When people talk about college living, the norm seems to be having roommates. After all, roommates keep you social, bring down the cost of rent, and help you feel less alone.
More and more of my friends, however, are deciding to get their own apartments or go the studio route. My first instinct was to recoil in horror -- wouldn't living alone be a total drag? As an extrovert who enjoys the presence of other people, I assumed that living alone was reserved for a special few.
The truth, however, is that living alone is a liberating experience that almost anyone can enjoy, though it's also not without its drawbacks. If you're considering living by yourself, here are some of the realities you face when you live alone:
You Have Exclusive Control Over the Decor
Everyone who has had a roommate has been in the position of trying to politely veto something hideous that the other wants in the living room. Not to mention, people have very different tastes. While sometimes this works and you can have contrasting color schemes that liven up a space, you can also end up with a hodge-podge of stuff.
Those cute apartments you see on Pinterest? The majority of those have a unified theme -- something that is oftentimes only available if you are making all of the decor decisions.
Nobody Will Cover For Your Laziness
This can be good or bad. I tend to be on the messy side. I found that when I had roommates, I wanted to clean up more often because it was polite and I didn't want them to judge me. When I live alone, I tend to not mind the messiness.
However, living alone can also be a motivator to keep things clean. It's your space, it's your pride and joy. If something is in disarray, you have nobody to blame it on but yourself.
Inviting Your Friends Over is Easier
When you live alone you don't have to ask for permission to have friends over for dinner, throw a party, or invite your significant other to spend the night. You guys can be as loud as you want and have a dance party all night long without disturbing your roommates. If you're a social butterfly, this is a major plus.
You Can Play Your Music as Loud as You Want
You don't need friends over to be as loud as you want, either. Blast your music from a speaker. Or TV, Netflix, YouTube videos. So long as you're respectful of your neighbors, nobody is going to fight you on it, or make you feel ashamed for the Pop 2K phase you're going through.
You Can Have Your Own Schedule
Live with other people? If you want to be a respectful roommate, you have to think about their time, too.
For example, you can't hop in the shower if someone's already in there. Prefer to study at 2am with the lights on? Forget about it if you share a room. With roomies, you have to be quiet coming home, conscientious about when you run the dishwasher, and careful not to wake up your roommates when you get ready for that 8am class. Solo, these are no longer issues.
You're Forced to Put Yourself Out There
Roommates can be a ton of fun -- coming home to your friends is often the best feeling in the world. But this can also limit your social interactions since you have a built in mini social network at home.
When you live alone, YOU have to take the initiative to invite people over or leave your solitude to go out. And this can be hard, but you can also use it to push yourself outside your comfort zone. It's really up to you.
What do you think?
Living alone can be an easy choice for some, but a challenge for others. Either way it's a bold decision that can be eye-opening, especially if you've always had roommates in college. Those of you who live alone--what do you think are the best and worst aspects? If you have roommates, do you ever think about moving out and going solo? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!