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The Baker Orange

Do happy loners exist?

Story by Dory Smith, Assistant Multimedia Editor

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Some days I wonder to myself, “Can people just let me be a loner in peace?”, but I always come to the same conclusion. No, they can’t.

Growing up I was an only child, so over the years, I’ve become comfortable with being alone and enjoying my own company. I’m that person who goes to the movies alone, shops alone, go to the park alone, eats and sleeps alone. As depressing as that may sound to some, I’ve realized the importance of being happy with yourself in your own space.

With that being said, and forgive me for sounding bitter, but when people see me in the Wildcat Cafe sitting alone, headphones in both ears, music blaring, eating and minding my own business, people give me the pity stare or ask “Why are you sitting by yourself?”, or my favorite, “Do you wanna come and sit over here?”

Loner social tip: When I see someone walking around with headphones in both ears, I take that as a sign to leave them alone unless I absolutely need to get their attention. Think about how annoying it is to play your favorite song but not being able to get through it smoothly because people stop you in the middle of every verse. Then you have to start the song over even though you weren’t planning on it.

But back to the cafe.

It’s not personal, but my social anxiety is outrageous in the cafe. The incoming freshman class is so large this semester that the cafe has become one tiny room with millions of humans, and how stupid would I look walking in circles with a plate of food searching for a group of “cafe friends” to sit with?

In that time I could trip and fall, drop the food, give in and sit with people who I normally wouldn’t sit with, which you could call being social, but I call it being fake.

This stuff is all in my head, but it’s my reality as a loner. As a loner, I need the option to be one whenever I want to, especially in the cafe or maybe on the campus.

Either way, I’m not a sad loner. I’m a happy loner so feel free to not make me feel weird for spending some quality “me” time, all of the time.

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