10 Things You Learn When You Live Alone For The First Time

Jérôme Licht
Jérôme Licht

1. You don’t have to care about anyone’s opinion besides your own.

The upside to not having anyone to split bills with is that you only have to worry about what you think. You don’t have to compromise on rugs or towel colors or silverware. You don’t have to pretend to be fine with your roommate’s awful TV show choices or the ugly bathrobe that they keep in the bathroom. If your apartment is the way YOU like it, that’s all that matters. And that feels awesome.

2. You begin to prefer your own company rather than go out.

Once you live by yourself, you become very comfortable being alone. So when the offer comes up to go to a bar, or out for a night with your friends, you almost prefer hanging in alone than doing anything social. You finally have the freedom to do whatever you want in a home, so you’re not going to pass up any opportunities. You like that you’re in a judgement free area, where you can eat what you want, watch what you want, and look how you want on a Saturday night.

3. You learn how to become financially independent.

Bills suddenly seem enormous. That’s because it’s up to you to pay all of them, by yourself. Even if you saved as much as possible before moving, you are unforgivably caught off guard with how much you have to pay for without any roommates. Which makes you become extremely careful with what you spend your money on.

4. It takes you forever to fill your apartment.

When you move in with a bunch of people, normally everyone has some miscellaneous pieces of furniture that they can add to the mix. But when you’re by yourself, it’s literally only what you have. So it takes a very long time to get all the furniture, supplies, and décor that your apartment needs.

5. You become worried that you’ll develop a drinking problem.

So much freedom comes with a lot of responsibility. You are no longer sharing a fridge with your parents, so you can stock it full of wine and beer without anyone caring. You start to have a couple drinks during the week because you can. There isn’t a parent there to make a judgmental side comment about it only being a Tuesday. Which means you begin to drink much more regularly. Which can be scary.

6. It’s a pain to cook for one.

Now you are on your own to cook every meal for yourself. This can get pretty annoying since you’re always cooking for one person. Sure, you can keep the leftovers for tomorrow’s dinner. But oftentimes the whole production of making a meal for one serving at that moment seems like a waste of time.

7. There’s no one else there when you need someone there.

When there’s a huge spider that needs to be killed; when the lights go out during a bad storm; when you hear menacing sounds outside your window, you’re on your own. You relish in the freedom and solitude most days, but when you frantically can’t decide what to wear on a big date, you rue the day you moved in alone.

8. You become more independent than you’ve ever been in your life. 

Whether it’s cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, taking out the trash, buying toilet paper – all of this is up to you. You won’t get home from work and be pleasantly surprised that your roommate did the dishes and replaced the lightbulb in the living room. If you didn’t do it yourself, then it won’t happen until you do. Although it feels great to depend on yourself, it gets bothersome and tedious sometimes too.

9. Being sick is the absolute worst.

When you are living home with your parents while you’re sick, you usually get spoiled. You don’t have to leave your bed or couch; you are constantly being served and cooed over. But when you’re by yourself, you realize that you have to actually function while being sick. No medicine in your house? Tough shit. You have to go get it yourself. You no longer have your mom there to run to CVS for cough drops and trashy magazines and OJ. You literally become the walking dead.

10. You surprise yourself with what you can do on your own.

You may have always felt mature and like an adult, but nothing tests that more than living alone. You will be happy to know that you can get shit done. You don’t realize how many small accomplishments you experience regularly while being alone, whether it’s taking out the trash and recycling, paying every bill on time, fixing something that’s broken. Even if you normally get nervous going to places alone, calling a service yourself, etc, you suddenly realize you have a newfound confidence. In the simplest terms, living alone empowers you in a way you’ve never known. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Kelly Bishop is an avid reader and writer who hopes to one day work with these passions full-time. For now, she blogs for websites like Thought Catalog, Huffington Post, Elite Daily, and Talk Space.

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