When I was finishing my senior year of high school, I was a completely different person. It’s actually crazy to consider now, I barely can remember who I was, I was a child. But, a determined child at that, and full of passion and ambition. My family has always been loving (plenty of tough love too) and supportive, for this I am really grateful. But it wasn’t always easy, especially through my teenage years. Now I know some people are forced to grow up sooner than most, and for that I respect you 100%. But for those of you struggling to break away and become independent- here’s why you need to move out.
Around the time of turning 18 and deciding on colleges, my mom was also going through pre-menopause (sorry mom) and it was a constant scream battle between us. On one hand, she wanted me to grow and learn to be independent, but her emotional, protective side also didn’t want to see her first-born leave the nest. I knew one thing for sure, I was NOT staying in that house. (Again, sorry mom lol) Looking back, whether I left for the right reasons or not; moving onto campus and out of my parents house was the best growing decision I ever made. Every girl I meet or mentor, I cannot stress enough the impact to growing up that living independently has on you.
Why you should move out.
1. To learn a sense of responsibility & independence. Finances, cooking, cleaning, deadlines and other “adult” tasks are no longer something you can just expect your parents (or whoever) to take care of. This will prepare you for the real world in a way you can’t ever imagine at this current time and place. Do you know how rewarding it is to have some wine and cook a successful and delicious meal for yourself- and friends, significant others, whoever- as an adult? If you can’t boil water or cook some chicken, get your life. You will be forced to choose laundry over a party when you’re straight up OUT of underwear. This type of shit helps you prioritize, develop time management and also a sense of pride for your home and your lifestyle.
2. Develop your individual sense of style & aesthetic. Whether it’s your dorm room and you’re picking out your first new bedset in 6 years, or your first studio apartment where you can grow (and inevitably kill) as many plants as you dream of! There’s something so cool about decorating and designing your own space, so it’s simply that- yours. Living in dorms, then with 7 girls in a sorority house, with one other girl and eventually my boyfriend, things change within each setting. But knowing that I grew into who I am right now- the best version of me IMO, is a dope feeling. I went through stages- cringe worthy stages, but now, I’m pretty damn proud of my taste and my growing artwork collection, etc.
3. Find out who your real friends are- and make new real ones. One of the tougher things about leaving is saying goodbye to your friends from childhood. Familiarity is a comfortable feeling, but not always beneficial to your growth. When you move out, no matter if it’s 20 minutes from your hometown or 2,000 miles; you will lose touch with some people. It’s tough, but it’s bound to happen. What is good about this though is a select few (for me, 3) will stay closer than ever to you no matter how far away you are. For the past 4 years, my best friends and I have each lived in different states; New York, Virginia, California and Ohio. We talk weekly, hell, daily in a group chat, and when we do see each other a few times a year it’s like we’ve never been apart. You will truly discover who is your friend for life, and care about their successes and adventures as much as they do yours. Your family will mean more to you than it ever did before, and you will appreciate them for all they have done and still do to support you.
4. Learn to be more open-minded. What’s even better, is all of the new relationships you will build with different people. The friends I made at college, and out here in California are so diverse, so different than anyone I would have met in the same little town I grew up in. That’s not to say there aren’t amazing people there, but it’s so incredible to hear different people’s stories and experiences, and build relationships through that. Not everyone is like you, or the people you grew up with. And that’s something I can’t stress enough. Finding people you mesh with (and some you don’t) through your adult common interests. Your political stances. Your shared hobbies & the new ones you would’ve never tried until they showed you.. it’s awesome. New friends are awesome. I see things and people now that I don’t even blink twice at the eclecticism, but probably would have stared or been afraid back home. You will learn to be more grateful, and appreciative of what you have. You’ll learn to be more self-aware and inclusive of others. You’ll become more proactive and conscious of the world around us and it’s issues.
5. Being independent. This kind of goes hand in hand with responsibility, but moving away from home forces you to learn the amazing art of independence. You will relish your alone time- roomates or not, and nothing is better than a day spent at home, your music blasting, your T.V. shows playing, your favorite food getting delivered. It’s all yours! Now the scary stuff, finding the grocery store in your new town, a reliable nail salon, etc. is the tough part. Once you figure it out, (and hey you can only get lost so many times, right?) you will start loving to run errands, get coffee alone, go to a movie or the mall by yourself- whatever! I literally never thought I’d see the day where I was comfortable enough to go and do these things, but moving away from home seriously helped me grow to this state of freedom.
How to move out.
Okay so those reasons all sound appealing, right? Now you have the fire lit and you can’t wait to make this move a reality. But how do we get there? How do you make the move out of your parents and into your own space? Or for me, across the country? That might have to be a whole other series of blog posts. It’s not going to be easy, but it’s completely possible with the right mindset and dedication.
1. Set a deadline for the move. Giving yourself a (realistic) date for when you are going to be out by is the first step to getting everything in motion. If you’re in a college town, May/June is a good time to look for apartments because a lot of leases are ending for the school year. Having a date for when you will get all of your to-do list completed; your furniture sold (or bought), things packed, job lined up, etc. will make the move all that more realistic and doable. Mark it on a calendar. Put it out into the atmosphere to happen.
2. Be money mindful. A lot of expenses go into moving, especially if it’s out of town or state. Assuming you don’t have a ton of savings- it’s never too soon to start. You really have to begin cutting back on non-necessities, and putting those extra funds into your “moving jar”. I promise you- things will be so much easier if you have enough for the relocation costs, first month’s rent and security deposit, furniture and decor to make the home yours, etc. I also suggest selling as much as you can before the move- have a mini yard sale. Any clothes, furniture, books, whatever you don’t plan on bringing (and now is a great time to cut out the excess junk) try and sell! Poshmark and Offerup are also great platforms to get rid of your shit. Practice budgeting for rent and utilities months ahead of time. Research the average cost of living in your desired location. Be prepared, you can do it!
3. Mentally prepare yourself. Moving out isn’t the easiest thing sometimes. I had many nights crying because I missed my family, friends and familiarity of my home town. But knowing that I was in the right mindset, with the right goals and purposes for my move helped me get through it. Ask for advice and help from your support system, anyone who has your best interest at heart will be 100% behind your decision to move. Start practicing good behaviors, cleanliness, errands, etc. at your current situation, so you aren’t shook when you’re on your own. Make sure you are doing the move for the right reasons, and feel excited and positive about the transition over everything. Nerves and fear are natural feelings, but as long as you are prepared for the bumps, it will be an adventure worth experiencing.
Everyone’s experience in moving is different.
You can’t compare yourself to others. Your first place isn’t going to be immediately Instagram worthy, and you will miss your mom. But each day is a day for growth and learning. Seriously, soak in that silence (or noise) of your alone time. Look around and what you have earned, and the life you have built for yourself. Nothing is more rewarding that standing back and seeing what you’ve accomplished. I cannot encourage enough the relevance of moving away from home on your personal development. I encourage and support you all to make the move, and I’m here for any questions you have! Tell me about your journey if you moved, I love to hear other’s stories and experiences.