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Surviving Living Alone: Your First Home Away From Home

Updated on August 29, 2019
Beth Alson profile image

JB is an hopeless romantic who has been writing poetry and essays since childhood. She wants to travel the world more than anything.

Around three years ago, my company required me to relocate to a new city to open and manage one of our newly opened branches. It was an overwhelming decision for me to accept because in my 24 years of existence, I have always lived in the comforts of my childhood home together with my sister and parents. Truth be told though, putting aside all the fear and worry of living by myself for the first time, I was also excited and looking froward to it. Come to think about it, it is the first time that I actually get to taste the freedom of adulthood. So despite all my worries and fears, I took the job and prepared myself for what hopefully will be an adventure.

Building your first home away from home and surviving it may sound easy, but honestly, it takes a lot of effort and patience. What I didn't know when I first packed my bags and drove miles away from my hometown is that living alone does not only mean freedom, but also taking responsibility and embracing adulthood. Living on your own is not only about going to parties anytime you want and not worrying about curfew or not making up your bed every morning. It is also about surviving the challenge of fending for your self, managing your own budget, and surviving those quiet and lonely nights that homesickness hits you hard.

In the years that I have lived alone, I have discovered that there are certain things one must learn to survive in order to survive his or her first home away from home. In this post, I'll share to you some of the things that I had to survive during my first home away from home.

Surviving Homesickness

Homesickness is that feeling of longing you have towards the comforts of your home. Feeling homesick is only natural especially if you grown attached and dependent towards your family. Most of us grew up having our parents and siblings around us most of the time. They are the first people we see in the mornings, and the last we see at night. So it might be a weird for us to just suddenly not have them around. And honestly, no matter how emotionally strong you might think you are, homesickness can hit you hard. This is why building up a network of new friends at your new place is a great idea for you to battle homesickness. Making new memories and keeping yourself busy and creating a new routine for yourself is a wonderful way to avoid being swallowed up by the feeling of sadness.

Surviving Financial Struggles

Let's all admit it. Even though we are already working and earning, there are still days where we still run to our parents or siblings for financial assistance. Living with our parents or siblings while we are already working is a great way for us to save money as we get to share and split the bills with them. However, once you start to live on your own, all bills are yours and yours alone to pay. There's electricity bills, water bills, internet bills, telephone bills, and there's even groceries to pay for. And trust me, the first time you receive that monthly statement listing all your utility dues can be overwhelming. You'll be surprised at how much you have to pay for all your utilities even just it's only you. And if you haven't prepared for it financially, you can be in trouble. If you are like me who grew up not having to worry and pay for such utility bills, you might get all stressed out on how you will pay all of those bills. The best way to survive this one is to always allot a portion of your income just for bills. Set a monthly budget for utilities and stick to that. For example, on your income, allot 20% for your emergency fund, 30% for utility bills, and 15% for groceries. This way, you'll still have around 35% for your other expenses. This can be totally up to you depending on how much your budget is for utility bills, groceries, transportation, savings, and etc is.

Surviving Kitchen Disasters

If you left home with the skills to cook for yourself, then great. You can definitely skip this one. But if you're cooking skills only ends at frying eggs and making toasts, then, this is for you. Let's all face it. We cannot live off take outs forever. And if you are also trying to manage your finances, eating take outs every night can put a huge dent on your daily budget. This doesn't mean though that you have to be gourmet chef in order to survive on your own. But having the basic skills and knowledge on how to cook basic recipes can come in handy. The internet is a great source of easy and quick recipes you can try. There are even three ingredients recipes that are surprisingly fulfilling and easy to make. All it takes is some patience and practice. And probably a fire extinguisher ready. Just in case.

Surviving New Neighbors

Neighbors, I have learned, can either be blessings or nightmares. Depending on the type of neighbor that you have, you might have the best time of your life, or the worst time of your life. Whether your neighbors are nosy, loud, creepy, always keep in mind that it is never a good idea to start kicking your neighbors door each time they irritate you. It is always a good idea to have a friendly demeanor and keep things positive.

Surviving House Cleaning

Cleaning a whole apartment all by yourself can sound troublesome and tiring. With how fast our world is changing, there are now cleaning services that can be ordered online to save you the effort and time. These cleaning services also bring their own tools equipment so it saves you the trouble of buying cleaning tools yourself. However, if you are on the budget, this service might be pricey for you. So the best way for you to do it, is be patience, and do the cleaning yourself. The best way to survive this is to always have an order on how you clean your apartment. I always start off with cleaning the bathroom, then the kitchen, the living room, and lastly, the bedroom. Always buy cleaning supplies in bulk too because this saves you money.

Surviving New Neighbors

Neighbors, I have learned, can either be blessings or nightmares. Depending on the type of neighbor that you have, you might have the best time of your life, or the worst time of your life. Whether your neighbors are nosy, loud, creepy, always keep in mind that it is never a good idea to start kicking your neighbors door each time they irritate you. It is always a good idea to have a friendly demeanor and keep things positive.


Personally, I believe that living on your own for the first time is one of the best milestones in your life that you will ever take. It is not just a step towards freedom but it is also a move towards self-discovery. Just like every journey, it won’t start easy and you might encounter a few road blocks along the way. But as you grow more familiar with this new road that you are taking, it will eventually turn smoother and easier to navigate.

© 2019 JB Sevillo


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