5 Things I’ve Learned During My First Week Alone

I will admit it, I know nothing about moving, especially to a city. I’ve lived the last 18 years of my life in a small town in Northern Ontario, where my parents took care of my every need.  I was happy, I was comfortable, and best of all, I knew my way around. The only time I had ever moved was when I was 2 years old, when we moved across the street (really), and I’m pretty sure I slept through most of it.

I grew up in the kind of town where you can’t walk down the street without seeing someone you know, and, of course, everyone knows your business. But as great as that all sounds, the time had come for me to spread my hard-partying, college-going, moving-to-the-city wings.

After being accepted to college just outside of Toronto, I thought “why should I wait until September to move?” So I packed up my things and began my life as an adult. I found a gorgeous 2 bedroom apartment right beside my future school to share with a couple friends – the only catch was that the lease started in July, my friends weren’t moving until September, and I would be on my own for two months. I moved in last week, and not only have I learned the joys of being able to walk around naked, I’ve also learned a thing or two about living on your own for the first time.

1. Save yourself the hassle – pack smartly. I got to my new place and decided to unpack dishes and the things I would need for my kitchen first. While this is a great idea, having zero labels on any boxes has left me completely forkless. Spoons? Knives? The cool egg timer I bought for the “once-in-a-blue-moon” occasions I want hard boiled eggs? Yes. But forks? No clue where they went! And it will take me days to dig through every last box in this mess of an apartment to find them. It may be annoying to organize and label your stuff when you pack, but it is not nearly as annoying as attempting to eat spaghetti with a spoon.

2. It won’t kill you to wear the same pair of jeans 2 or 3 times before washing them. Living at home, most of us don’t have to pay $1.90 for wash and $1.60 for dry, but being on your own means shoveling out the cash for clean clothes. Wearing the same outfit twice before washing it is not going to kill us (gasp, I know), and I hate to admit it, but no one else will probably notice. Plus, jeans are always more comfy after they’ve been worn-in for a day…or month (you know it’s true).

3. The novelty of unpacking wears off fast. Sure, I’ll admit, unpacking the first few boxes was reminiscent of Christmas morning. Forgetting the little trinkets from my room that I had packed away months ago gave me a bit of a thrill, but after doing this for 3 hours – it’s just not so much fun anymore. My solution is to tackle each room one at a time, starting with the most important. First the kitchen, then the bedroom, living room, bathroom, etc. This way, things get done efficiently, and by the time you’re sick of unpacking your 2,384th novelty mug, it’s time to put together your bed and re-fold your high school clothes.

4. Black bed sheets are a bad idea. All excited about getting to decorate a new room, I came up with a classy palate of purple and black. To go along with it, I bought a super cute purple duvet and some elegant black sheets. All was well (and looked awesome), until I reconnected with my ex (long story) and… well, let’s just say that having sex on black sheets means I have to spend the money I’ve been saving on washing my jeans to wash my sheets. Sure, they look great, but they aren’t very practical if you plan on getting freaky.

5. I really can do it on my own. Living with the parentals for the last 18 years of my life and having most things done for me had me seriously doubting my cleaning, cooking, and all-around independent living skills. But other than one almost-leaving-the-stove-on-all-night fiasco, things have been going smoothly. Sure, the water in my building was shut off for 8 hours the day after I moved in, but it was dealt with and all was well.

I was terrified leading up to the big move, but things worked out, as they almost always do. I feel like a grown up now and I’m excited to see what other challenges come my way once school starts next month.

Gradvice: It’s All About Who You Know
Gradvice: It’s All About Who You Know
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