Connection Cafe - "I Need Some Alone Time!"

April 21, 2017

"I am feeling burnt out right now and could use some time to myself. The problem is that I am an extrovert by nature and people have gotten used to me having my dorm room door open and just stopping by. It's already difficult enough living with so many other people, but now that the stress of the semester is high, I'm overwhelmed. What are some ideas that I can use to get some alone time?"

First of all, I think it’s really cool that you’ve acknowledged the fact that you’re feeling socially burnt out and that you’re in need of some self care. A lot of people aren’t able to acknowledge that, so you’ve already gotten past a huge barrier. Next, identify the situations in which you feel the most drained. If it’s primarily when entertaining your floor mates, try finding a space on campus maybe that can allow you to do some quiet reading or browsing social media. Also – don’t feel afraid to close your door from time to time, everyone is feeling very caught up in their own academic agendas at this point in the semester, so shutting out the floor for a bit to focus on your own thing is totally justifiable. Also – we have free access to the AC transit system since we’re students here, so take advantage of it! You can bus all the way to Lake Merritt and wander around, or just take it someone nearby that you don’t visit often just exist and take some time to yourself. I personally enjoy taking the 51B down to the Berkeley Marina and walking around down there, it’s a really cute area with some cool shops that you can check out, and the marina itself is very calming and relaxing if you walk out to the end of it. For extra alone time, I even run from campus down to the marina, but that’s not for everyone because running can suck sometimes!


Hi there! 

I totally understand your burnt out feelings. At this point in the semester, everyone is just counting down the days until summer break! If you're looking for some alone time in your own room, don't hesitate to put a little sticky note on your door saying that you're sleeping and that your floormates should stop by later. Or perhaps suggest that you and your floormates should hang out in the lounge more often. When I was a freshman, I never really saw my dorm room as a place for private time (given my shared space with my roommate and my relationship with my own floormates). Instead, I made time for myself at the gym, at cafes, and the library. Sometimes all you need is some peace and alone time, no matter where it is. 
Good Luck!
Socializing can be fun, but I definitely agree with you! Sometimes, you just need some alone time and that's okay. You can always decide to close the door when you want some time to yourself and post a note on your door telling people to come back another time. Another idea would be to go to the gym and get a quick work out in. With the semester coming to an end, stress levels are on the rise and the last thing you want is your mental health to suffer. You can also go out and explore the cities of Berkeley and San Francisco. Ask yourself, what are some ways you can relax? Is it hiking up the Big C? Going to to nearby cafe? Going on a run down the Marina? Some things that help me to relax are baking, boxing, and working out. Perhaps, take on a new hobby? There are many things to do and places to go to distant yourself from the community until you feel ready and refreshed. Just be honest and straightforward with your friends. They will understand that you need your time alone. Good luck! :)