Whether or not you’ve ever lived somewhere other than your college dorm or your parents’ house, moving out on your own for the first time can be a scary thing. Sure, it’s easy to idealize it when you’re arguing with your roommates, or when someone forgot to take out the trash or do the dishes again. But there is a lot to think about when you’re finally on your own in your new place with no one around. Here are a few do’s and don’ts to consider when living on your own for the first time:
- Don’t panic. Even if you’re the most level-headed person on the planet, it’s always a little bit weird the first time you spend the night in a new place. Different lighting, unfamiliar noises – add in the fact that you’re the only one home and it can be pretty uncomfortable. But give it a week or two and you’ll begin to wonder how you were ever nervous about it at all.
- Do think about security. You don’t need to panic over every little thing, but it is important to think about safety in your new place. If you’re living in an apartment building or complex, there are probably some security measures in place already, but it’s still a good idea to add your own to make sure you’re totally comfortable in your new place.
- Do stay in sometimes. If you’re not used to being on your own, it can be weird not having other people around in your new apartment. But try not to give in to the temptation to spend all your time away from your place and with your friends and family. Alone time is important, too, and it’ll be even harder to get used to if you keep putting it off.
- Don’t stay in all the time, though. Whether it’s inviting guests over or going out with your friends, don’t get so used to your solitude that you stop hanging out with other people. It can be nice, when you come home from work or from class, to have the whole place to yourself, but don’t get so caught up in it that you forget to have some interaction every once in a while.
- Do be flexible. If you’ve lived with roommates in the past, you might be used to shopping (or cooking) for multiple people or sharing the chores. When you’re on your own, though, there are definitely adjustments to be made. If you leave the dishes in the sink when you’re done with them, they’ll still be there later for you to do, and buying food for three or four people when you’re only cooking for yourself can lead to a lot of food waste if you aren’t careful.
- Don’t forget to enjoy it! Even if you love living with your friends or family, there’s definitely something to be said for having your own place. Make sure you take the time to appreciate the peace and quiet while you’ve got it!
Moving out on your own can be a big adjustment if you’re used to living with other people, but it doesn’t have to be hard. These are just a few tips and tricks to help you get started!