Moving out for the first time and being away from family can be challenging for everyone. These challenges will depend on what your roommates are like, how busy you are, your cleaning habits and your personality. For anyone, it takes time to get used to the rhythms of cleaning, shopping, cooking for yourself and living life as an adult.
I am a senior at UTSA, but this is my first year living on campus. People have asked me why I chose to move out, since my parents live in a beautiful house fifteen minutes off-campus. I suppose it was because now that I am twenty-one, I want to see what it is like living on my own. I want to experience student life at UTSA, as I will be graduating in less than a year. Making the decision to move out has been challenging, but overall rewarding.
Initially, it was difficult learning how to live on my own and live with people who are not my family and are not used to making allowances for my forgetfulness, like me forgetting to turn off the stove one night. There were also some inconvenient things that have happened, which are just part of life. The first two weeks in my apartment, my AC was broken. It iced over and we had to turn the AC off so it could defrost; the positive side was, I now have a much higher tolerance to San Antonio heat than I once did. Now the newest thing that is broken is our dishwasher. In addition, I got locked out of my apartment the other night for the first time and ended up sleeping over with a friend because it was too late and I was too tired to call an RA.
Those are just some of the struggles I have had living on my own, not to mention having to buy things like paper towels, trash bags and command strips: things I never had to think of buying before. Although these were some setbacks, I can laugh at them already because it is all part of the adventure of change, learning and making mistakes.
Then there is the dynamic of roommates to think about. I am thankful because I knew my roommates before I moved in with them. I made sure of that, because I heard too many stories of friends who did not have the best experiences with people they did not know beforehand. I knew my roommates as acquaintances from a campus ministry I’m involved in, so I knew they were kind and responsible people. One of my roommates has already graduated and lived on her own for a while, so she has been the most helpful to live with.
My roommates have already become my friends, which is my favorite part. It is also enjoyable because we did not know each other before, so I am getting to know them as we live together. I am learning to respect them and take responsibility, whether that means doing my chores and doing theirs too if they haven’t had a chance to. That doesn’t mean that I inconvenience myself all the time, but rather we are working together so we can have a clean and peaceful household environment.
Another great tip I have learned with getting along with roommates is to communicate. Having a group chat and making sure to communicate things with each other is a great way for things to go smoothly. For example, my roommates have a group chat and we share when things go wrong in the apartment, stories and just keep each other updated.
There is still a lot to learn about living with roommates and also living on my own, as this is only the first month. I still need to learn how to cook for myself and also do better at not misplacing my apartment key since I would hate to be locked out again. I also want to try doing my homework in the living room rather than in my room to be more present with my roommates.
While having roommates comes with its challenges and the nature of life means things may break or go wrong, it is all part of the process of growing up. Overall, moving out is a beneficial learning experience of how to take more responsibility for your life and learning how to mature as an adult and as an individual.