Just as I’ve done every August since I left for freshman year of college (except last summer – but that’s kind of a blur), I’m preparing to move out of my house. This time is a little different though. I’m not packing up my stuff and purchasing new furniture to go away to school… I’m getting ready to move into my first apartment.
Okay, so it’s not the first apartment/house I’ve lived in with friends – My senior year of college I lived in an off campus house and junior year I lived in an apartment… But those weren’t “for real.” They weren’t “mine.”
In college, even when I lived off campus, we had a move in date and a move out date. I didn’t/couldn’t completely cover my rent and utilities. Our parents had to be co-signers on the lease. We went home during breaks. And best of all, the off campus houses where I went to college were furnished (Yeah, yeah… I know that wasn’t the case for everyone). So for me, this is my first time having my own apartment that I (and my friends) are fully responsible for. There’s no move out date. Sure, the lease will end, but you can renew it – and if you don’t, you’re most likely going to move to another apartment. But for now, the move out date is whenever you want – as long as you find someone to sublet your room or pay rent when not living there. Adults don’t screw their friends over – college students don’t (or at least shouldn’t) either.
Moving out after college is definitely different – and can be a scary thing. Remember when you got dropped off at college freshman year? Okay, not THAT scary. But the money associated with moving out and the feeling of (actually) being on your own can be a little unsettling.
Do I have to move out? No. I live 25 min from work, 25 minutes from the closest city (Boston), and my boyfriend already has an apartment. I have 3 brothers, so my house is never boring, and I can pretty much do whatever I want without being questioned. In fact, I will probably get questioned more when I am not living at home. Also, when I do move out, my 17 year old brother is going to take over my room – as in all of my furniture and belongings I don’t bring with me will be put in the attic… and we all know what happens when things go in the attic. Have you SEEN Toy Story 3? Anyway, I also make your standard entry level communications job salary… which we all know is umm, nothing. And I should totally be saving as much as I can, rather than blowing all my money on rent… Sooo, why am I moving out?
I am technically an “adult.” Sure we are still young, but we are also adults. And sleeping in that twin bed (when I’m not at my boyfriend’s apartment) is just not cutting it for me anymore. I think I’ve almost forgotten what it is like to live with friends. That kind of happens when you’ve been graduated and living at home for a year and three months.
I am a young adult. As I said before, we’re young. And this is the perfect time to try new things – one of those things being moving out. We’re young enough to move out for a year and move back home. We have quite a few years until its “weird” to still be living at home.
I have money. I’m definitely not rolling in the dough, but I can at least afford the rent money. I just won’t be able to save a lot… but a social life is worth it. And decorating an apartment ADULT style (and not college “poster-covered-walls-and-plastic-furniture” style)? Worth it.
I want more of a social life. Living at home, you forget what it was like to be in college. Friends were everywhere. Okay, so I don’t live in the middle of nowhere and most of my friends are also living at home – so it’s not as bad as some people have it. But pretty much all I do is go to the gym during the week. I don’t even talk to anyone during the week except my boyfriend and maybe a friend or two – and occasionally, I’ll have plans for dinner or something – but that is rare.
I want to have people over. I want to be the one entertaining. I want to host the pre-game. I want to put on MY iPod. I want to hang out with who I want to hang out with.
I don’t want to rely on my boyfriend’s apartment. As much as I loved it, I can’t keep sleeping at my boyfriends on the weekend and not pay rent. What if something happened between us? What if he moved home? What if he goes away for the weekend? More importantly, I want him to sleep at my place. I don’t want to shower in that shower. Sorry to all men, but girls are much cleaner.
I want to stop packing bags and being a nomad. Sometimes – most times actually – I feel like a nomad. I pack huge bags each weekend. And I’m sick of it.
I want to save gas and avoid traffic. When there is no traffic, I can get to work in 20 minutes. But when there is traffic, I can be on the road for an hour to an hour and a half. Work is much more closer to my new apartment. I also am constantly wasting gas driving ALL over the place. I’m driving home, to the gym, home, to my boyfriends, home, to work, to the gym, to home ETC. AKA I’m a nomad who spends hundreds of dollars on gas a week. Not necessary.
So if you’re struggling right now, trying to make the choice of staying at home or moving out – I know what you’re going through. Not everyone has the option to live at home after college. Some people need to move to new places/more populated areas to get their jobs. But if you do have the option to live at home while working, it’s pretty much a luxury.
The list above includes some of the pros of moving out after college… But I will be honest and tell you there are definitely cons too – A lot of people have told me to stay at home as long as I can in order to save big bucks… but sometimes you just have to sacrifice your savings for a social life and see if you can manage it. And if it doesn’t work out for you, you’re lucky to have the option of moving back home – because some people don’t.