I just turned in my lease renewal for my apartment. I can’t believe that I’ve been living on my own for almost a year now.
Finding this apartment was sheer luck. It was the last of the second day and I was fairly convinced that I was never going to be able to find an apartment that I could afford and feel safe in. (When apartment hunting, you can only choose two: Space, Price, Location.)
When I first decided to move into the city, I was pretty certain that I didn’t want to live with someone else. I wanted freedom! My own space! Being able to play music, blow dry my hair at any hour of the day, and have boys over without socks on doorknobs and awkward mini-walks of shame. There are obviously benefits and drawbacks to living by yourself. Everyone has different needs and wants… and that’s okay.
In college, I had plenty of experience living with people. I had a traditional dorm room the first two years with roommates (both of whom I didn’t know going into the year). As a junior, I lived in a house with three people. And then my senior year, I lived alone in a single. I knew girls who loved being in a house. Of course, I did love being with my friends (and listening to the Country Strong soundtrack on repeat together). But there were times when I just needed space (like finding a housemate in the shower passed out after partying and seeing some of my male teammates awkwardly in the hallway the next morning and the boring battle over chores).
I learned a lot living in a single my senior year. I really enjoyed the freedom, but I learned that I could easily become a hermit if I wasn’t careful! Planning dinners with friends, spending lots of time in the student center in the business school, and traveling to NYC nearly every weekend helped. I could have my friend-time and then also come back to a quiet room.
People ask me all the time how I like living alone and whether or not they should live alone. But it’s not an answer that I can really give all that easily.
As much as I love it, there have been times when I wish I could come home to an apartment with a roommate (or two). One of my friends who was interviewing for jobs stayed with me a couple of times this summer and I loved it. She happened to be here that one week when I broke down and having her in the apartment to talk to was really nice. And she was here when I got a crazy-random phone call from a boy asking me out on a date… putting him on speakerphone and squeezing each other’s arms with excitement was so fun! Even staggering our alarms and showers wasn’t an issue.
The two days my sister lived with me on the other hand? Not okay. I love her… but it was a struggle. We were just too different!
I’ve also heard amazing things from friends who live with other people (just like an episode of Friends), but I’ve also heard breaking-leases-two-months-in horror stories.
Would you prefer to live alone or with a roommate? I’d love to hear your stories and opinions!