As most people do at one point or another, I moved out of my mother’s house and into my own place. The transition from living in a house of six people to a small, third-floor apartment by myself was difficult. But after 10 months of being on my own, I think I’ve learned a few things that have helped me feel like I’m living as a real adult.
- Things don’t refill themselves.
My favorite thing about living at my mother’s house was if we ever ran out of anything, there’d always be a replacement in a cabinet somewhere. Things like laundry detergent, paper towels, and sponges just don’t automatically come with your apartment–you have to go buy them! There’s a reason stores like BJ’s and Target sell a lot of their merchandise in bulk. You might look funny carrying a 24-pack of toilet paper to your car, but you’ll thank yourself later.
- Things need to be cleaned properly.
There are some things in life that you can slack off with, but cleaning your apartment is not one of them. Some sweeping and wiping down your counters each week will do wonders, and making sure you stay on top of doing your laundry and dishes keeps fruit flies away. (No one wants to visit a stinky apartment with flies–it’s a fact.) *Important note: things are not fully clean unless you use a form of soap.*
- No one’s going to take care of you when you’re sick.
Being sick is never enjoyable, but it is so much worse when you’re alone. You have no one to make you soup, rub your back, or bring you medicine. You should definitely stock up on all the essentials before you get sick–Dayquil and Nyquil, aspirin, tissues, Pepto-Bismol, a thermometer, etc. because if you catch the flu, you’re not going to be able to shop for it then.
- It gets spooky.
Whether you just watched one of the “scarier” movies in your collection, or your 1970’s radiator is making demon noises, you’re going to get scared once in awhile. No one will be there to reassure you that the movie was fake, or that the noise outside was just your neighbors. While you contemplate sleeping with the lights on (and then immediately decide against it for the even bigger fear of a high electric bill) try to remember that it’s just in your head.
- Your pets are your best friends.
With no one else around, your pets are going to be the only ones waiting for you at the end of a long day. The conversations you have with them will help keep you sane. Tell them all about how hard work was today or how you have three papers due next week. You can fill them in on all the drama you can’t tell anyone else, because they won’t (well, technically can’t) tell anyone else.
- Cooking for one is the WORST.
Cookbooks are a great way to find new and interesting recipes to try. Unfortunately, most cookbooks make recipes for 2-4 portions, which means if you’re cooking for one you’ll always have leftovers. And if you’re always eating leftovers, the fresh veggies you bought will go bad before you have a chance to finish them all. Cooking for yourself is good some days, but keeping some easy meals around your place wouldn’t hurt either. (That DiGiorno microwave pizza will really come in clutch at 2AM.)
Although it does take some time to get used to living on your own, I can say that it has taught me a lot about responsibility, independence, and which soap to use in the dishwasher. Hint: it’s not the same type of soap you use for regularly washing dishes. →