What to Do When Privacy Evades YouAugust 29, 2016, 03:23 PM
College is the kind of place where secrets and personal space take on an interesting new meaning. In fact, you may well discover that privacy completely goes out of commission for the next four or so years. Whether you're in the dorms, living in campus housing, or hanging out in your parents' basement, there's going to come a time when you feel like you've had your fill of folks always in your face.
Here are a few ways to cope when you're feeling confined in your space:
Go Exploring. In your teenage years, you may have become quite accustom to traveling in packs. If you've spent the last few years hanging out with twenty of your closest friends at any given time, the idea of going to lunch by yourself or catching a movie solo can seem like quite a strange suggestion. Get over your by-yourself fear, and go explore your city! This is the perfect way to gain some independence and see some awesome things without waiting around for someone else to make the time to do it with you. You'll probably learn a lot more about yourself that you expect to, and with time to reflect, you'll come back home with more clarity if you need to have crucial conversations involving the invasion of personal space.
Widen Your Social Circle. Perhaps you don't need a break from people; it may just be that you need a break from your current people. Meeting new friends can bring a welcome change of scenery to an environment that's feeling a little stale. Join some clubs, hang out with your work friends, find a study group, or try online dating. You may find that a fresh set of ears is just what you need to get things off your chest without disrupting your current household flow. Plus, getting out of the house is always good for someone who's feeling the effects of a space invasion.
Set Boundaries. Remember, nobody can read your mind, and a certain level of culture shock in college is normal. Different backgrounds, religions, and household rules will rear their heads when roommates least expect it. It may seem obvious to you that other people shouldn't eat your food, but someone who grew up with seven siblings may not think twice about grabbing one of your Twinkies. Set solid expectations, and be open to conversations and compromise when conflict does arise (because it will!)
When you're feeling stuffed in your space, find ways to break out of your glass box and redefine privacy when it seems to be evading you.