    No? Then congratulations, not only are you not a sociopath, you've also just discovered that nobody cares if you're sitting alone ;)

    Nobody cares. If somebody does, then they're the losers, not you. What's sadder than judging someone because of how many people they're eating with??
  • steellord321steellord321 Registered User Posts: 349 Member
    If you're talking about breakfast/lunch then yeah, those are meant to be in and out between classes anyway, and of course ppl you know will have diff schedules. If you're always eating alone at dinner, then I can see how that would get to you. I would only suggest keep meeting ppl, ask them when they're free in the evening and soon it'll work out.
  • CollectivSynergyCollectivSynergy Registered User Posts: 982 Member
    Nobody cares, I rarely ate alone but there's absolutely nothing wrong with it. As you get a little older you'll realize that there's more and more things you might start preferring to do solo. I like going to broadway shows by myself, for example. Less pretense, and a more relaxed experience.
  • CalDudCalDud Registered User Posts: 1,727 Senior Member
    Sit next to people. I've learned that this is one of the best ways to make friends.
This discussion has been closed.