Column: Picking up the slack and the socks: Living on my own

I’ve found apartment living to provide both new freedoms and underwhelming responsibilities.

Just this past weekend, I returned to the city from whence I came. This year’s living situation has been different both from my first 18 years of living at home and my freshman year in a dorm. To say the least, living on my own without a peer adviser or parent has been a learning experience with multiple costs and benefits.

If I want ice cream for dinner, you can bet your ass I’m eating ice cream for dinner and then cookie dough for dessert. I literally have 100 percent say in what I eat, when I want to eat it, without anyone judging me, except for the Hy-Vee cashier that rings up my weekly stock of cookies.

I don’t have to clean my room if I don’t feel like it because no one else is going to see it unless I want them to. I believe it’s been a month since I last folded and put away my clean laundry. This is nice because the pile of clothes is much more accessible than my closet, which is currently blocked off by the mountain of my entire shoe collection.

I can stay up as late as I want. The curfew here in Adultville is forever o’clock! I don’t even have to sleep in my own home if I don’t want to, and the only people I have to answer to are my roommates. Even then, they only ask because they like me, not because they’re responsible for me.

I can make frivolous purchases. Last week, I bought a sparkly purple electric toothbrush because it matched my shower curtain. Did I need a new toothbrush? Nope. Do oral hygiene products really need to be integrated into the décor? Nope. Do I care? Nope, nope, nope.

While I’ve been thoroughly enjoying my newfound freedom, going home for the weekend reminded me of the simple luxuries of having someone legally bound to taking care of you. For three days and two nights, I didn’t wash a single dish, fold a single sock or even drive my car.

That, my friends, made me miss living at home. Having someone there to tell you to go to bed early so you don’t wake up cranky and to tell you to avoid eating dairy so you don’t get a tummy ache is often taken for granted.

I slept in a clean room, where I could see the floor, all because one special person told me to clean up my damn mess. And when we went shopping, someone was there to tell me that no, I don’t need that framed photo of Nicolas Cage because it would clash with the one I already have of Colin Firth.

So, those of you who still live at home or in a residence hall, take advantage of what you have while you can. Go ahead and let someone else clean your bathroom. Go eat breakfast at Plaza 900, where you don’t have to cook a single thing. Get some sleep while you can because it doesn’t last for long.

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