Leaving the Nest: 5 Hard Truths

I’ve been looking out of a window for eighteen years, dreaming about what I might feel like when those lights rise in the sky. What if it’s not everything I dreamed it would be?

Rapunzel, Tangled

Other than awaiting graduation, I do not know one thing a teenager looks forward to more than moving out on their own. Teenagers are eager to get out into the world away from the rules and worries of their parents. Staying out late, eating when & what you want, and decorating your place exactly how you want to = The Dream! Unfortunately, I am about to burst that bubble!

Hard Truth #1: Leaving the Nest is NOT always probable

If you haven’t noticed, the prices of 1 bedroom 1 bath apartments is pretty steep; especially in certain areas of the United States. In the state of Nevada, where I currently reside, the avg. state rent for a single bedroom apartment was $1,136/month in 2019. This figure is just the average for base rent; it does not include apartment amenity, utility, or parking charges. With the states minimum wage being $7.25/hour, let’s do the math:

Hours Worked * Minimum Wage * # of Weeks = Monthly Income (without tax)

Let’s assume you work 40 hours per week at minimum wage for a month. Your monthly income before taxes is $1,160/month. What was the average rent cost of a single bedroom apartment again?

Need I say more…

Hard Truth #2: Roommates are not always better

I lucked out on my roommate experience. We had a blast and knew when to give each other space. Even though I plan on blogging specifically on this topic later, roommates are sometimes not a better situation than just staying home for a few more years.

Some roommates might not be too responsible; expecting others to cover for them or take care of all the chores that should be shared. These roommates could cause you some unnecessary stress and possibly ruin what used to be a solid friendship. Long story short…

… choose your roommates wisely.

Hard Truth #3: Homesickness is rough

When I moved away from home, I was excited for all the reasons I previously mentioned. But shortly after moving, I was homesick. I would call my mom all the time; she probably thought I was friendless! Crying myself to sleep and avoiding others were part of my daily life. Homesickness does fade away, but it can sneak up on you without warning; even years later!

Hard Truth #4: Decorating is EXPENSIVE

Now that I live on my own, I can say that my apartment looks NOTHING like I want it to. My imagination has very expensive taste. There are dozens of YouTube videos and blogs related to sprucing up your apartment on a budget; but if you are anything like me, you probably won’t do anything they suggest. So, my apartment is full of random stuff; some necessary and unnecessary.

Also, apartments are way smaller than my imagination; so the storage space other people put their random stuff to obtain the minimalist look does not work for me. The bigger the apartment, the more money it cost, but we already talked about price.

Hard Truth #5: Chores Exist

If you do not want your place to look like a pigsty or smell like a trash bin, cleaning is necessary. I am not just talking about your basic dishes, laundry, sweeping, and “wiping down the counters”. There are lists of things I didn’t realize I had to do:

  • The bathtub and toilet bowel do not clean themselves
  • Neither does the oven
  • If your apartment has carpet, a shampooer is your friend
  • BASEBOARDS. BASEBOARDS. BASEBOARDS.
  • The inside of the fridge and microwave are not magically white/clean
  • Moping is necessary
  • & if you own an animal… GOOD LUCK!

CONCLUSION

In 2017, 34.6% of young adults ages 18 – 34 still lived with their parents. This figure most likely includes young adults that left home for college and then returned after college. Personally, I moved out when I was 22 years old. I stayed living at home while attending higher education at a junior college. I worked part-time at a retailer and I did not pay my mother rent. Instead, I paid for household items like soap, cleaning supplies, shampoo & conditioner, trash bags, etc. It was a great way for me to save money for moving expenses, grow a nice emergency fund, and recognize all the random items a house usually has in it.

I hope these hard truths make you reconsider any previous biases you might have had about young adults who still live at home. For those considering leaving the nest, I hope this blog makes you take a step back to contemplate your reasons and ability to move out. It is definitely not as easy as it might seem!

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