Living On my Own: What It's Really Like

This past September, right before starting my junior year at Simmons, I moved into my first apartment. Leading up to the big move in day, I was so excited! I had slowly collected everything I thought I needed, including cute placemats for the kitchen table, and I was ready to be on my own. Long gone were the days of dealing with communal bathrooms, quiet hours and gross dining hall food. However, like most things, this transition involved several things I wasn’t prepared for.

 

1. Having to cook my own food

While I understood I wouldn’t be on the Simmons meal plan this year, and honestly it was this fact that was one of the motivating factors for moving out of the dorms, it didn’t click with me that I would now have to rely on myself for food. This notion became apparent very quickly when I got sick of minute rice and chicken nuggets. Luckily, I learn quickly and in no time I became the master of meal prepping and have started to really enjoyed cooking new things and experimenting with different ingredients. Plus, I’ve only caused the fire alarm to go off once so far and have yet to burn down the kitchen. 

 

2. The Solitude 

The one thing I took for granted while living in the dorms was how accessible my friends were. If I was feeling lonely or wanted to chat with someone, all I had to do was open my door, walk down the hall and knock on my friend’s door. That is not the case anymore and in the beginning, I felt very isolated. Most of my friends hadn’t moved off campus and I began to feel left out and lonely. However, after realizing this was the cause of why I felt more down than usual, I started to not only reach out to my friends and stay more in the loop but I also make sure to spend more time on academic and even go to bartol for dinner sometimes, just to decrease the amount of time I was spending by myself. 

 

 

3. Apartment quirks

I learned very quickly that my new living space would require some work and updating. This came pretty evident when my roommate and I realized that our rooms only have 2 outlets each and thus, would require creative use of surge protectors and extension cords. I also had the unfortunate realization that we needed a new bathroom door knob when it fell into my hand while trying to exit the bathroom door. Other things that I had to adapt to was the fact that the hot water knob on my sink can turn in either direction, you have to make sure you really close the fridge door in order to keep it shut, and just because you turn on the heat, doesn’t mean that it actually gets warmer unless the landlord feels like turning it on. 

 

 

4. Paying for stuff

When signing the lease for my new place and setting up the direct deposit, I thought I was all set. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Little did I know, not only did I have to pay rent every month but I also had to figure out how to pay for electricity and gas bill every month. This fact was not made known to my by the landlord and I only found out when I checked the mail and received late payment notices for both services. I also quickly learned that the refrigerator doesn’t just magically refill with food like it seems to do at home and the cupboards do run out of goldfish and chips! With these additional purchasing requirements, while unexpected initially, have come with an unexpected benefit of requiring me to become more conscious of where and what I spend my money on. Rather than spend 6 dollars on a fancy grande macchiato at Starbucks, I now put the money towards groceries and other necessities. 

 

All in all, living on my own was not what I expected but as I continue to learn by trial and error, it is becoming easier and falling in line with what I had originally expected.