Consider life without roommates

By Shivali Shukla, Assistant Special Sections Editor

Living with roommates obviously has its perks; it can be one of the most exciting things about moving to college. So when asynchronous classes have become the new normal and your roommates decide not to return to campus or even if you chose to live alone after experiencing life with a roommate, solo life might turn out to be an adjustment. For the extroverts out there, it might even be painful. For the introverts, it could be a utopia. But no matter how you feel about it or what your expectations are, living alone has the potential to become your saving grace in trying times.

For all you control freaks out there, living alone is a gold mine. You control almost everything when you’re only accountable for yourself: when you eat, when you sleep, how you decorate, how loud your music is, whether or not it’s socially acceptable to talk to yourself — you name it, you’re the judge of it. If something you struggled with when living with someone else was not being able to do whatever you wanted whenever you wanted, living alone is for you. You can sleep all day and eat cheeseburgers all night without feeling like your roommate is judging you, or you can binge “The Office” without worrying about your roommate waking up. It’s a control freak heaven.

If you don’t feel the need to be making every decision in your living space, living alone can be your chance to figure out who you are and what you like doing in your own time. When you have roommates, chances are you spend a lot of time around them and your activities center around theirs. Even if you still do your own thing around roommates, the schedule you do it on and the actual activities you engage in likely revolve around their needs and expectations. You can’t exactly be painting in your living room if the scent bothers Karen. When you’re on your own, though, there is no Karen. Crack open a window and paint on your bed for all anyone cares. You can explore yoga or commit to a workout schedule designed by Chloe Ting without worrying about your roommates judging how out of shape you are — or being green with jealousy over how ripped you are.

While you can explore your hobbies and interests alone, living by yourself doesn’t mean you won’t have a social life. The experience might even teach you to reach out to your friends and family more often and could potentially help you forge better relationships. If you feel lonely, you can always text your favorite person and ask to catch up or host a rager in your place. You make the rules. It’s also important to remember being lonely and being alone are two very different things. You can exist on your own without being lonely, especially if you remember the people you can turn to when you need some company.

As you continue to experience what it’s like to live on your own, you’re likely to face some fears and revel in your bravery along the way. It’s actually fairly common to be afraid of bugs, the dark or to have social anxiety about answering the door or checking the mail. But if you don’t have roommates, Karen can’t kill your vibe or those bugs. You’ll have to do it yourself, but facing your fears is one of the best ways to overcome them. Not only that, but you’ll start to realize how competent and capable you are. The confidence boost will make you glow, and I guarantee you’ll be in awe at the stronger, more independent person you’ll become.

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One of the biggest perks of not having any roommates, in my opinion, is not having to deal with passive-aggressive behavior over who left the dirty dishes in the sink and not having to complain to your friends about how Karen’s boyfriend accidentally used your toothbrush after basically moving into your two-bedroom apartment. There’s zero tension, unless you’re watching Ross Geller get divorced for the third time, but even then, you can find validation in knowing you’re probably luckier in love than poor Ross. But if we’re being real, there’s probably at least one thing that has annoyed you about any of your past roommates, so not having anyone else to worry about can bring you a lot of peace you didn’t know you needed.

Living on your own is one of the most freeing experiences you’ll ever have. If not now, I highly recommend living alone at some point because most of us spend the majority of our lives living in the same space with at least one person. We grow up living with our families, spend college with roommates and then move in with significant others or get married and start families. For a lot of people, there’s a short window of opportunity for independent living, so if you have the means, I’d say go for it.

 Shivali is a senior in AHS.

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