Being Alone on Campus

I was wondering if there is any place, other than a nasty bathroom, where one can be truly alone on your average college campus. I am not the most social person, and I heavily value my personal space and privacy, so I was looking for a place to “hide” away for awhile. Also, any other tips on preserving my privacy in dorms would be much appreciated.

You might target schools that allow freshman to have singles and/or allow students to live off campus after freshman year (not many schools let frosh live off campus).

Many schools have quiet rooms in which to study whether in the library or an academic building, sometimes these are private, sometimes not.

Have you ever shared a room?

Most of the campus chapels for various denominations have unused rooms during the day/week. Make friends with the chaplains and they’ll help you find quiet spaces. The alumni center will have meeting rooms and conference rooms which aren’t being used at various times- get a job as a waiter (usually well paid) and then the staff will let you in and out of the building when you need to find a quiet room. Most campus libraries will have small offices tucked away- I got one to study in during my senior year when my paying job was checking backpacks at the door to make sure students weren’t stealing books. After my shift, a nice librarian would lend me the key to an unused office for a few hours.

You’ll need to be creative if you want total privacy, but for sure you can find it.

Mwfan1921 — No, I’ve never shared a room before. I think, if I had, I would be much less anxious about it. I really like to keep my personal life away from other people, and things like personal hygiene, changing, sleeping, etc. are really things I’d rather not do around other people. I hope to get a single dorm, but I know those are limited. I will definitely get an apartment as an upperclassman, if I can afford it.

blossom — Thanks for all that advice! I really relate with a lot of what you’re saying. I will try my best to find ways to be alone at times.

Most dorms have music practice rooms. My daughter goes down to play piano but she’s also called me from down there too ; ). She also has a tree hammock and will find a place to “hang” in good weather when she needs alone time.

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That’s nice :slight_smile: I hope to find some quiet place when I get to college.

A lot of colleges have libraries with rooms for reserve. Some are really nice: desk, usb ports, small couches, quiet, lighting options, etc.

My dd’s campus had a huge arboretum with lots of spots to be alone.

aunt bea — It would be great to have a nice chill area with a couch or something — somewhere where I can be alone for awhile.

I never lived on campus, but I would lock myself away in the study rooms in the library all the time because they were so quiet and peaceful and I could get so much done.

cshell2 — yeah, I certainly hope these places will be available on a regular basis for me. I have used study rooms at my local library, and it has been great.

@VinceLestrade, every school is different.

My first university had a quiet lounge in my dorm building. (No talking permitted.) It had several couch areas and large, soft, quality “bean bag” chairs where you could rest if you didn’t want to stay in your room. (Quiet understated classical music played).

There was also a “dorm meeting room” in another part of the building where people met and spoke in quiet voices around rounded tables and padded chairs.

My large grad uni had a 24-hour student lounge for commuters who just needed a quiet, restful space. It was huge but quiet and had about 200 upholstered “benches” with XL washable pillows that always smelled clean! People didn’t bother each other and there was enough space to spread out and chill.

The Library Reserve rooms were extremely popular for people who just wanted to be by themselves in a quiet space. Rooms varied in size. Some rooms were mini-conference rooms with classroom amenities-boards, lighting, marking pens, etc. For all of these rooms, you had to reserve them in advance, but sometimes they had cancelations.

Every university has an option or two to accommodate your needs; you just need to check them out.

There are often cubicles in the library that are fairly private.

@aunt bea – Yes, I do believe that library study rooms are my best bet. I ideally would like a space exclusively populated by myself for the time during which I am there; one where I may be in some control over my environment and who may enter it.

I have read your other post about wanting privacy in dorm life. After reading this one as well I’m thinking online college might be for you.

@Empireapple — It would eliminate concerns, certainly, but many more would be presented. I am going to a physical college for the academic prowess and opportunity. I understand there are downsides, ones that happen to be numerous for me with my perspective. I am working to prepare for and predict these issues so that I may best adapt and overcome any obstacles.

You got great ideas so far for privacy. So you know you can do that. In spring /summer sometimes just studying under a tree can still work. But I might suggest taking a different approach. The world is a big place and for many social interaction leads to success. Not for everyone. I told my kids when going away to college that they don’t “have” to be the same person they were in high school. They can become anyone they want to. This idea I think helped them get out of their comfort zone. College is about trying and doing new things. Challenging yourself. Betting on yourself.

Unless I am totally misreading this join groups and clubs. Meet people. Put yourself out there a bit. Say hi to at least one person a day… Etc.

You can still have your alone time. I really enjoy mine. But life is too short to spend it by yourself.

Suffice to say there are many places (already mentioned) on most campuses where you can find solitude. The one that immediately comes to mind to me is just sitting under a shade tree for a half hour or hour (or whatever) on a nice day. If that’s not available, most student centers have “lounges” with sofas and general spaces.

When visiting S on campus, I’ve noticed that many kids opt to study in random rooms around campus. Most have laptops out and headphones on. Easy to find these spaces. You may need to seek those out as the dorm and dorm room may not be that private.

@Knowsstuff — I definitely plan on it! I want to join a major-specific club (I want to go into Neuroscience and Pre-Med), some medical charities, a book club. I do know I tend towards some degree of isolation, so I will definitely heed your advice by putting myself out there.

@rickle1 — Yeah, I’ll definitely have to try to find some little nook or cranny. There are options, I am sure.