I have been sheltered by my parents for 20 years of my life – my entire existence. Of course, I mean that mostly in the literal sense (because my parents are fairly free spirits and let me live the way I wish), but they have always given me a home. Safety. Family. Places and people to confide in, as a family should.
I moved out almost 6 months ago. Now I’m living with my sister in an apartment in a different town. I pay for my own groceries, I transport myself to and from wherever I need to go. I use an alarm clock responsibly now (somewhat).
Up until now, I had never lived on my own. I’d always had so much handed to me. Yeah, I worked and had spending money, but now I’m doing a different kind of work. I’m working to provide for myself and keep stability. To stay comfortable. And it isn’t easy. But it is so worth it.
I never had the experience of moving away from home for college freshman year — I commuted. And I still do but this time, as a sophomore, I’m relying solely on myself. I’ve grown so much simply over the last 6 months it’s honestly incredible. I manage my money differently, my time differently, I feel like a real adult the majority of the time (in this sense).
My sister and I have over a ten-year gap, so adjusting to her lifestyle and understanding her wants and needs has been a struggle — but I’ve done it and I’m still learning. Our personalities are on total opposite ends of the spectrum. I’m bubbly and outgoing and try to stretch myself outside my comfort zone and socialize as much as possible. I tend to clean up messes hours later, I stay up super late and I blast my music on high. My sister values her home time, and is quiet and sheltered. She does have a wild and fun side too, but for the majority of the time, she prioritizes and plans her day. She cleans immediately, is constantly trying to expand her mind and values work ethic above almost anything else.
Our common thread is a thirst for creativity and comfort. We strive to live and do our very best. We’re family so although we do not always see eye to eye, this has saved us a lot of grief. I’m learning how to live with someone who is different from me and learning that you can make almost anything work if you really push yourself.
My sister is gone a lot of the time so that leaves me at our apartment alone. And although at times it is difficult to adjust to having so much alone time, I’ve come to find comfort in my solitude. I break up these times alone by exploring the city with friends and I’ve found myself gravitating toward my parents’ home every so often — craving their comfort and home-cooked meals. Although I live away from them, wherever they are will always be home.
As the school year comes to a close for me, I’m looking forward to a summer full of this newfound freedom. Being in school while making this transition has been difficult because I have had so much on my plate; my weeks have been jam-packed with homework, extracurriculars, and work itself. I’m excited, though, to see what the summer will bring.