What I’ve Learned From Living Alone

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After graduating college I lived with my parents for a year. It was a mixture of amazing and difficult. I didn’t pay for rent, my wonderful mom cooked for me everyday, and I made a huge dent in paying off my loans. But I also went from doing whatever I wanted whenever I wanted in college to having to respect their early bedtime and general concern for my wellbeing.

Me every weekend: “Yes Mom I know its 3am and I’m not home. Yes I’m fine.”

Last May I moved out into my own apartment. Game changer. I can once again do whatever I want whenever I want, and even more than in college because even then I had roommates to be considerate of and who had to be considerate of me. No more worrying about who I’d wake up or who’d wake me up with all the different schedules my roommates and I had.

There are a few thangs I’ve learned about living alone that I didn’t realize I’d discover:

  • I’M WAY CLEANER WHEN I PAY MY OWN RENT

    I was never dirty when I lived with my parents or in college. Just super unorganized. Clothes e v e r y w h e r e. My messiness can usually be tied with my mood.. If i’m feel down or super anxious, I have no motivation to clean or put anything away. Or do anything really.. but when my mood picks back up, I get motivated to clean and organize. College and the year after weren’t the healthiest times in my life. My mental and physical health both suffered because of my lifestyle choices. I’ve become a much happier person in the past year for many reasons. I’m out of a bad relationship, have a better job, am taking anti-anxiety medicine, not partying as much (keywords: as much), and am living on my own. Happier me = more organized apartment. But also just paying my own rent makes me more motivated to take care of my place. Sorry mom and dad, but I was definitely less motivated to take care of my room when I didn’t pay for owning it. Also… there is no way you can blame others for a messy bathroom, kitchen etc. I sometimes look at my sink like how the f did it get that dirty ?? Or why is there crusty stuff in my microwave ?? No chance I can even pretend someone else that. It was allll me. 

 

  • I HAVE TO MAKE MORE OF AN EFFORT TO MAKE PLANS

    I always lived with my best friends in college so I didn’t have to make plans. I’d just go home and be with who I wanted to be with. Now I go home and I’m by myself. If I feel like doing something I have to text a bunch of people and see what they’re doing. It doesn’t help that I don’t have a group of friends in Columbus. I definitely have friends, but they all have their own friend groups. I’ve always been kind of a friend group nomad. I’m completely fine with it, I just have to make the effort to do things.

 

  • LIVING ALONE IS FREAKING EXPENSIVE

    It’s ridiculous. When I think about how much more money I’d have if I had roommates it makes me wonder why I live alone… but for now, I think it’s worth it. When looking for apartments, I realized that the rent for a one and two bedroom are about the same. Barely any difference. It’s a little painful to think about.

 

  • I HAD THE BEST ROOMMATES IN COLLEGE

    I really do miss my college roommates. They were the bestttt. People say not to live with your friends because it ruins your friendship, but I am very anti-that theory. I lived with my best friends and they are still my best friends. If any of them lived in Columbus, I’d live with them for sure. Living alone definitely makes me miss them because when I’m chillin after a long day at work, I sometimes find myself wishing I was with them watching tv or getting food together.

 

  • BEING AN INTROVERT MAKES THIS IDEAL

    I need to be alone to recharge. Too much time around people completely exhausts me. No matter who it is. My friends and family have learned this about me and are very understanding of it. I just tell them if I need to be alone for a little bit and they totally get it. Having my daily alone time is so crucial to my mental well-being. Once I get that much needed alone time though, I start to miss my college homies. It’s nice to have people to do nothing with at your own place. I don’t want to have to go somewhere else to do nothing with other people. It’s nice to have roommates because you all can do nothing in the comfort of your own home.

 

  • HAVING A CLOSE FRIEND WHO ALSO LIVES ALONE IS BENEFICIAL

    When Abigail lived in Columbus, she lived alone too. And super close to me. It was perfect. We were always making plans and texting each other when we wanted some human interaction. My friends that have roommates are less likely to hit me up and ask what I’m doing than those who also live alone. 

In September my lovely friend Tori is going to be living with me for a few months while she has an internship in Columbus. Her and I were random roommates our sophomore year in college. I cannot wait for her to live with me. I love living alone, but I also have loved living with my best friends. There are always good and bad in every living situation, but I’ve realized that a lot of people never get to live by themselves ever in life. I’m very thankful I get to live by myself and and have learned so much about being independent, paying my own bills, making plans, and taking care of my mental health.

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Oh, and I also get to decorate however I want and paint my walls… GAME CHANGER

Emily


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