5 Things A Monophobe Needs to Know Before Moving to Washington D.C.

Posted on Tuesday, Apr 11, 2017

First of all, you may be wondering: “What the heck is a monophobe?” That my friends, is an any easy question. A monophobe is someone who DOES NOT like to be alone. Ever. I usually avoid doing things if I have to do them alone. For example, even if I have to go grocery shopping because I am completely out of food, I will put it off until someone else can go with me. When most people find solace in being alone, I get very anxious. I constantly crave human interaction. It can be as simple as sitting in the same room and not talking, as long as there is someone else around me. So, how do you manage moving halfway across the country all by yourself, when you need comfortable, familiar surroundings, and your closest friends??

Here are some things I’ve learned about being alone:
  1. It’s really not that hard to make friends. This is probably the most important thing on the list. When you don’t like to be alone, the easiest thing to do in order to combat that is: make a new friend. That sounds so simple, but can be so hard to accomplish when you’re inherently shy as well…So, the first lesson I learned after moving 1400 miles is that making new friends is not as hard/scary as it seems! Just be nice and ask people questions about themselves.
  2. Silence is okay. When I moved to D.C. at the beginning of the semester, I moved from a three-bedroom apartment with two other roommates to a three-bedroom apartment with SIX other roommates. Yes, there are seven girls living in an apartment together. How has Armageddon not started?!? (Please refer to #1 to answer this question) Although it can be crazy at times, living with six other people is such a rewarding experience. You learn so much about yourself and really develop your communication skills and your interpersonal skills. You learn a lot about your ability to handle situations involving other people. However, it can get a little crazy sometimes. There is ALWAYS something going on. So, the second lesson I learned is, it’s okay for the house to be silent. Cherish those rare moments of alone time. You don’t get them very often.
  3. You’re not as awkward as you think you are. Sorry. Part of my fear of being alone stems from the idea that I am awkward. This is only a partial truth and it probably originates from a few instances that my brain has overworked. Everyone is awkward in some capacity and IT’S OKAY. I feel like I am less ‘awkward’ when I am surrounded by a group of people. There is less attention on me. So, it’s okay to run to catch the metro. Nobody is watching you, and if they are, they’re probably doing the same thing. After all, it is more important to make it to work on time than to look ‘normal’. Standing out is totally cool.
  4. It’s okay to miss out. Another part of my fear of being alone comes from the idea that I’m going to miss so much. I like knowing what’s happening. I like being up to date on everyone’s life. I just like to know. It’s hard to communicate when you’re 1,400 miles away. Yeah, you might be wondering, “…but there’s a thing called cell phone???” But in reality, when you’re busy building a new life somewhere else and you’re friends back home are busy finishing up school, it’s hard to communicate regularly. So, it’s okay to miss out a little bit (you can always catch back up later). Don’t be so busy facetiming your friends back home that you miss out on the opportunities in real time.
  5. It’s okay to go alone. It’s okay to go to the store alone. Nobody is judging you. It’s okay to get up and go to Eastern Market by yourself. You get to do what you want and look at what you want. It’s okay to sit on the metro alone (at a reasonable time of day, of course). You don’t always have to know people. It’s okay to be anonymous for a little while, to sit and people watch. It’s okay to move to Washington, D.C. without your friends, your family, without anything other than you. Your experience will be your own. You don’t have to change your experience to mold to someone else’s wants/needs. You will learn so much about yourself and finally break through that shell you’ve been hiding behind. It’s really okay.
So, let go of your fear, because why would you want to miss out on such a great opportunity?

Victoria Bartlett | Texas A&M Galveston
Environmental Protection Agency - Office of Solid Waste & Emergency Response
Washington, D.C. | Spring 2017