Since childhood, living alone had been a dream of mine, as I yearned for the independence of doing whatever I wanted. Growing up in a cramped 2-bedroom, 1-bathroom house with five siblings meant that privacy was a rarity. My younger siblings always wanted what I had, from my Super Nintendo to my clothes and shoes, and I longed for a space of my own.
As my friends left for college or moved in with their partners, I remained at home, unable to afford my own place as a broke college student working only a few hours a week. However, in my mid-20s, I finally saved enough money for a security deposit and moved into my own apartment.
The first few days were lonely without any furniture, and the first few months of living alone were a unique experience. However, I realized that living alone wasn’t all I had hoped it would be when I was younger. While some aspects were positive, such as the freedom to do as I pleased, there were also downsides.
Although I do not plan to live alone forever, and I hope to marry and move in with someone one day, the past five years have taught me valuable lessons. This list of my experiences may help others who are considering living alone, as it is based on my 100% accurate experiences and is not exaggerated.
- Positive – Having control over what you watch on TV without being interrupted or told to turn it off, providing a relaxing end to the day.
- Negative – Living alone can lead to loneliness, although it is still preferable to living in the wilderness.
- Positive – The freedom to go to bed and wake up at any time, without restriction.
- Negative – Bills can accumulate rapidly, and it feels like you have just paid one before the next one comes.
- Positive – You can enjoy your weekends with your favorite show and snacks, dressed in comfortable clothes.
- Negative – Grocery shopping becomes a challenge, as you may end up buying too much or too little food.
- Positive – No one will eat your food without your permission, unlike living with family or roommates.
- Negative – Food waste can occur since fresh produce has a short shelf life, leading to more frequent grocery trips.
- Positive – You can have company for as long as you want without restrictions.
- Negative – Dirty dishes can pile up quickly, making cleaning a constant chore.
- Positive – Having leftovers means a day off from cooking.
- Negative – Limited cooking skills and options can lead to monotony in your meals.
- Positive – You can walk around your home in whatever attire you like, as long as you draw the blinds.
- Negative – The responsibility of keeping your living space clean and tidy falls solely on you, making it a never-ending task.
- Mixed – Talking to oneself can be entertaining, but it can also be seen as strange.
- Negative – Living alone can attract pests such as mice, and buying second-hand furniture can bring unwanted surprises.
- Positive – No one will eat your leftovers, providing more meals for you.
- Negative – Being anxious about leaving appliances turned on can lead to excessive worry and stress.
- Positive – Your belongings and money remain where you put them, unlike living with others where things may go missing.
- Negative – Fear of scary movies or unexpected sounds can create anxiety and disturb your sleep.
- Positive – You can have your significant another visit you whenever they please.
- Negative – Being alert to any sound or potential danger can cause anxiety.
- Positive – Enjoying the quietness of your home after a long day is one of the best things about living alone.
Although everyone has their own reasons for enjoying living alone, I can only speak from my own experiences over the past five years. Living solo isn’t for everyone, as some people prefer the comfort of companionship while others crave silence. However, I will say that taking that first step is the toughest, much like booking a flight for a big adventure. But once you’ve made the leap, it’s usually smooth sailing.
While I’m no expert on the subject and cannot offer definitive advice, I would suggest taking your time to find the right apartment or house that suits your needs. I’ve seen too many people hastily sign a one or two-year lease only to regret it later because of poor parking arrangements or neighbors with five rambunctious kids living above them.