Whether you’ve decided to embark on an Erasmus adventure in a foreign country or are just moving to a different city in your own, moving out of your childhood home is a big decision and a huge life changing moment. Gone are the days where you would have to be home by the 11 o’clock curfew… phew, but there are also a myriad of things that you’d be surprised you have to do when you live on your own. Here are 10 things that you will most probably encounter in your new adventure and life phase.
1. You’ll have to do all those little things that your parents once did for you
The lightbulb will need changing. The electricity will go out. The pipes will leak. Who will need to fix all this? You. These things seemed to just magically fix themselves while you lived at home, but now they won’t. In the beginning you’ll probably feel a bit lost and you will probably call your parents a lot (which they’ll be super happy about), but eventually you’ll get the hang of it.
2. Cooking is actually not so easy
You know all of those delicious meals your parents cooked while you lived at home? The ones they seemed to make with such ease? Yeah, turns out they were not so easy to make. You’ll try to make them, only to realise that you’re missing the ingredients, and then when you go to the store to buy them, you’ll realise that you cannot afford them on your student budget — so ramen noodles it is. Cooking takes a lot of time anyway, and who has the time for that when you have a new city to explore and new friends to meet?! Still, you can’t survive on take-out forever. Eventually, after hard work and failed meals, you’ll have a set of foolproof dishes you can cook up at any time, and you’ll start feeling like a real adult.
3. You’ll have much more freedom, but also more responsibility
Want to invite your friends over at 3am? You can. Want to eat dinner at midnight? You can. Want to throw a party at your house? You can (maybe). Want to get out of the house and have no one asking you where you’re going? You can. But, as they say, with great freedom comes great responsibility, such as paying rent on time, paying bills, and cleaning. Missing deadlines is not an option. Welcome to the real world.
4. You’ll become much more independent and confident
Living alone (and especially in a foreign country) and actually managing to tackle all of the adult tasks can make you feel pretty awesome and strong. After all, you realise that you can take care of everything you need by yourself, so you can feel pretty invincible.
5. You’ll become super adaptable
Let’s face it: your first place will probably not be super glamorous. Most likely, you’ll live in a small room in a shared house or apartment with other students. Some of your flatmates will be awesome, others might take some time to adjust to. You’ll learn to live with different people, with different habits, but it will also give you the opportunity to find some common ground and learn about their culture. You’ll also become adept at small talk and making friends, since you’ll be forced to by being in a new place.
6. You’ll realise that living with your parents was pretty awesome after all, and you’ll look forward to visiting them
Clean bedsheets. Someone to make coffee for you in the morning. An actual homemade meal (that’s not ramen noodles). No noisy roommates. You’ll feel like royalty while visiting home and realise that you took all of these luxuries for granted. Don’t worry, you can always pop in for a visit whenever you feel like you need a bit of extra pampering — your parents will love having you back home again.
7. But home won’t feel like home anymore
They say you can never go home twice, and it’s true. Your childhood home will always be a sort of home, but you will have changed and your old home will have stayed the same. The people there will go about their same routines and have the same conversations. It will feel as if you’d never left, but at the same time your childhood place will not feel fully home anymore. If you moved to a new city and/or country, your new town and place will, little by little, become your own home. This, however, does not mean that you won’t love spending time at your childhood place; you will love to go back.
8. You’ll miss things you’d never thought you’d miss
Moving away is strange, especially moving abroad. You’ll be having the time of your life, but you’ll also find yourself missing the most random little things. It might be a particular food from your home country, a particular smell, a holiday, or even just a feeling. You might not even miss the things you’d thought you would miss, but a whole different set of things.
9. You’ll feel super grateful towards your parents
Remember that time as a teenager when you couldn’t wait to move out and thought your parents wanted to destroy your life? Living on your own, you’ll come to realise how tough being an adult actually is, and how well your parents managed to do everything while also caring for you and your siblings. You’ll come to appreciate the clean house they maintained, the food on the table, and their kindness and smiles through all of it.
10. Your flatmates will become your new family
Your flatmates will see you at your best and at your worst. They’ll be there for it all. They’ll become your cooking partners, Netflix buddies, caretakers, and friends — basically family. You’ll also never really be alone; even staying home watching a movie will be a social activity, because you’ll always have your flatmates there. This is why it is important to get along with your flatmates, because you’ll be seeing a lot of them.
Thanks for reading this post!
Is there something that you have experienced while living abroad and you cannot find it on this list? Let us know in the comments.
And remember: if you need student accommodation, you’ll find the student home you’re looking for on Uniplaces.
Alice is a student of Political Science and International Relations, an avid news reader and a brand ambassador for Uniplaces in Porto. She has lived in the USA, Estonia, UK and currently resides in Portugal. Besides being a student and an ambassador for Uniplaces, she’s also an ambassador for SPEAK, a social enterprise aiming to connect migrants and locals. In her free time she loves to travel, watch movies, meet new people and play music.