On Saturday, I graduated from college. On Sunday, I moved to San Francisco. On Monday, I started my first day at work. Before then, I had always had roommates, and living alone was completely new to me. But as someone who really appreciates her me time, a life without arguments about whose turn it was to pay utility bills or having to reserve the TV sounded like a dream come true. Even though I was starting out in the city with my friends and family on other side of California, I was insanely excited about having my own digs.
I always get asked the same question: "Doesn't it get really lonely?" And the answer is sure, sometimes. But there are so many great things about living by yourself that outweigh the occasional solitary night. You also learn to appreciate the little things, like being able to sleep in peacefully or sing at your heart's desire.
While my studio isn't equipped for a party or even more than a couple guests, nothing beats coming home to a quiet place I can call my own. If you're also thinking of ditching your roommates, here's eight things you can expect when living alone for the first time.
1. Even if you're an organized person, you may become messier.
I was always considerate of my roommates, making sure to clean up after myself and pitch in with any household duties. But without others to keep me in check, I quickly figured out that I just might be a messy person by nature. I usually come home to a pile of clothes on the floor from outfit changes earlier that morning and I couldn't care less about the dishes in the sink because who's going to nag me?
2. You'd be surprised to find out what you enjoy doing most when by yourself.
An empty place equals a judge-free zone, which means things can get a little weird. My favorite nightly ritual has become to blast music and have a solo dance party. It's pretty amazing and not to mention a fantastic workout and stress reliever — I highly recommend it. Who knows what yours could come to be?
3. You probably won't have household basics or furniture for a while.
At first, I wanted to get settled in as quickly as possible. But if you have to purchase all new furniture and appliances like I had to since there's no longer anyone else to split costs with, your budget will soon let you know that a slow move-in is much more practical. I was so excited about making my studio mine until I realized I had more decor than necessities and had to reprioritize my purchases. I'm still gradually shopping for those basics eight months in.
4. Some days and nights will feel lonely, even if you generally like being alone.
Trust me, I absolutely love having my own time, but I have to admit that there are occasions when a little company couldn't hurt. It was especially difficult in the beginning when I didn't know anyone in the city, but there are still moments when I miss going over to the next room to talk to my roommate. Being bored all by yourself is probably the worst, in which case you'll find creative ways to entertain yourself.
5. Your diet may go to sh*t.
Since living by myself, I've began a not-so-healthy habit of bingeing on pizza and Netflix. When I get home from work or if I decide to stay in on a weekend, it's hard not to pick up some lazy habit. With roommates, you tend to cook or eat together, but when you're just dining for one, you tend to opt out of anything that requires cleanup and reach for your takeout menus instead.
6. You'll learn a few things about yourself.
You'll find out pretty quickly if you're the type of person who's perpetually bored when alone or comfortable with silence. You'll be left with your thoughts more than ever before, which makes you much more self-reflective. You might also discover how you truly handle stress or conflict since you don't have to tone down your emotions for anyone else.
7. You'll become super crafty and learn to work with what you have.
In the beginning when you don't have a fully furnished place, you'd be surprised at how many items can be repurposed. A mug makes for a great bowl (plus, it has a handle) and a chair or stack of magazines can double as a nightstand. A tight budget can force you to be resourceful and can even help filter out any items you may not actually need.
8. You'll love it.
Once you live without roommates, you may never want to go back. You experience a newfound freedom that's more liberating than being able to walk around without a robe on. For the first time, you get to live on your terms and there's really no better feeling than that.
Product Credit: Tory Burch top, Levi’s jeans, Iconery rings, Jennifer Fisher cuff