I can’t believe that over a month ago, I moved out of my parents’ house for good and moved into my own place. Sure, I go back home a lot (almost every weekend), but as my sister so kindly put it, I’m now considered a guest whenever I visit. I have now my own place to call home.
I have to admit that living on my own is not exactly the way I thought it would be. No matter how many posts you read on the subject or how many people you ask for advice, everyone’s experience is a little bit different. I love the liberty and independence living by myself has given me, but I’m also now just realizing how much I appreciate everything my parents have done and are still doing for me. Everyone has been trying to tell me to expect this and that, but there are a few things no one told me that I would have liked to know before I went out and moved to my own place.
Adulting is HARD.
Okay, I know you’ve probably heard this one a lot. But trust me, it’s 100% true! Every time I read this online, I couldn’t help but roll my eyes. I thought, “I’m sure it cannot be THAT hard…”. But I’m telling you: it can and it will! I mean, you have to pay the bills, remember to pay your rent, go grocery shopping, clean up, cook, do laundry… I looked at the adults around me and it all seemed fairly easy. But the thing no one is telling you is that your parents are good at this because they have been doing it for years. They know what to expect because they’ve been through this. And you want to know the best part? Adults still make mistakes. You will make mistakes, but it’s only part of the learning process! Adulting is hard, but it’s not impossible. You’ll get better with time, and things will come more easily. It’s okay to be figuring out along the way.
Cleaning up sucks, but it’s necessary.
I’ve always hated cleaning up. I know it seems a little bit paradoxical since I’m an organized person, but my room is always such a mess. I love the feeling of a clean room, but I just hate the actual act of cleaning up. Weird, right? But one thing that I’ve learned while living on my own is that while cleaning up is a whole lot worse than I thought it was (I mean, I actually need to clean the shower? ugh), it’s necessary. And if I don’t do it, no one is going to do it for me. So that means I’ll be living in my own filth if I don’t do anything (ew). Sometimes I think I can let it slide a little bit, but then I realize that is just so much more disgusting. (Important lesson: Clean up your dishes at least once a day. Otherwise, you’ll have to scrub a lot.) I used to think that I didn’t mind not cleaning up all the time, but that’s because I had someone else do it for me (read: my mom). Now, I try to do a little bit every single day.
You have to be your own best friend.
When you live alone, there aren’t that many opportunities to socialize. I actually have two roommates, but I literally never see them because we live on such different schedules. So whenever I come home, I’m on my own. I’ve always considered myself to be a lonesome person who doesn’t need to be surrounded by people all the time (spoiler alert: I’m an introvert), but I’m realizing that while this may be true, living on your own can get quite lonely. You need to be able to entertain yourself. But to be able to do that, you have to actually enjoy spending time with yourself. Because no one else is there to distract you from your thoughts. You’re stuck with yourself.
Boredom is your worst enemy.
As I was saying, you will be spending a lot of time on your own. And I discovered that while I love being on my own, I get bored quite easily. And you know what I like to do when I’m bored. I eat. A lot. And that’s not healthy. I also drive myself insane. I feel locked up, like I’m stuck in a cage. There’s only so much Netflix you can watch. You have to find other ways to entertain yourself. Find a new hobby, sit down with a good book, work on your blog… There are so many possibilities! If you’re bored, that’s when you get homesick. You can’t always be locked up in your room, sometimes you have to get out and socialize for your own sanity. So go out and have fun!
Cooking for one is not easy.
I always thought cooking for one would be the easiest thing in the world. WRONG. Cooking for one is much harder (and complicated) than what it looks like. First, you have to think that grocery shopping can be a nightmare. Are you going to be able to eat all of that before it expires? Sometimes, yes. But most of the time, buying the regular size or family size version of something is simply not worth it. Living with roommates, I don’t have that much storing space in the fridge and the freezer, so I have to think about what I buy carefully.
Then comes the actual cooking. Most of the time, I just don’t have the motivation to cook. I mean, after 8 hours of work, the only thing I feel like doing is crashing on my bed in front of Netflix (which I do a lot more often than I’d like to admit…). And since buying big portions is a no-no, cooking just doesn’t seem worth the time and effort. So I’ll end up heating up things in the microwave or eating some toast with peanut butter a lot. If you guys have any recommendations or recipes or anything that can help me out on that front, that would be absolutely great! (Make sure it’s fast and easy because I’m no chef.)
The trash will not take itself out.
I’m going to be honest: I’m used to having someone do this type of things for me. And I’ve taken it for granted. I’ve said it before, but I appreciate everything my parents have done and still do for me a lot more. I might not say thanks all the time, but I do think it. Since I’ve been living on my own, I’ve realized that I had to start doing all the little things that my parents have been doing for me over the years. The trash is not going to take itself out. The dishes are not going to clean themselves up. I need to start taking my responsibilities into my own hands and be an adult (UGH, I know).
Overall, living on my own has been an incredible experience so far and it has made me learn so much about myself. I do not regret it for one bit, and I’m sure it’s going to prepare me well for what’s next to come.
What are the things you wish you had known when you started living on your own?