on your own.

July 10, 2008

Looking back, living in an apartment my senior year was one of the most helpful things I ever did for my future. It has definitely made the transition from college to life much simpler. I don’t feel like I’ve ever been clueless about how to live on my own, but there’s a huge difference between knowing and doing. Given I had a few years of having to rely on the parents for advice but not decisions, having Cornell as a safety net, and having friends who were in the same semi-independent position, finally moving out on my own was like walking down a hill rather than jumping off a cliff.

Having spent two years shopping for groceries and cooking dinner for myself, I have perfected my college cooking to the point that it provides full, quick, easy meals that I don’t feel bad about eating. I have also determined exactly how much I can eat, how much I need to cook, how often I need to shop, how much I should spend, and pretty much what I need to have in the kitchen. Actually having rented an apartment gave me a sense of what I wanted in a new place and how to go through the motions of actually signing the lease. I also finally got to pay bills, which is very exciting, and really started managing my money.

So now, I only had to figure out a few other basics. Acquiring furniture was probably the most difficult, if only because I tried to do it on a budget and without a truck/van. Negotiating and financing a car was another big step; finding decent insurance is even harder. Setting up utilities also proved a bit harder than I expected. And when you add in starting a new job, which means trying to work out all the benefits, I’m pretty glad that I can make dinner in ten minutes without too much hassle. And I’m pretty proud I did the majority of my move without my parents.


One comment

  1. Good for you! I expect some unfamiliar territory having been confined to on campus living for four years. At the same time, I have been relatively on my own during some of the summers…and I enjoy cooking…

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