A Decade Under a Lease

Some kids go to college and make their friends in classes, others in clubs, a lot in frats and sororities. Stephanie and I met most of our friends during those years, and one another, because of music. We entered CSUN the same year as freshman, only she was the smart one who decided to clock out early to do her own thing. Looking back, I should’ve followed suit. Past regrets aside, we got to know one another and over the years have randomly seen each other here and there, keeping contact like millennials do through Facebook posts and Instagram pics.

This first week is all about getting things started and Stephanie’s name was the first and only one I wrote down for this section because in all honestly, I don’t know a lot of people personally who’ve moved out on their own – or the ones I do, I had them in mind for other topics. Anyways, here’s why – Stephanie is a badass to me. She left CSUN and set out on her own, who does that? Who decides to leave the comfort of the dorms and just go for it? Okay, maybe a lot of people, but I don’t know them so – none.

If we count her time in the dorms, Stephanie moved out when she was about 18, and over the years I’m not sure how many places around Southern California she’s lived but she’s had a total of 12 roommates. That includes one in college whose boyfriend possibly demolished her laptop, and a house with four roommates that ended up being a party house covered in layers of booze and barf. Now, after working her ass off at what seems like a million and one places, she has an apartment all to herself. This paralegal is doing just fine out in Sherman Oaks, CA, and now that I’ve rattled on and on, we’ll get to what she had to say about on living on your own.

Kendra: What are three things you learned living on your own?

1. How to survive financially and domestically.
2. How to trust and rely on myself
3. When living with roommates how to be more patient and ignore others bad habits to create a more peaceful environment.

Kendra: Thinking back to when you were first starting out, would you have waited to live on your own?

Stephanie: I do not think I would’ve done things any differently. I enjoyed getting out on my own and being independent. Sure it would’ve been nice to have the financial support from my parents but I think moving out when I did taught be to be responsible and got me focused on my career and my future.

Kendra: Why do you think some people your age have yet to leave the nest?

Stephanie: I think people choose to stay living with their parents for numerous reasons. I find most do it for financial reasons. If they stay at home, they don’t have to worry about paying high rent prices, utility/internet bills, buying/cooking their own food, or finding a career. Some do it because they are ultimately scared to grow up and be independent. They enjoy being catered on and relying on others.

Kendra: What is the biggest high of living on your own?

Stephanie: When I first moved out the high came from not having rules to follow. Now it is more so the enjoyment I get from knowing that everything I have I got on my own without much help. My high comes from overcoming obstacles and achieving goals.

Kendra: What is the biggest low of living on your own?

Stephanie: I do not think there are really any true lows of living on your own. Most of the lows turn in to highs. Living without roommates is a little lonely but has motivated me to go outside my home and meet new people. Worrying about finances keeps me motivated to keep pushing to be better. Even when times get hard coming out successful on the other end makes it all worth it.


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