The Ups and Downs of Living Alone

By Janessa Rutiaga
Blog Content Contributor

It seems like everyone I talk to, in my immediate age group, is completely shocked at the idea of me living alone. When people ask me about it, I think they’re usually surprised when I tell them that I love it. I think everyone should experience living alone, and if you ever want to get married, then you definitely should.

This is my first time living on my own, and if I’m truthful, I don’t think I ever want to go back to having roommates. Don’t get me wrong, in the beginning, I was definitely doubting my choice on getting a studio apartment. However, I soon discovered the ups and downs of living on my own.

After a long day, sometimes I would like to come to a friend I could talk to and complain to about my day. Sometimes, that’s all a person needs to get over a bad day. But when you’re living alone, you don’t have that pleasure. The bright side of bad days is you go home to no one. The days where you hate everyone (aside from your pets) and just want to blast your favorite playlist and eat pasta in your underwear, are the days living alone become a huge blessing.

I love cooking, so I don’t mind doing it every day for every meal (almost). I do, however, know a lot of people who can’t cook to save their lives. The bright side of living alone is that I get to pick what I want to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner. No one gets a say because it’s just me. I can eat super healthy, completely organic or binge on McDonalds. The downside is that you always have to cook. There’s nobody else that’ll whip up dinner for you, except you. If you don’t cook, you’ll waste hundreds of dollars eating takeout every day.

When you have roommates, you share almost everything. You share the living room, kitchen and even the food in the refrigerator. You have to ask your roommates beforehand if they like the decorations you want to put up. You need permission to hang up anything and you have to label all your food. When you live alone, all that goes out the window. Every square inch of that one-bedroom apartment is yours. You buy enough food for yourself, you don’t have to label squat and you can hang up whatever you want. You are free to customize and design your own living area. That itself is completely freeing.

Even though I’m capable of having a 50 pound pup hog all my space, I’m not so sure how roommates would feel about it. Photo by Janessa Rutiaga.
Even though I’m capable of having a 50 pound pup hog all my space, I’m not so sure how roommates would feel about it. Photo by Janessa Rutiaga.

The choice to get my pet wasn’t spontaneous, but I know that if I were living with roommates, I wouldn’t have felt comfortable having him. He’s a rambunctious puppy who runs around everywhere and leaves fur all over the couch. Now that I have him, I wouldn’t feel comfortable living with other people. Let’s face it, just because I can put up with him doesn’t mean other people want to. The line with pets and roommates can go well though. You need to find roommates that love animals as much as you do. If not, I believe you’ll have some ugly encounters.

Living on my own was a definite lifestyle change. There was no longer anyone around that I could rely on. I was standing on my own two feet and relying completely on myself. I have to take care of all the cleaning, cooking and bills. The first few weeks were difficult, having to suddenly be proactive around the apartment. However, once you fall into your own routine of household duties, life becomes easier. It’s freeing, satisfying and gives you a sense of independence you can’t get anywhere else.

I have lived with my parents, lived with roommates and by myself. My favorite, by far, is living by myself. I get to completely own my space, and I don’t have to worry about anyone else (aside from my dog). If you still haven’t experienced living on your own, I encourage you to try it once your current lease is up. Maybe you’ll love it like I did, or maybe you’ll discover it wasn’t quite for you. Either way, I fully believe it’s an experience everyone needs to try, at least once.

Holly Henrichsen

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