• Cover: July 23, 2014
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Single Occupancy

Afraid of living alone for good? Why it may not be so scary after all

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  • Bettina Bhandari/Getty Images

    My sophomore year in college, there was a lottery held for on-campus housing. I drew a rotten number. It meant I could either rent a room in a dilapidated house far from campus or live in a weird vegetarian commune close to campus. I chose the commune.

    I ate meat, wore makeup and blow-dried my hair—all forbidden activities at the mellow/funky commune. I was as mystified by the serene residents as they were by me. It took a long time before I learned to call these strangers friends. Yet now I look back at my time there as one of the best living experiences of my life.

    Every quarter, we switched rooms. Some quarters I had one roommate, some two. But some quarters I had my own room. And living alone while surrounded by people turned out, for me, to be ideal.

    I had my own living space—tiny, perhaps, but my posters, my books, my quilts. If an ornery professor or persnickety, grating classmates made me crazy, I had my Inner Sanctum. I could close my door and keep the world at bay.

Single Occupancy
Afraid of living alone for good? Why it may not be so scary after all
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