I Moved Out at 17 and it Was the Best Decision of My Life

By: Julia Gonsalves

Moving out and growing up has always intimidated me. I used to be extremely immature. I would drive recklessly, spend all my money and never watched what I ate. Essentially, I was every teenager on the planet.

In the summer before my senior year, I volunteered at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. The experience was incredibly life changing and I learned so much about how the world really works. I helped provide care for very sick children and make sure they were as happy as can be. Throughout that summer, I grew up very quickly.

Being downtown Toronto and having responsibility led me towards a more independent life. I found myself craving alone time and wanting more responsibility than I was given. At the end of the summer, I decided I wanted to get my own apartment in Toronto and be on my own before university.

I ended up getting a part-time job at a restaurant and working almost 20 hours a week while going to school in order to save as much as I could. It was a difficult adjustment but I did my best to keep on top of all my work.

After about eight months of working, I actually began looking for apartments. I toured what felt like thousands before I found the perfect one.

In June, as I started to pack up my childhood, it seemed like excitement had worn off. Sure, all my hard work was finally starting to pay off but I didn’t realize the amount of responsibility I was about to take on. 

I didn’t realize how much laundry, cooking, cleaning and chores I would be constantly dealing with, on top of school and working. It made me think about how lucky I was as a child. The move turned from glamourous to terrifying.

Soon enough, it was moving day. I packed up all my belongings into a truck and set off for my new life. I was scared about what was to come but little did I know I had made the best decision of my life.

The freedom I have experienced over the past three months has been unreal. As a child, I never had strict parents but being able to have complete control over what I do has been insane. 

Moreover, I am extremely proud of myself everyday. I never cease to surprise myself with what I am capable of or what I can overcome. While there is so much stress and time management involved, I get to push myself to overcome any obstacles each and every day.

Living on my own has been one of the best experiences of my life. I have learned so much about the world and myself in such a short amount of time and I know I will continue to grow everyday.