9 Tips on Living Alone as a Woman

Moving from your dorm or home to your own apartment is a huge change—especially when you go from sharing a room, house, or communal bathroom to your own space where you have absolute privacy from everyone else. Living alone comes with a newfound independence that many collegiettes struggle to get used to. The transition can be a difficult one, but here are some tips on how to make it go as smoothly as possible.

Safety:

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1. Make sure your locks work
The first thing to check after signing your lease is that the locks on your door work. Proper locks are crucial to keeping unwanted visitors out of your home. If the locks do not work, try to replace them the same day you move in. It’s also a good idea to get a triple bolt lock to prevent burglars from breaking into your house.

2. Don’t post everything on social media
Normally, people use social media as their journal, noting all their experiences and telling the world what they are up to. It is cool that you’re on your own for the first time, but the world does not have to know that you are alone in your apartment and extremely vulnerable. Announcing to the world that you live alone makes your apartment a target for thieves, especially when you are out of town.

3. Invest in protection devices
It’s always best to take precautions against the worst-case scenario. Arm yourself with tools or self defense weapons that will come in handy in case of an emergancy.  For instance, having a baseball bat or pepper spray in your apartment can help you protect yourself from any security breaches.

4. Check in with a parent
It pays to call home as often as possible. Calling home regularly will alert your parents to possible danger if one day you fail to call them at your usual time. 

Sanitation:

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5. You have to clean up after yourself
One of the best things about living alone is that there will be no one bugging you to clean up after yourself. There is also no one to nag you to clean your dishes, but don’t let things sit in the kitchen for too long. You don't want unwanted pests like roaches or mice to enter your home. 

Expenses:

6. Plan ahead for cable and electric bills
If you're paying for these expenses alone, it may be a good idea to forgo the cable for a Netflix account in order to save some money. If you know you won't be home that often or you don't usually watch television, there's no sense in paying more than what's needed. Also be sure to turn off the lights, television, and water when they're not in use to avoid racking up the bill. 

7. Know your budget
It’s never easy to monitor your expenses, but you should do so when living alone (you can't borrow money from a roommate at a moment’s notice). Always have some cash around for unforeseeable expenses. Get a piggy bank or a cute mason jar and begin to collect the change you hate having in your purse. After a while, take it to the bank so you'll have some extra cash at your disposal. It makes a huge difference to your bank account!

Social:

8. Don’t go more than 24 hours without talking to someone on the phone
Don’t stay at home all weekend no matter how tempted you are to finish that season of Gilmore Girls. It's easy to stay in your own bubble when you live alone, so don't forget that a world does exist beyond the walls of your apartment. Take a daily walk, go out for drinks, and be sure you don't get sucked into the ‘homebody syndrome’.

9. Have people over 
The best part of living alone is that you can have your friends over at anytime without stepping on a roommate’s toes. You can host movie nights and sleepovers, or just invite people to come over for a home cooked meal. It’s the perfect way to practice your hostess skills.

Living alone might mean not having a roommate to borrow clothes from, but you do have the privacy to walk around in your underwear free of judgment! So, dance in your towel, lounge around in your pajamas all weekend long, and sing in the shower all you want—this is your kingdom! Once you get past the fear of being alone, it is easy to appreciate all the space and time you have to yourself. But remember, if you sleep through your alarm, there’ll be no one to wake you up (gasp!).