All By Myself

Staff member Karolena Zhou discusses life as only child

As an only child in a family of three, I’m normally by myself. While people assume that only children are lonely because they don’t have siblings, that isn’t the case with me. I usually hangout with friends or spend time with my family to overcome any loneliness I might have. Besides that, I am normally really busy with school or extracurriculars, so I don’t really have time to be lonely.

Submitted Photo Karolena Zhou
Karolena Zhou, staff member and sophomore, poses in her yard. Zhou said being an only child has made her who she is today and she doesn’t want to change that.

Because I’m an only child, the house is usually quiet. While some people like the commotion, I like having a quiet place to relax and enjoy my free time.  It’s really nice because I can read a book or study in peace and quiet without distractions.

Without siblings, I don’t ever have to fight anyone for my parent’s attention or affection. Whenever I want to talk about something, I have an attentive parent that I can chat with. As a result, I’m always fully supported in my hobbies and interests, such as golf and piano. However, because I always have my parents’ attention, I feel like I don’t have any freedom. I often feel smothered because there’s never another sibling for them to fret over. My parents are never super overbearing, but because I’m an only child, I feel like I’m always being watched.

Still, because my parents are usually busy with work, I’ve learned to be independent. At an early age, I had to learn how to be responsible as I was at home by myself while my parents were at work. One thing I’ve learned to do by myself was cooking, which is an activity I still really enjoy. I love to create new dishes.

Many people ask me if I want a sibling or not. As a child, I would have probably said yes. I always wanted someone to play games or talk with me when my parents or friends were busy. My friends would tell stories about their siblings that I have always wanted to experience like their playful fights or inside jokes. However, as I’ve grown older, I would say no. I like the way my family is right now. Being an only child has made me the way I am, and I wouldn’t want to change that.