Living with other people is tough. I’m of the opinion that humans aren’t meant to live so close together because humans, in general, hate each other. That’s why I choose to live alone.

Flying solo can get lonely if you don’t take the proper steps to keep yourself occupied. The odds tell us that living alone inevitably leads to Internet trolling or cannibalism or both, but it doesn’t have to be that way. From my musty, dark, single-bedroom dungeon to yours, here are some tips for living alone.

Get a pet

A pet is an obvious deterrent for loneliness. Pets are always there for you, even when you’re at your worst (mostly because you feed them), and they don’t get mad when you don’t do the dishes or play music too loudly.

Cats are the most low maintenance pets, especially if you’re the sole caretaker. Sometimes they can make you even lonelier with their distant personalities and smug looks, but talking to them is better than talking to yourself or your house plants. I recommend getting an older cat – as close to death as you possibly can – because you probably don’t want to make a 20-year roommate commitment.

Cats over three years old are free at the humane society. Or, if you want a 13-year-old, deaf cat named Veggie Burger, you can have mine. She screams constantly, she hates her life for no reason and she makes my life hell. PLEASE email me if you’re interested. On second thought, don’t get a cat. They’re the worst.

Collect a vast library of entertainment

There are only so many movies and shows on Netflix. Once you’ve exhausted all your streaming options (including Sharknado and all Disney Junior shows), it’s time to try a different medium like DVDs, books and records.

If you ever manage to lure a visitor into your lonely cave, a vast entertainment collection will make you seem sophisticated and cultured. Also, a trip to Recycled Records to browse their used DVDs and records is a great way to kill time and keep your mind off the possibility of dying alone.

Learn to cook

Living alone means eating alone. Breaking bread with a friend is fulfilling, but other people are annoying and picky eaters. You should take advantage of only having one person’s tastes to satisfy. Stop ordering Jimmy John’s and Pizza Hut, and buy a cookbook. It’s not like you don’t have time! Time for you is an endless stream of your own dark thoughts about ways to kill your screaming cat without going to jail.

Keep it clean

The worst part about having roommates is the nagging about keeping stuff clean. Things can get really filthy really quickly when you finally live alone and don’t have someone to keep you honest about hygiene. It’s easy to rationalize living in filth when it’s your own filth. It’s not bothering anyone, right? Wrong. God is watching, and cleanliness is next to godliness.

Make yourself a cleaning schedule. Have at least one day a week when you clean and do laundry, so those clothes and dish mountains don’t pile up.

Also, don’t eat in your bed. Forget to throw away an Uncrustable and you feed ants for a day. Make a habit of leaving food out, and ants will never leave you alone. Kind of like my stupid cat.

Find a social spot

All kidding aside, you should probably find some friends. Or, at least go to a place where other humans are gathering socially every once in a while.

Find a place you like, and look friendly every time you go there. Sometimes just a smile from a bartender (because they know you’re a good tipper) can make all the difference during an extra lonely week. And try not to talk about your cat with strangers every time you go there.