Don’t be afraid to sit on the end

Asha Lewis, Managing Editor

I’ve heard the words, “I don’t want to sit on the end” more times in the PAC than anything else.

For a while, I felt the same way. Why would I want to sit on the end? It feels vulnerable, one side of me is completely bare of someone’s attention and only one side is covered with socialization and if they’re preoccupied, well I’m out of luck. I’m afraid someone will see you sitting there, lacking interaction and attention and think that I’m unlikable.

But then I realized, that is not the case.

I looked around and realized that, in my four years of high school, I’ve never looked at someone sitting in solitude and thought any less of them. Instead, I see someone who is comfortable in their own skin, someone who’s comfortable in their solitude, someone who doesn’t have to prove themselves. I applaud people like that.

Maybe it’s because of the constant stimulation from our phones and likes on our social media that make us crave validation and attention (I know that’s overused but hear me out), and when we’re in a situation where there is none we can revert to those cell phones to avoid interaction. But isn’t that what we want? To look like we’re wanted, to have those interactions. It’s a complicated dichotomy, but it’s not without an answer.

It’s about confidence, giving and receiving. If you’re sitting alone, revel in it! People watch! Exude confidence! Or talk to someone! Boost their confidence!

I’m not advising you, by any means, to ignore your friends and spend your high school days solo. But don’t be afraid to be alone. I don’t see East as a bubble but more of an incubator. Out small town has allowed me to spend the most transformative years of my life in a surrounded by overwhelming support and opportunity. Living in such a supportive community has allowed me to become independent and have the confidence to willingly sit on the end.