(Photo above by Mike Palmowski via Unsplash)
I’m planning on living alone this upcoming semester. Not really by choice — my roommates all decided at the last minute to study from home, leaving me as the only one returning to our apartment. And I didn’t really want to live alone. I grew up as an only child, spending much of my time alone. When I went to college, I saw it as an opportunity to finally live with someone else my age.
My past two years at school I’ve lived with other people, and I’ve loved it. I love coming back from class to a full house, I love cooking dinner for other people, and I love having someone to talk to whenever I need it. So, I was very, very nervous when I found out I wouldn’t be able to do any of that this semester.
But, as I’ve been planning for this semester, I actually started to become excited for the prospect of living in my apartment by myself. Even though I’ll miss some of the things I love about having roommates, I’ll also get to avoid some of the more annoying things about living with other people too.
My roommates and I had extensive conversations about our expectations and safety rules amid the pandemic before they decided not to move in. It was stressful thinking about which classes they would be going to, what friends they’d be seeing, and whose boyfriends would be over all while trying to be safe. But now that I’m alone, all I have to worry about is my own actions. If you’re living alone now, even though it might feel isolating, you don’t have to worry about your roommates potentially infecting you or vice versa. It’s still difficult and confusing to make choices now, but when you’re alone, it’s just a little bit easier.
I take a long time to get ready in the morning. My skincare routine is like seven steps. I’m sorry. I’m not trying to hog the bathroom or make my other roommates wait, but my skin really needs those dedicated 15 minutes in the morning and evening. If you also take a long time in the bathroom getting ready or just staring at yourself in the mirror questioning existence (no? Just me?), you won’t have to worry about inconveniencing others when you live alone.
I lived with three girls with curly hair last year. The amount of vacuuming we had to do was mind-boggling. And vacuuming is my least favorite chore, so I’m happy I’ll have less of it to do. As a single person, it’s much easier to clean as you go and avoid doing big cleanings periodically once things get out of control. And you don’t have to worry about having a particularly messy or dirty roommate (we’ve all had one of those).
This is another one about not inconveniencing other people, but it’s just so nice to not have to worry that what you’re doing is affecting someone else. My roommates all went to bed really early, so I would always have to be extra quiet at night. And if you’re in the opposite situation where you wake up earlier than your roommates, you would have to try not to wake them up. But when you live alone, you can be as loud as you want to.
With roommates, you always need approval before you invite someone over to your apartment. You have to think about if you’re occupying the shared space when someone else wants it, if you’re making too much noise, if your roommates are listening to you, and a bunch of other things when you have a visitor. But if you live alone, you can have anyone you want over whenever you want without making sure it doesn’t interfere with everyone else.