When at home, your parents support you and provide you with everything. You have a personal chef, cleaner and chauffeur all rolled into one loveable human.
When you move out everything changes and suddenly you are in charge of looking after yourself; this can make life get very stressful. For example, whilst at home you probably didn’t do your own washing (well neither did I), so when I moved out to go to university and ran out of clothes it was time to use…. the washing machine.
You know when in comedy films everything seems to go wrong? Well once at uni something went terribly wrong while doing my washing. After I phoning home for some instructions, I thought I was confident enough to nail ‘operation spinning cyclone’ (the washing machine).
After a few minutes of pressing multiple buttons the Beast began to spin and I relaxed and basked in my own glory and success. The machine kept spinning and spinning for 90 minutes and it was super loud. Then what do I discover? A ‘drying’ setting! Score! ‘How exciting’, I thought to myself as I turned the dial to that option and started to day dream of warm fluffy socks and crease free tops (just like mum provided). Another 60 minutes passed and it was done. I nervously but enthusiastically opened the door and took out my clothes. I have to say that I was feeling pretty proud of myself, not only had I washed my clothes, but I’d also separated and washed only dark clothes with no cheeky colours leaks— a success! Everything was also crinkle free!
You may be thinking ‘but this sounds like it went so well?’ Well, you’re wrong. So very wrong. The next day I prepared for my journey to campus and it was while getting dressed that I realized that I’d actually shrunk all of my clothes. Nooo! My jeans were a bit of a squeeze and my socks and my socks were tiny. On the bright side, although now too small for my Hobbit feet, they would make excellent sleeping bags for little hamsters.
Remember when I mentioned that I’d make you giggle? Well the day after I thought I’d learned from my errors and I did a white and light colours wash. And guess what? A dark pink garment snuck in and, well, let’s just say all of those clothes will never be the same again – albeit very pretty!
Moving on, you also get free food at home. All. The. Time.
The fridge seemed to be constantly stocked with all your favourite goodies and treats. This is not an accident and probably happened for one or more reasons. It could be that whenever you went for a ‘family food shop’ you snuck whatever you wanted into the trolley. Maybe even because your parents love you and you probably guilt tripped them into buying all your favourite foods. Now it’s all different; you’re away from home and you have to do all of your own food shopping. It is now your role to check expiration dates, prices and ask the inevitable ‘will I actually eat this?’ question. This is a daunting task, not only on the road to independence but also more literally on the way back to your accommodation (which for some of us is a 15 minute walk).
Now that you have the food you have to actually cook it; this is where the lack of personal chef is a bit of a bummer. You know what you eat at home and you know what it’s called and what it tastes like. You now have all the ingredients, but do you know how to cook it? Ha! No, you absolutely do not.
But you soldier on and the all too familiar “Muuum…” once again while making a quick phone call home to have her talk you through it. The first meal that I attempted to make was my favourite: chilli.
The mince was browning, the rice was simmering away and I had only a few simple steps more to follow. I now just needed to add the tomato sauce (not enough) and the chilli powder (WAY too much). The result was a foregone conclusion and suffice is to say I’ve never attempted to make this meal again. My new mantra is “pasta is my life”.
What have I learnt from living away from home for the first time? I have steep learning curve and plenty of domestic adventures ahead of me including washing more clothes, cleaning, driving a car and certainly learning to cook!