17 Things You’ll Learn From Living Alone At 17

Flickr / olga pogorelova

We millennials are known to be very independent, to stand with our principles, to be a bit hardheaded and quite narcissistic. I read several articles about how fun it is to live alone and how you should try living alone before settling down. Several teenagers and yuppies dream of taking the challenge of being Mr./Ms. Independent. But the thing is, can you handle it?

I had to live alone at the age of 17. Don’t get me wrong, though, it was my decision as well, since I wanted to pursue and finish my studies in Manila. My parents and family were left in our province, and I apparently and unknowingly accepted the challenge of living alone. It was one fun, bumpy, and crazy ride. But believe me, it was all worth it.


1. Being Responsible

The first thing you have to learn in living alone is being responsible. No one will be there to wake you up early in the morning, to cook breakfast for you, and believe me every 7:30 AM class is a struggle. You will also learn how to cook, wash your clothes, and save electricity. You are responsible for your own well-being.


2. Friends Will Eventually Be Your Family

Among 1,000 or more friends and acquaintances, you’ll eventually know who your real friends are. Friends who will always be with you, no matter what. Friends you don’t always have to be with physically, but you know that they’re always behind your back. Friends who will go over your place to cook food for you. Friends who know when you’re sad and lonely. Friends who will text you at midnight and ask if you’re awake just to bring you donuts. Friends who will stop being friends but who will become your family. Your brothers and sisters from different fathers and mothers! Believe me, family doesn’t always have to be by blood; sometimes heart and soul are a better way of measuring family!


3. Saving Money

Here’s the thing—imagine having only five apples to eat well for a week. This means you’ll only have to eat at least one apple per day. However, there are seven days in a week, which means you lack two apples. But the thing is, you have to save at least one of the five apples for rainy days. I see this situation as the best way to describe saving money on a very minimal allowance. It is truly challenging, and it is a matter of sacrifice and priorities. But believe me, it will all be worth it, once you have saved enough money. It’s also okay to have cheat days every once in a while. It’s okay to eat two apples in one day, as long as you deserve it.


4. Hoping That Someone Texts You And Treats You For A Meal

This might sound desperate, but hey, if there’s an opportunity to save money, grab it! Besides, you’re just hoping that someone texts you, it’s not like you’re the type of person who forces other people to feed you. If someone asks you to go out for a meal and it’ll be their treat, why not? First, it’s free; second, you’ll skip a day of eating canned food, eggs, or instant noodles.


5. Going Out Alone Won’t Be A Problem

If a waiter comes to me and asks, “Table for how many, sir?” I can confidently answer, “For one.” Well for the first few times out it’ll be awkward, but hey you’ll get used to it. You’ll also realize the joys of going out alone. You can confidently go out for coffee in your favorite coffee place, eat at your favorite restaurant, go shopping on your own or even watch a movie. If you’re an introvert you’ll definitely find joy in this, but if you’re an extrovert, as my best friend once said, “We extroverts also need time for ourselves.” Going out alone doesn’t mean you’re a loner or a loser with no friends. Sometimes, time alone is the best time you’ll need.


6. You’ll Grow Up…

If before you only think of yourself, a bit self-centered, childish, you’ll eventually learn to grow up. Living alone doesn’t teach you to think only of yourself, but you’ll learn to think of the people around, especially those helping you.


7. …And Realize That Maturity Does Not Come With Age

Age is truly just a number. I have met several people older than me who think younger than me and people of the same age or even younger who think older than their age.


8. Trying To Find Ways To Have A Bit Of Extra Money

A bit more cash will always help. I’ve also tried selling ladies’ underwear to gain some money. Actually it wasn’t embarrassing and I kind of enjoyed it. The thing is, if you’re trying to find ways to have a bit of extra money to help your family with your expenses, you should do it by heart and because you want to.


9. Using Your Charm To Apologize For An Overdue Rent Bill

There will be times when you are not able to pay the rent bill on time, and believe me, hiding from your landlord will not help, because the thing is, they still own the present address you’re using. So instead of hiding, using your charm will be of great aid and beneficial to both parties. Talking to your landlord nicely while apologizing and giving them a definite date for your payment will hopefully lead to a peaceful outcome. The landlord could assure a definite time for your payment, and you don’t have to look for a different house.


10. Computing The Number Of Times To Call/Text Your Parents To Let Them Know You’re Still Alive

Since you’re far away from home, you have to let your parents know that you’re still alive. Even though you’re far away your parents still care about your well-being. Texting and calling them at least three times a week will assure them that you’re still alive and kicking.


11. Having No Curfew Is The Curfew

Our subdivision has a curfew from 10:00 PM to 4:00 AM. So it’s better to go home in the morning that late in the evening. Having no curfew means that you should be responsible in managing your time. Since you’re living alone, you should know what time to go home safely and what time is dangerous.


12. There Will Be Lonely Days

Since you’re living alone, there will surely be lonely days. You’ll miss your family. There will be times at the mall or church when you wish your family is with you. You’ll sometimes overthink, and sometimes it will drive you crazy.


13. But You’ll Find Ways To Overcome Them

But the thing is, you can’t be lonely forever. You’ll eventually finds ways to be happy and not sulk at your loneliness. Your friends will be there for you, and you have to be strong.


14. Trying Your Best Not To Be Sick

Being sick alone is the worst. When you’re sick you sometimes want to be a baby instead, not worrying because someone will take care of you and all you have to do is get well. So when you’re alone, you do your best to be healthy.


15. Your Apartment Is Everyone’s Hangout Place

When your friends run out of places to go, don’t expect them to ask you if your place is available, because believe me they know it’s available. There were even times when I just gave my keys to my friends and allowed them to go to my apartment first, and yes I do trust them, because I consider my friends as family. I would then go home with food already prepared. Your apartment will be everyone’s home. This reminds me about the TV series Friends where six best friends made so much memories in an apartment. One of the hugest perks of having your place is that you can have friends over anytime. My apartment was home to several tears, laughter, projects, hangouts, bonding, and memories to be cherished forever.


16. Sleeping In One Bed Doesn’t Always Mean One Thing

People often think that if people sleep in one bed, it means that something sexual happened. But the real answer is no, especially when you’re two dudes sleeping together in one bed, this also means when you’re sleeping next to a lady friend. As I have mentioned earlier, you’ll treat your friends as brothers and sisters, so if sleeping together with them would mean something happened, that just sounds like incest.


17. You’ll Lean On To Your Faith

As a Christian, the best thing you can do in living alone is to lean on your faith. Especially in lonely days, believing in God’s plans for your life is the best way to overcome struggles and challenges. Prayer is your best armor against all life’s odds. God will be your best friend. He will be willing to listen to all your problems and offer you the best solutions. TC mark

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