For the past four years, I have always had roommates. When I told my friends and family of my plans to live alone right after college, I was met with looks of surprise and lots of questions.
When first faced with these questions, I honestly didn’t have an answer to all of them. I still don’t have answers to some, but I can provide answers to those I have reconciled.
“How can you afford to live alone right out of college?” I was blessed with a kickass job opportunity right out of college which allows me to afford a single bedroom apartment in Uptown Charlotte. BUT there is a trade-off. While I am able to afford my rent, I stay on a strict budget. I do not have the luxury of eating out multiple times a week or buying things “because I feel like it”. This trade-off is definitely worth it for my lifestyle, but may not be suited for others!
“Aren’t you going to be lonely” I would like to differentiate between being alone and lonely. It is possible to blame feelings of loneliness on being alone, however; I prefer to view loneliness as a result of other factors. Maybe you are feeling lonely because you are lacking job satisfaction or real connections with others. Being able to find comfort when you are alone is a beautiful thing that takes practice and patience. Yes I am alone for some evenings and weekends, but I am not lonely. I find peace in small moments of alone time and I encourage others to practice the same.
“Are you scared to live alone?” In all honesty, sometimes I am more nervous about things living alone than when I had roommates. Specifically strange noises. Every strange noise I hear something that is going to kill me. My neighbor shuts his door loudly? Someone is breaking into my apartment and they are going to kill me. The wind rattles my balcony door? A burglar is breaking in and is going to kill me. My AC kicks on with a hiss? Gas leak that is going to kill me. While these are all irrational, I was used to having a roommate who could tell me that I was acting crazy. Now I just have to tell myself that I’m acting crazy. And then I’m talking to myself… out loud. Does that make me crazy?
“Do you love it?” YES! Yes 1,000x! I can cook my weird smelling food without caring. I get to be resourceful when I have to reach a lightbulb in the ceiling with only a swivel chair. I have had the opportunity to face some of my fears. Everything in my apartment is exactly where I want it and how I want it to look. And my favorite part of living alone, I am getting to know myself better. I have been getting to know myself for the past 22 years, but living alone has really sped up that process. I’m finding new confidence and resourcefulness every day on my own, and it’s an incredible feeling.
If you are considering living alone, I compel you to try it. Just for one year! Living alone has forced me to find my strengths and overcome my weaknesses. Independence is a beautiful thing that can often be smothered by fear. But by living alone you must face these fears and find yourself.