Why every twenty-something should experience living alone

I've been getting asked recently about how it is to live in a new city by myself. Well, it's been almost a month since I've been living in a new city by myself and over the course of this month I've come up with one main conclusion: living alone is something that every person in their twenties must experience. There is truly no other time in your life when you will get to know yourself better than when you are living alone, taking care of yourself, on your own time, especially during a time in which you're still figuring so much of life out. This time is called your twenties. 

Living alone was the best decision I could have made and was also the scariest and most independent life choice I've made thus far at 23. Upon moving, I was just getting settled in to my new dream career, was recently single and out of a long-term relationship and antsy to call a big city my home. To give you more perspective on the perks of living the independent lifestyle, here are some of my experiences/thoughts:

1. You are on your own time | When you live alone you are truly on your own watch. You get to dictate your schedule: when you wake up, eat dinner, how long your showers are, what time you'll turn off the television and go to bed and truly how much time you spend inside your home. This has been my biggest blessing. It makes me more cognizant of my time and I am my own self-motivator when I am on my own time. Having more of a grasp on time and things to do makes me more productive and I'm not comparing myself or competing with someone else's life clock.

2. C'mon the main perk...decorating your pad | Being a designer, maybe this is just me, but I was ecstatic to move into my own home and decorate it the way I WANT. Not having to compromise with the clutter, knick knacks and aesthetic of someone else was refreshing. I was able to plan out the color scheme, furniture and layout of how each room would look and as a result, my home is me to its core and is the one place I always look forward to returning back to at the end of everyday. 

3. Not having to ask permission | When you live alone you don't have to ask for permission or get approval for what friends and family stay over and for how long. You set your own house rules and won't be judged for anything you do. That's bliss.

4. Becoming comfortable with being alone | This was my biggest struggle. I've never truly experienced the feeling of being alone for long periods of time so before I made the move I started to get worried if I would be feeling scared, lonely or sad by myself. The truth of the matter is, it's relaxing, refreshing and the farthest thing from scary or lonely. I have become so in tune with my wants/needs, routine and valuing my time spent with others and myself. It's also made me more confident as a person. I feel confident walking into a restaurant, sitting at a table and ordering food by myself; I feel confident exploring new parts of town without anyone by my side and I feel confident striking up conversation with strangers or networking with creatives in hopes of sparking new friendships and collaboration opportunities. Having a place to call "my place" all to my own that allows me to rejuvenate is truly a blessing that I will cherish. 

5. When are you going to ever do this again? | Your twenties are such a crazy time full of change. I am in a weird spot at 23 where half of my friends are getting married or engaged or are in serious relationships. The majority of my friends live with their significant other or a handful of roommates while immersing themselves in their careers. There's such a range. But few and far between get their alone time when they are surrounded by people constantly at work then at home. You don't get to turn the social switch off, and that I do not miss. I love being able to surround myself with friends and family then go home, alone, and turn on Wolfmother and rock out in a blousy t-shirt and fuzzy socks in my kitchen.

Your twenties are a time to be immature, goofy, responsible, ambitious and confident all at once. So when asking yourself if spending a year out of your twenties with yourself as your one and only roommate is worth it, I say why not? When else in your life will you get the chance to live your way to its entirety? 

Allison WagnerComment