Becoming an adult is wondrous. Finally being able to move out on your own is a phenomenal experience––you have copious responsibilities and bills that you did not have while living at home with your parents/guardians. So maybe it’s not so wonderful after all?
It was hard leaving home and moving out to be on my own. My family spent my entire childhood teaching and preparing me for going out into the real world. So, when it was finally time for me to leave the nest, I was semi-ready. Having someone to teach me about money, how to cook, how to tend to my household needs, just everything that my family showed me growing up has been so much help as I live outside of their house.
When I was 18, I moved away to Middle Tennessee State University where I lived on campus. Sure, I was not completely on my own at this point, but I didn’t have my mom or grandparents just sitting in my dorm whenever I got back from school or work or being out in general…it was just me and my roommate. I had to make my own appointments, pay my bills (the ones I had at the time) without reminding, and figure out my food situation since my family would no longer be calling me when a meal was ready. It took some time to get used to being on my own, but it was truly a great learning experience.
During the summer between freshman and sophomore year, I lived at home again. It was definitely different than living on campus…mostly because I had a curfew again and was no longer on my own. I transferred schools that summer and started at the University of Tennessee so I could be closer to home. I lived on campus again during sophomore year but made occasional trips home to do my laundry or eat dinners with my family.
Jumping to the end of sophomore year, I moved into my first apartment with my boyfriend, Connor. This was the first time I was completely responsible for everything. I had to pay bills for rent, utilities, water, cable, groceries, and other miscellaneous living necessities. Of course, I spilt everything with Connor, so that helped immensely; however, I still had to come up with at least $400 every month for soley bills. That was challenging because I was not used to working that many hours and not being able to do absolutely whatever I wanted to do with my money (without the consequence of being late on a bill).
Now, two years later, I am still living with Connor in an apartment (a much nicer one). I’m still responsible for myself…along with my two cats and dog. I have gotten better with budgeting my money and not depending on my family to do things for me…even though I occasionally call home with questions about adulting like whether or not shower heads are universal or if I need to buy a specific one to replace my current stock one, or what to do if my sink pipes are leaking.
Your kids transitioning from living at home to living on their own as a young adult can be difficult, but it also is inevitable. You have been preparing your children for this transition for a while. Just because they leave the nest, does not mean they cannot return to it when they need to…or call upon family for help. Living on their own just means they’re becoming the person you meant for them to be––the person you raised your kid to be.