Think back to the time when you fantasized about living alone. Probably you pictured yourself living in a modern loft or a fancy penthouse. You might even have imagined buying cool furniture, having a ping pong table in the middle of your living room or a waterbed. Only, what teenagers think living alone is it like and what living alone is actually like are two different things. Pretty much like those „Instagram vs. Real Life“ memes. The idea of living in a huge fancy place, eating what you want and partying seven days a week is not precisely accurate. So for those of you who are dreaming about flying the coop and moving out from your parent’s house, it’s time to find out exactly what to expect -together with some friendly advice-.
What you like vs. what you can afford
You are more likely to be able to pay for an apartment the size of your childhood bedroom than for the 90 square meters open space loft you imagined.
You have to pay the bills.
No matter how careful you are with your expenses, you will never be able to pay all the monthly bills and make ends meet. If you’re pleased with yourself because you were able to pay all your bills and still make ends meet, you should double check: you’ll probably realize you haven’t paid for your credit card.
You have to cook
You realize that what you thought you know about cooking and what you actually know about cooking are two entirely different things
You have to clean
Your cleaning standards are far from your cleaning skills. You actually don’t even know how to sweep or mop the floor and folding clothes seems ability than only brilliant people have.
You now have a fridge
The desert seems crowded next to your fridge. There is nothing there except water and maybe some rotten vegetables you bought that time you tried to go healthy eating.
You don’t know how to shop
You don’t actually know how to do the shopping. You will probably discover you have run out from toilet paper the day after you went to the grocery store and stock your pantry with junk food.
Decoration is way beyond your budget
Home decor is expensive. You’ll search the Internet for cheap ways to decorate an apartment and you’ll realize that the term „cheap“ has a totally different meaning for those people running decoration websites.
You are the host
Having friends over seems so much fun, till you realize that by the time everyone left it’s really late, you are exhausted and you have to clean up everything.
Wake up sleepy head!
If you failed to hear your alarm clock or you just hit the snooze button too many times, nobody will be there shouting that you are running late for work and waking you up.
There is something called smart buying
You start to cheap go on certain products. The first months you will probably stock up on top-shelf booze and snacks, then you’ll realize you have no money left for food. You’ll have to learn to buy just what you need. But first, you’ll need to learn what you need.
Home sweet home
You’ll miss the warmth and comfort of your parents‘ home. We’re not only talking about the love in a family environment: we are talking about a full fridge and cleanliness.
Don’t take your credit card when you go out at night
You’ll learn that money must be handled carefully and from that moment on you will think twice before buying someone a drink at a bar or taking a cab instead of a bus.
Wrinkles: your new best friends
No, moving out of your parents‘ house won’t get you skin wrinkles. But you will never wear ironed clothes ever again, unless you have a truly important event, such as your own wedding or a meeting with the Queen of England. You’ll learn to buy wrinkle-free clothing.
Keep it clean
The whole purpose of your life will be to avoid cleaning. You will rather eat with your own hands and drink straight from a bottle than use a dish or a glass. Dishes and glasses are only for special occasions.
You probably don’t need that purple jacket
You’ll think twice before buying stuff you don’t need, especially when you realize that the incredibly pretty but unnecessary item of clothing you bought last month with your credit card costs half your rent.
You are cooking for you, not for the entire country
You’ll get used to eating the same meal for several days. It will take a while till you learn to control portion sizes, calculate the amount of food you should cook and stop making noodles for 12 people.
There’s nothing like mom’s food
You’ll enjoy every time your parents‘ invite you home for dinner, making every bite count. It will seem as if you hadn’t eaten for ages. You’ll probably not be embarrassed at all and ask to take the leftovers with you.
Blood is thicker than water
The relationship with your parents will improve considerably. Once you realize you also miss them your brothers and sisters, you’ll also get along with them. You will now appreciate a lot of things they used to do for you and you didn’t even notice.
A simple cold can be hell
There are a lot of things your family do for you that you don’t even realize. One of them is taking care of you when you’re sick. You probably have never thought of it before, but going to the hospital, sitting in the waiting room, buying whatever the doctor prescribes you and going back home is a lot of work to do by yourself when you’re feeling sick.
The floor is lava
You’ll realize that cleaning is much harder than it looks like. It may not happen right away, but eventually, you’ll begin to behave like your mom every time a friend doesn’t use a coaster or steps in with mud on the shoes.You’ll now understand every time your mother got angry at you for stepping on the floor she had just mopped clean. Now you should take your shoes off every time you go to visit your parents.
Don’t lose things
Your brother didn’t take it without asking nor didn’t your mother put it somewhere else. Try to keep essential things like your keys and your wallet always in the same place. When you can’t find something there is no one else’s fault but yours.
You can take off your shoes as soon as you get home and throw them wherever you please, without having someone telling you to put them in your bedroom. You won’t have to do the dishes right after you eat if you don’t want to. It’s your mess and you choose when to clean it up.
You’ll know your limit with junk food
As a teenager, you probably thought that you could never get tired of eating junk food. Well, that’s not true. You’ll eventually get tired of having Cheetos for dinner. You will miss homemade meals. You’ll remember all those times you complained about your mother’s cooking, while you are on your coach having a bag of chips for dinner. And then, my friend, you’ll learn how to cook. You have to feed yourself with something other than potato chips.
In your imagination, you probably had minimalist furniture and fancy stuff like those you saw on Pinterest. The truth is you’ll probably use your family’s old furniture till you can afford to buy new ones. So don’t complain about your grandma’s old couch or an ugly piece of art, you need it.
One man’s ceiling is another man’s floor
If you happen to have grumpy or tedious neighbors, you’ll have to deal with them on your own. Never, no matter what happens, enter into a fight with a neighbor. You could also just learn how to avoid them. That’s what grownups do.
Not just clean.
If your parents ever come to visit your place, they will shudder. Get used to it: no matter how much deep cleaning you do, it will never meet their standards.
Furniture is meant to be useful, not fun
You’ll regret buying that ping-pong table you once thought it would be so fun and useful. It’s useless. You’ll play ping-pong once or twice the few weeks till two things happen: you’ll be bored and you’ll realize you don’t have a place to eat. You are an adult and you need a proper dinner table.
Cutting monthly expenses
Suddenly paying for cable TV will seem an unnecessary luxury. It’s not that you are not willing nor able to pay for it, it’s just not worth it.
Your laundry schedule will determine your outfit
Choosing what to wear is a luxury now. Wearing clean clothes is also a luxury now. Remember when you dared to throw into the laundry basket that shirt you’ve worn only once? Those days are long gone. Now you’ll wear whatever is clean. The good news is that now your clothes will last longer.
Flip and fold
Those things you thought were simple are actually more challenging than you ever imagined. Folding clothes is one of those things. Have you ever tried folding bed sheets? It’s just impossible.
You probably won’t remember when was the last time you changed your bed sheets. Tip: you should change them weekly. You’ll truly become an adult once you start spending money on high-quality bed sheets and talking about threads and Egyptian cotton.
There will be no distractions when you need to focus and get things done. You don’t have to talk to anyone if you don’t want want to and you don’t have to share the TV. You can go around your house completely naked and even go the toilet with the door open. You can sing and dance like nobody’s watching because NOBODY’S WATCHING! You will finally break free.
It’s time you face it: you can’t have a pet
You’ve always told yourself you would buy a dog once you moved out from your parent’s house. Yeah, probably a golden retriever. You might even have thought of names. Well, it’s time for you to know that it won’t be possible. You can barely take care of yourself, now you need to realize that the only living creature you can take care of is a cactus.
Every time you go to your parents‘ house you feel you are in a five-star hotel. Clean bed sheets, towels, home-cooked meals: all those things will be a real treat for you. Just remember: The fact that you don’t longer live there does not mean you’re actually at a hotel, be helpful.
I won’t pay for that!
There are some things that are just too expensive to buy, but you need them anyway. And that’s the story of how you will find yourself stealing your parents‘ mouthwash. Don’t worry, we all did it.
The towel power
You will understand why adults are so tempted to steal hotel towels: the more towels you have, the more you can put off your laundry.
Shall we go to my place?
Remember all those one-night stands you imagined you would have once you moved out from your parents‘ house? They won’t be as many as you thought. But at least now you don’t have to worry about your parents finding out you’re bringing someone home.
Will you ever set foot in a fancy restaurant again?
Sometimes you’ll not have enough money to eat out every weekend. Don’t be embarrassed about that. This doesn’t mean that you won’t go to a restaurant ever again, but you’ll probably have to save money for other stuff, like rent. And remember: if you can’t afford to tip, you can’t afford to go out and eat.
No money, no cry
Suddenly everything seems expensive. You’ll be paying for things that your parents used to buy for you before, such as food, toothpaste, toilet paper and shampoo. You’ll probably have to keep from buying that top shelf shampoo for a while, till you get back on your feet.
You’ll use Internet for other things apart from memes and Netflix
Your new relationship with money will include looking at prices when buying some things. Ok, when buying everything. You may even use the Internet to shop around and compare prices. Don’t worry, that’s adulthood too.
You’ll have to fix stuff and do things you have never done before. Did the light bulbs in your parent’s house last forever? No, they didn’t: one of your parents took care of changing them. If you don’t know how to something, you can always watch a YouTube tutorial. There’s a YouTube tutorial for everything in this world.
Is it Tuesday? So what?
You’ll probably drink alcohol several days a week. Yes, there are some perks of living alone. Drinking whatever you want whenever you want is one of them.
Your new best friend: the delivery guy
You’ll probably consider giving the delivery guy an extra key. Although is more expensive than cooking, it is cheaper than eating out. Yes, until you learn how to cook and how to do your shopping, you’ll be ordering food like crazy.
“Sorry for the mess”
Eventually, you will lower your cleaning standards. You’ll learn how to keep your place barely livable and save your cleaning energy for the times you invite guests.
Enough “me time”
As a teenager, you probably yearn for some alone time. At first, you’ll enjoy being alone. Then, you’ll miss the company. Till you learn how to be alone, Netflix will be your new best friend.
What you think you need is really different from what you really need
You’ll spend a small fortune on expensive high-tech devices you believe you need. You don’t. You’ll realize this by the time you have to choose whether to pay the rent or the credit card. Don’t be stupid, buy a regular vacuum cleaner.
There’s no place like home
It won’t matter whether your apartment is small or if you don’t have cool new furniture. Every single detail of you in it will make it nicer. It’s no longer an apartment, it’s your home now. You’ll love your place and you’ll be proud of it. It will be the result of your effort.
Treat yo’ self
Knowing the value of money does not mean that you won’t buy anything nice again. It means learning to expend your money wisely. You’ll treat yourself once in a while and you’ll enjoy it even more than before.
What you’ve always wanted
You’ll eat whatever you want, whenever you want and wherever you want. Yes, sometimes you’ll probably eat in bed. And it will be fine: your house, your rules.
Nowhere to grow but up
There will be good and bad times. Sometimes, it will be a blast. Other times, you’ll want to tear the whole place down. Part of being an adult is learning how to deal with these things without going crazy. Go ahead, move out. You’ll have fun. You’ll grow up. Despite everything, living alone is awesome.
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