daily californian logo


Apply to The Daily Californian by September 8th!

Living alone in Berkeley

article image


We're an independent student-run newspaper, and need your support to maintain our coverage.

OCTOBER 04, 2022

When I tell people I live alone, I usually receive a mixed bag of reactions – anything from “that’s the dream” to “I could never live alone.” I understand that I am part of a minority of Berkeley students that live by myself and, while I truly love my living situation and regret nothing, I understand that there are tradeoffs to having a studio. 

One of the main reasons why living with roommates in Berkeley is so popular is to offset the insane cost of rent. I spent months searching for the best studio apartment in my price range and am confident that I found one of the least-pricey options close to campus, but I still long for the cheaper monthly rent.

I am paying $1,550 per month plus utilities – a pretty darn decent price for those who are familiar with Berkeley’s real estate market. However, my studio is small. Like, really small. The living space is 10 feet by 12.5 feet, with a tiny kitchenette and bathroom. While this is perfectly okay with me, I do sometimes miss the spacious apartment that I shared with a roommate last year, with ample space for hosting and a full-size fridge (it’s the little things, y’all). 

The next trade-off is usually the biggest concern among the people who could “never live alone” – loneliness. Leading up to choosing the solo life, I had an honest conversation with myself about the importance of having my own space as a substitute for constant companionship. I determined that this was the right choice but can definitely understand how it’s not for everyone. Even as a thriving introvert in my tiny apartment, I still get lonely. 

Living solo can also be scary. While I have enough experience living alone for the little things to not phase me anymore, intrusive thoughts were in full effect during the first couple of weeks here. When I would almost slip in the shower, I’d think about how nobody would realize I’m dead for days. I would hear what sounded like a gunshot and consider how there’s nobody to defend me from intruders. I realized that the safety aspect of living alone probably isn’t as serious as I made it out to be around the dozenth time I heard a strange noise at night.

Even with the negatives, there are so many things that I love about my apartment; coming home late and not having to worry about keeping too quiet, walking around naked all day (sorry, neighbors) and having a space to customize and call my own. I am so lucky to live in a studio and, although it would seem cramped to anyone else, it fits me perfectly. 

Contact Daisy Friedman at 


OCTOBER 04, 2022