Having roommates is a cornerstone of life in your twenties. You probably first started out by living with a complete stranger in a dorm room. Chances are this person was a complete psycho who ate their own hair but, who knows, sometimes you get lucky. Then, by sophomore year, you get a place off-campus with your BEST FRIENDS FROM SCHOOL. The first few months will be pure ecstasy, buying wine goblets from IKEA, having house dinners, pre-gaming together on Saturday nights, and watching TV on a Sunday with your limbs all entangled like octopuses. It’s heaven until it’s hell, until there’s drama and someone ends the friendship and moves out. Still, it was fun while it lasted, right?
Eventually, you’ll reach a point in your life when you’ll want to live alone and can actually afford to do it. Even if it means moving further away from the action and settling on something teeny tiny, you’ll find a way to make it work for yourself. When you do decide to make the very important leap from Roommate to Solo Star Living A Very Adult Life, here are some helpful tips to remember.
1. Don’t be scared!
No one is going to murder you. I mean, I can’t actually promise you that, but the odds are slim. When I lived alone, I was always looking around for random banana peels in the shower, thinking I was one bad slip away from death. It’s silly. You’re fine. And let’s be honest, your lazy roommate who sat on the couch all day wasn’t exactly a bodyguard. You’re probably safer living alone because you can actually guarantee that the doors are locked.
2. Like yourself
This is probably the most necessary part of living alone. With no roommate to go home to and blow off steam with after you’ve had a bad day, it’s imperative that you actually like yourself and develop healthy coping mechanisms when you’re sad. The thing that can be #dark about living alone is that it’s up to you to make sure that you leave your apartment and see your friends. If you’re depressed, that’s going to be difficult — the weaker part of you will want to lie in bed the whole weekend — but you must resist the urge to melt! Your home should be your sanctuary, not your sadness chamber. You really get to know yourself when there’s no one else around so make sure you fill up on self-love before you get those keys!
3. Learn how to do stuff around the house.
I’m the worst at knowing how to do stuff. In the three years I lived alone, it’s a miracle that I didn’t burn down my apartment because god knows there were plenty of opportunities for it to happen. I once left my graduation cap on top of my desk lamp for three months before my friend came over and was like, “Um, your hat is burnt into pieces and this is a fire hazard…” Oops! You should really not follow my way of living and learn how to actually do stuff around the house. With no roommate to bail you out, the responsibility rests solely on you for your place not to resemble Grey Gardens.
4. Let yourself go.
That being said, you should also take advantage of the fact that it’s only you traipsing around your humble abode and let yourself go. One of my favorite things to do back in the day was burn a ton of incense, blast annoying riot grrrl music and run around in an XL shirt/nightgown. I can’t do that with a roommate. They’d tell me to turn the music down and stop stinking up the place with hippie smells, so seize the day! No one is around to judge you. It’s your time to engage in major Single Person Behavior.
5. Have lots of guests over
The cool thing about living alone is that everyone will want to come over to your house to hang out since there are no pesky roommates lurking around. Although this can get annoying at times (your house isn’t a hotel!), it comes in handy whenever you’re lonely and want company. When I lived alone, it was like a rotating door of people coming in and out which made the whole experience of living alone that much more enriching because now I was calling the shots. I could choose when I wanted to be alone.
Ok, so to sum up: No, you’re probably not in danger, yes, you should like yourself because things are going to get real, make sure to channel your inner Tim Allen from Home Improvement and learn how to fend for yourself, don’t be afraid to be a freak who walks around naked and eats ice cream in the shower because #YOLO and last, but not least, have your friends over!
Congrats on living alone! You’re a real self-sufficent person who’s doing real adult things. Now can I come over and watch TV with you? My roommate has been hogging ours all day and I need to get out!