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How Living Alone Changed my Perspective on Roommates

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UMKC chapter.

When I was younger, I always dreamt of living in the city. I grew up in a house with four younger siblings where it was difficult to find a moment of quiet. All I wanted was a peaceful space to myself.

I lived in a shared dorm with a lovely roommate my freshman year of college. Our lifestyles were fairly similar, so the arrangement was close to perfect. However, mandated quiet hours, room checks and lack of privacy still felt restrictive. Needless to say when my contract was up, I was thrilled. 

I have always been an independent person, so I jumped at the opportunity to live alone as soon as I could. 

For years, I was told that living alone is an essential part of growing up, because it would teach me how to be independent and learn more about my living habits. It’s a major step towards real adulthood.

I love my studio apartment- it’s quaint, somewhat affordable and in a central part of Kansas City. The afternoon sunbeams flow through the windows, kissing my walls with golden hues. I have a Juliet balcony that opens to a city view. The younger version of myself would be amazed by my current  living arrangements. 

Living alone looks like a lot of things. Sometimes it is quiet mornings with an open balcony, loudly singing my favorite songs and dancing around half-naked for the fun of it. Other times it looks like lonely nights staring at the ceiling, attempting to cook for one and knowing that the pile of dishes in the sink is all mine.

Despite following my childhood dream, it still feels like something is missing. The isolation sometimes reminds me of Rapunzel locked away in her tower. My apartment lacks the heartbeat of a home that I am familiar with.

A downside of my current living arrangement is not having companionship at home. When I lived with my family, I knew that I could find support in a moment’s notice. I lived in a constant state of chaos, but I was never bored. There was always someone to talk to if I had a bad day and funny stories to be shared. 

Living alone also caused me to prematurely give up the college-experience of living with friends. This is one of the few times throughout life where living with college friends is a possibility. So, by opting out, I miss out on late-night chats, homework parties, and shared meals. 

I have been lucky with my previous living experiences; I always found myself living with people who provide a sense of comfort that is not easily attainable while alone. Sometimes it’s nice to exist in the quiet company of others. It’s the intrinsic interaction that accompanies shared living arrangements that I miss the most. 

While I can see the value in this experience for many people, I have also realized that living alone is not for everyone. Living alone is not easy. I don’t intend for this article to discourage others, but simply to provide my perspective on the challenges associated with the arrangement. 

Before living alone, consider all facets of the lifestyle shift. What is important to you in a home? Do you get lonely easily? How will this move benefit you?

I do not regret the decision to live alone, but I am looking forward to living with roommates in the future. For now, I will continue finding enjoyment in solo-hobbies like reading, journaling, nature walks and learning the guitar.

Ivy (she/her) is a senior studying English at the University of Missouri- Kansas City. She is a passionate individual with a desire to seek good in the community. When she is not busy writing, Ivy can be found in her hammock with an oat milk latte and a book.