Content Warning: anxiety, loneliness, depression, eating disorder, self-harm.
When I first moved into my college apartment (my first place away from home), I was surprised at how quickly I became terribly lonely. I didn’t have any friends, and I only saw my family once a week, which meant I spent most days (it was summer at the time), walking around naked and watching Superstore. I’d also sit in my pile of squishmallows and cry about missing my family.
I spent a lot of time being lonely and miserable in high school, and I sort of looked to college as my end goal. I thought things would be better once I got there, but I ended up being lonely in a different way. I also had to figure out how to take care of myself, which was hard at first. I didn’t know how to shop cheap and also eat food that was good for me, especially because my eating habits were often erratic and good food spoils fast.
I was also really depressed during this time. I’d lie in bed all day, rolling under the sheets and watching TV while playing Candy Crush on my iPad. I also masturbated a lot, which I would never admit if this wasn’t anonymous. Sometimes I’d even find myself self-harming, on top of my binge-eating disorder. I remember one time, I cleaned out a giant variety of popcorn container in one sitting, and another time when I polished off half a coconut cream pie.
Sometimes I’d bike around my college campus and find a place to sit in the sun and read. It’s quiet there during the summer, so I was able to easily explore the city and would often find a bench to sit on and write in my journal. This time allowed me to get to know myself better, which made being alone less lonely. It also meant exercising, which made me less anxious about the pandemic weight I gained.
Things got even better after I adopted my cat and started hanging out with a friend from school. She’d come over all the time, and because we had the place to ourselves (roommate situation gone bad), we’d hang out in the living room and lounge on the couch while half-heartedly doing homework.
I hope this helps someone have faith that things will be okay.