The bag, it lay on the foyer outside. Packed and bundled. Memories filled and life wrapped. Waved the parents goodbye, hugged the dog tight, blocked the whimpering sounds he made... and on my way I was. Glares covered the tears that threatened to flow, the lump that rose in the throat was swallowed, and then on my way I was. Passed the familiar neighborhood. Passed the streets whose names I'd always remember. Then the highway came calling and on my way I was. A new life I'd promised myself, new opportunities and new people to meet... and on my way I was.
I like the dramatic (sometimes, sometimes), what can I say. So it might not be as dramatic as I made it out to be but... something like that, yes? Unless you're at the other end who's waiting to get out. In which case the scene changes completely. But that later. So... I've lived alone. I know what that's like and how tough it can get. Especially because I had a very, very easy thing going back home and then I started living alone. All by myself. Alone. And it taught me so much. Is this article about what I learned when I started out by myself for the first time? In a way yes. If there's any one of you out there who's thinking of living alone and wondering how to do it, maybe this article will make for a good read. So are you reading?
I guess you are...
I guess you are...
So there you are, in the midst of soaking the experience of moving out for the first time. Enjoying the freedom and loving every bit of it. The late nights ensue and no one to stop you from doing what you want. Dancing at 2 am in the morning and no one coming over to crash your party. But as late nights lose their charm and pizzas no longer count as staple food... then, then you realize that living alone comes with its set of responsibilities. A side effect of living by yourself? You have to turn into an adult. Does living alone change anything? Yes it does, and it's better. Let's get you a little sneak peek into some of the things you'll face when you're living alone and how you can handle them. Why? So you can learn how to be happy while you're alone. That's why.
Setting a Schedule (And Dealing with the 'Alone')
New place? Make it a home. It'll take you about a fortnight (give and take a few) to set things right and get the pulse of things. Then you'll find something that is right for you. When you first enter an unfamiliar place, it might get to you. How to get over the feeling of loneliness? Start by turning the place into a home. Go exploring to see where the closest grocery shopping store is at, where the laundromat is, where will you get a good lunch on the go... those sort of things. Talk to neighbors (it's not so bad really, and it'll help in improving social skills if nothing else) and ask about the neighborhood. They'll give you a treasure trove of information and make living alone easier. Use all that to shape the place and leave your mark.
Make Friends. Make Hobbies.
The loneliness can get to you sometimes. Especially if you're not used to it. How to deal with that? Make friends and start out on some activities. It could be anything from joining a gym or a music class or starting out on a long lost hobby. The point here is that you remain busy and don't let the thoughts of 'alone' come into your head.
Getting the Finances Right
Get your finances right. Like now. You'll find that living alone gets you to spend a lot. Maybe on things that you don't want to either. Like buying things for the first time and not knowing what to get. Or when you're bored of cooking and you end up ordering in. Learn the basics of budgeting so you don't have a problem later.
Keeping Things Stocked
This happens to most of us who start out by themselves. You end up eating useless things. Bad. A rule of thumb to follow? Always have a packet of oats and a tetra pack of milk ready. Or anything else that you like and storing of which is not a problem. That way you'll always have something healthy to eat.
Take Care of Security
And this particular survival skill becomes especially necessary if you're a girl. Be careful who you let in and take extra precautions when it comes to being alone. Invest in a good security system so that you can sleep better at night. No point lamenting later. Have a keyhole installed or a video camera even so that you know who's at the door. Have emergency numbers from around the neighborhood handy.
Call Friends Over
What better advantage of having a place to yourself than calling friends over and having the time of your life? Call friends over and ensue on the madness that comes with living alone. Cook, play games, listen to music, watch movies, and laze around.
... And More
Is that all that living alone brings with it? Nope. Here are some other things to do alone that you can enjoy unabashedly in the solo:
- Store up on books and read, read and read.
- Sleep in the living room, sleep on the terrace, sleep on the kitchen floor―who's going to say anything?
- Wear your most run down, raggedy clothes with holes in them and wash the car.
- Get a pet.
- Do something for the home―buy plants, buy bright fabrics for bed sheets and covers.
- Have an entire cupboard just for your shoes.
- Live without making an excuse for who you are.
Living alone has its ups and it has its downs. But the personality development that comes about, the confidence levels that soar, and the knowledge that you are capable of taking care of yourself and making things happen for you? Just for that, living alone is a mighty good teacher. And so I conclude.