Much to my own surprise, I ended up relocating for a job just one month after graduation. While the thought of starting over and moving to a new state seemed exciting, it was also stressful. I had only a few weeks to find a new place called home before packing up all of my belongings and starting my new career. Because of the tight time constraints, I wasn’t able to find a roommate, and ended up signing the lease for a one-bedroom apartment alone.
For the first time in 4 years, I would be entirely on my own. During the majority of my college experience, I shared a room with another girl. My senior year I lived with 5 other girls in an apartment. While these close quarters might seem like a burden for some people, I had become so adjusted to it. For this reason, the thought of living alone was absolutely terrifying to me – so terrifying that I ended up adopting a kitten to join me in my new journey.
Now that I’ve been settled in my new apartment for two months now, I realized that there are a lot of positive things about living on your own that no one tells you about. Here’s what I’ve learned.
Not having someone to talk to isn’t always a bad thing. In college, I often found myself exhausted from having to repeat myself 5 separate times, since all of my roommates were constantly in and out of the apartment. I loved my roommates, and I wanted to share my experiences with every one of them, but it wasn’t always easy… Especially on those “bad days” when I came home and don’t want to have to explain myself to anyone. In my opinion, this is one of the most underrated parts of living alone. You don’t have to come home and talk about your day. Plus, if for some reason you want to, your family and friends are just a phone call away. Talking becomes a choice rather than a requirement, which makes for much more meaningful conversations when they do occur.
You’ll have more “me” time. Your new living space is yours. You can veg out on the couch for hours at a time, binge-watching your favorite show without having to worry about if you’re taking up too much room or if your roommates are secretly dying to change the channel. For whatever amount of time you have to kick back and relax, you only have to think about one person – yourself. “Me” time is all the time when you live alone, and it’s a beautiful thing.
The possibilities for space are endless. Personally, I think this impacts women more so than men. I went from having to share bathrooms, bedrooms, closets, refrigerators, and cabinets with other girls 24/7 to having each of these spaces entirely to myself. This makes a huge difference in so many ways. I can buy whatever groceries I need without having to consider whether or not they’ll fit on my designated shelves on the fridge. I can put all of my clothes in the closet instead of just the ones that “need” to be hung, for space purposes. I can leave things out on the bathroom counter without having to worry that they might get wet or damaged. The list goes on and on.
You dictate your own schedule. It’s important to be a considerate roommate when you’re living with other people, but living alone changes the game; your day to day routine is no longer impacted by anyone else’s. You can cook whenever you want since you aren’t sharing your kitchen. You can take forever getting ready in the bathroom because no one else is waiting to use it. You can go to bed super early or super late without having to worry about someone else being in the room. The way you live your life no longer depends on other people, and it gives you a new found sense of freedom.
You only have to clean up after yourself. For whatever reason, cleaning is so much less of a hassle when you know you’re the one who was responsible for the mess. Now that I live alone, I find myself wanting to keep my place clean and tidy because it’s entirely mine. Anything that’s dirty is a result of my own actions, not another person’s, so cleaning up is no big deal – it’s just part of my routine.
Living alone may seem scary at first, but it doesn’t have to. While I’ve only lived alone for two months now, I’m confident that this list will only expand with time. After all, living alone gives you the opportunity to get to know a very important individual even better than ever before – yourself.