Living On My Own & The Reality Of It

March 20, 2024

Unlike most college students, I didn’t move out at seventeen. No, instead I moved out at nineteen, when I transferred to Berkeley to finish my college career as an upperclassmen.

After realizing that I was going to be moving to Berkeley from Southern California and living on my own, hundreds of miles away from my family, I was excited but also scared.

There are so many positives when it comes to living on your own and the expectations that I had were most definitely met.

The first thing was making my own schedule without the permission or confirmation from my parents. I love my parents and I call them constantly, but making my own schedule is great. Back home, I had to make sure the plans I had made didn’t overlap with anything my parents or my sister had going on, but when I’m on my own, it doesn't matter much.

The second positive was choosing what I wanted to eat based on my own cravings. I feel like this speaks for itself. I can eat what I want, whenever I want. I’d say that was a pretty cool perk when it comes to living on your own.

The last one is probably something that every college student or anyone moving out is looking forward to. Freedom. When you're living on your own, it’s just you. No parents. It not only allows you to do whatever you want, it also teaches you to take care of yourself. There are no restrictions on your life, except for the one that you put on yourself.

As much as I enjoy living by myself and the experience of it all, it has made me realize one thing and that is how much I actually depended and relied on my parents for my well-being.

I’m not saying that living on my own isn’t cool, it is, but it wasn’t everything that I was expecting.

First, it turns out that I’m not as great of a cook than I originally thought. I always thought that I was an okay cook, that I would know enough to get by, but I didn't and I struggled. I realized that I know how to make a small handful of things and I just make that on a cycle every once in a while. Not very useful when you have to cook for yourself on a daily basis. It’s alright though, I’m learning.

On the bright side, there’s a lot of different things that you can eat with rice. Rice is something that I used to make a lot when I was back at home, but even that was an adjustment. The first time that I made rice up at Berkeley, I was working it in a different rice cooker, so I put too much rice and it wasn’t cooking. So, what I did next was pretty obvious. I called my parents.

They thought that it was hilarious.

Something that was also different was spending money when living alone. When I used to live at home, my parents bought the majority of the food, groceries, and bare necessities. I’m fortunate enough where my parents send me a monthly allowance for food and what not, along with a part-time job on campus (aka being a campus ambassador, which is awesome!). It’s so different and you realize exactly how much money you spent on the necessities. That was no doubt an eye opener.

Living on my own came with both the expected and the unexpected. It is something that everyone is going to go through at some point in their lives and doing it as a college student is the best way. You get to learn how to live on your own with other people who are going through the same things that you are and it lets you grow into your own person.