A lot of people go away for postsecondary, and it’s their first time being away from home. The dreams of staying up late, eating whatever you want and doing whatever you want soon become a reality. But no one talks about how hard it is to be away from home, on your own for the first time. Let’s be real - staying up late is fun for a couple weeks, until you become buried in homework and have early morning work shifts. Before you choose to move away from home, it’s worth thinking about the cons – not only the pros – of living on your own.
Take diet, for example. Everyone talks about the freshman 15 because, for many people, it is very true. You won’t have a parent around to remind you to eat your veggies. Living away from home means you’re responsible for making sure you eat healthy and get all the right food you need to fuel your body. That’s more work than it sounds. Not to mention the fact that groceries can be expensive. This can be a good lesson, too; knowing the price of food makes you appreciate it more, and can make you more conscious of your own food waste. A good way to help with this freshman 15 is to really think about what you fuel your body with, so that it can take this new adventure with you.
Learning to fight loneliness
Living on your own can also be pretty lonely. It is the type of loneliness you feel when you're studying for all hours of the night; your life turns into a schedule on someone else’s time and you are just moving through the motions. Thank goodness for reading weeks because without them there would be a lot of drop-outs and burnouts. Loneliness is best combatted with others; let me reassure you that you are not the only one going through it. Friends and roommates are where you can find a breath of fresh air. It also never hurts to call home every once in a while. Every time you get a little lonely and lost, lift your head and take a breath where you can find others that are also looking for some fresh air.
I’m not the only one who feels this way about moving out. Bella, a uOttawa student, says of her experience: “Moving out was so freeing. The first few weeks were like a honeymoon period, but then after that it can get scary trying to figure out how to make it on my own without my parents to help me.” Mairen, another uOttawa student, added, “I found it liberating when I moved out. I love my independence and creating my own space. However, it was weird and hard at times, because I’m used to such a busy household and having someone around.‘’
An amazing experience
Moving away from home is an amazing experience - don’t let me mislead you - but there are some convincing reasons to stay at home, like saving money. Moving out can be difficult and scary, but if you trust your instincts and push your comfort zone, it may just be the best decision you ever make. Some of the best friends that you will have in life are met when you are in postsecondary and those are the people who were up at 2 a.m. with you, let you cry on your shoulder and lugged groceries home with you.