Adulting 101: Lessons Learned After Moving Out

I moved out of my parent’s house with my boyfriend to a new city almost two years ago. It’s a huge milestone for me, and I wanted to share my experience and some of the things I’ve learned while adulting. Hopefully, it can be helpful for others leaving the nest soon.

Here’s what I’ve learned over the months.

Getting Out of the House is Important

I’m an introvert and don’t enjoy crowds, so I thought I’d be fine with always being home when I first moved out of my parents’ house. It was a new city where I didn’t know anyone, so I mainly stayed in my comfort zone at home with my boyfriend for the first few months. Having a work-from-home job gave me even more of a reason to avoid going out and peopling.

After some time, I started having serious cabin fever. I tried my darndest to get my boyfriend to come out and explore the new city with me, but it turns out he’s much more of a homebody than I thought. He was always content staying inside on the computer, and I was too scared to find new things to do around the area by myself. So, I stayed inside the apartment, secretly hoping he would want to go on an adventure with me one day. He didn’t.

Then it clicked! While I was living at my parents’ house, I wasn’t really home a lot. I was used to being in a different environment for some time (whether it was at work, my boyfriend’s house, or my sister’s house) and coming home when I was tired. I started thinking maybe I wasn’t as much of a homebody as I thought, so I started forcing myself to get out of the apartment more, even if it meant doing it alone.

It wasn’t an easy road, but I survived. I felt so much better being in a different environment for a few hours most days. I’ve been taking spin and Pilates classes, and I’ve been attending some Meetup groups. Once I got used to being out of the apartment by myself, I stopped relying on my boyfriend as my only source of entertainment. And It’s helped our relationship a lot.

You Learn a Lot About Yourself

I got into this a bit previously, but who you were when you lived with your parents might not be who you are once you move out. Since moving out, I’ve learned a lot about myself. I thought I’d be perfectly happy being home 24/7, then quickly realized I get bored being in the same place for too long. I’m not a party animal, but I sometimes enjoy the occasional social outing.

I also have gotten better around animals, and it’s all thanks to my boyfriend. I’m not as afraid of dogs anymore (unless they’re loud or big), and I bonded with his rat, Phoebe, that he brought to the apartment. And get this… we adopted two cats shortly after moving in together. If you had told me I’d be doing all this about six years ago, I would have laughed in your face.

My pride and joy

Honestly, I feel like my boyfriend and I are both very different people now than when we were living with our parents. We’re both learning a lot about the other and taking the time to adjust.

Things are Expensive

Okay, I knew I’d have to pay for all my necessities, but sheesh! Why is everything in this economy so dang expensive? Why is one 22 oz. bag of frozen chicken tendies almost $11? Why is the cost of living so stinkin’ high? And don’t even get me started on what I spend on these dang cats.

Although they’re the cutest things ever, these cats are expensive AF. Since we have two of them, that’s double the cat supplies, litter, treats, and vet costs (it cost over $400 for one of my cat’s dental cleanings). Fortunately, my boyfriend’s mom is coming in clutch with their cat food since she’s a vet. She’s truly an angel.

Groceries are expensive. Rent is expensive. Spoiling myself is expensive. Taking care of my basic necessities is expensive. Errthang. Is. Expensive. So save your money and learn to budget before moving out cause shit be expensive.

Learn to Cook

The beauty of living with your parents is that they likely did the majority of the cooking. Unfortunately, that could also mean that you didn’t get the chance to learn much about cooking on your own. My parents did most of the cooking when I was still living with them, but I learned how to do some of the basic stuff, like making rice and pasta. I’ve watched my parents make some dishes but never attempted them on my own. Since I’m not really a master chef, it was primarily takeout and frozen meals for me once I moved out.

When you’re officially out of your parents’ nest, you can’t always depend on takeout and fast food. Firstly, going back to my previous point, because it’s expensive! I’ve spent an embarrassing amount of money on Starbucks, Chick-Fil-A, ordering takeout, and UberEats.

You also don’t want to rely only on takeout because it’s not the healthiest. I’m certain my reliance on takeout is the main reason I gained so much weight since moving out of my parents’ house. Most food from other restaurants is also processed or fried, and you don’t get to control what’s in it.

Before moving out, I saved a bunch of recipes on Pinterest that I swore I would use once I lived on my own. But I always got takeout because it was easier. I still struggle with this, to be honest. Don’t be like me because constantly ordering takeout can be bad for your wallet and health.

It’s Easy to Neglect Your Health

I’m piggybacking off what I said earlier about always ordering takeout. Sometimes, it’s easy to want to rebel against your parents who said you shouldn’t be buying junk food all the time. Now that you have your own place, it’s junk food all the time. Take that, Mom and Dad!

Next thing you know, you’re breathless while walking from one aisle in the grocery store to the next.

When you don’t have someone nagging you to do this or do that, you might not remember to take better care of yourself and your surroundings. I remember when my dad would make remarks about how eating fast food wasn’t good whenever I came home with PDQ or something of the sort. He’d also tease me about not eating “real food” since I only bought and ate frozen chicken tenders. Once I moved out, I got to enjoy my tendies and fast food without hearing how bad it was.

I had blood work done a few months ago, and some of the results were quite alarming, to say the least. Unfortunately, some of the health issues I’m currently facing are genetic, making me already predisposed to them. I stupidly thought I would be spared, but boy, was I wrong. I’ve also been putting off going to my primary care doctor. Primarily because every time I see him, he just always tells me I need to lose weight. That’s a different story, though.

Even though I’m not where I want to be right now, I’ve come so far. I’ve been much more active by going to Cyclebar three to four times a week, and I don’t get breathless when I go grocery shopping anymore. Still working on the diet part, though. Being a picky eater sucks, yo.

Me at Cyclebar!!

Budgeting is Important

Oh boy. Managing your finances while living on your own can be TOUGH, especially if you like expensive things or believe retail therapy is the answer to your depression. I’ve already had to pay for my phone bill, car insurance, credit card, and a few monthly subscriptions on my own before moving out. And I had no troubles since I had a steady income stream and was at my parents’ house. But it hits differently when you add rent to the picture.

Seeing your entire savings nearly gone because of having to dip into it to help pay rent is eye-opening. When we renewed our lease after our first year here, rent increased by a couple hundred dollars. So I’ve had to rely on my savings to get through each month. I wanted to cry once I saw that I had blown through everything. I also experienced my first overdraft fee and negative balance ever.

I was always an on-again, off-again budgeter, but now I’m really learning the importance of spending wisely. Thanks to an awesome co-worker of mine who is also a badass finance guru, I got some advice on how to make smarter spending choices. I’m still scared to check my bank accounts sometimes, though.

It’s Not All Rainbows and Sunshine

Yet another eye-opening experience. Living with your partner doesn’t mean you’ll always be all over each other. Before moving in with my boyfriend, I had this fantasy that we’d be all cute and cuddly every day. I thought it would be similar to when we’d spent a weekend together, except we’d get to do it every day. I thought I wouldn’t have to fight to get his attention anymore since we lived together. Nope!

There were times when he just wanted to be left alone and watch Twitch or play games without me being all up on him. Even though I lived with the guy, I still sometimes found myself having to fight him for his attention. It was indeed not all rainbows and sunshine. At some points, my insecurities made me question if he was even attracted to me.

After some time and several arguments, I learned to give him his space when he needs it and not get all worked up when he spends more time gaming or with his online friends than with me. When I wanted to be with him all the time, I wasn’t going anywhere, so he was all I had for entertainment. He had his classes to go to, and I was just alone. Once I started going to Cyclebar, Club Pilates, and some Meetup groups more, it helped me rely less on him for entertainment.

I learned that it’s also important to try and spend some time alone and have your own interests outside of your partner. In fact, I really enjoy the moments when I have the apartment to myself while he’s at school or at his internship. Our time apart makes me cherish the moments we spend together more.

You’ll Still Need Your Parents

You’re never really grown up – I still ask for help on some basic stuff because I feel like a child in an adult’s body. It may seem like I have it together, but I don’t know what the hell I’m doing. I’m just pushing buttons and hoping for the best. I still call my dad when I have questions about my car or cooking. I still call my mom when I have questions about taxes and other adult stuff she handled when I was still living with her.

If you have good parents, they’ll never stop being there for you. No matter how grown up you are, you’ll still need them.

There’s Nothing Wrong with Having Lazy Days

Growing up with Caribbean parents made me think otherwise, but now I’m gonna say this with my chest. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with being a potato for a day! I always feel like I have to constantly go somewhere or do something to feel productive, whether it’s cleaning or laundry or buying groceries or whatever. I’d feel bad about myself if I let the day end without me doing anything.

My boyfriend helped me learn the importance of just having a lazy day sometimes. He always told me I didn’t have to be working or doing chores to be productive, and if I was feeling really unproductive, then I could read one of the many, many books on my shelf. He also said there was nothing wrong with spending one day doing nothing and that it could actually be helpful.

Once I shifted my mindset, I started feeling better. I didn’t make myself feel bad for not being productive, and there were some days when I really needed to be a potato. There are times when I spend the entire day doing nothing but playing video games, and it honestly is soothing to not have to think about responsibilities and such during that time. Burnout is all too real, so be a potato for a day.

Get The Things That Will Improve Your Quality of Life

If it improves your quality of life, just get it. Why would you want to make your life harder with something that doesn’t work well when you can get something that will help you tremendously?

I’m still struggling with this, to be honest. For the longest, I put off getting new chair for work because I had one already, even though it was uncomfy. I put off buying a good laptop for so long because my old one still worked, but just incredibly slowly. I put off buying good new bras because… well, I was hoping my boobies would get a little smaller if I lost weight, and finding my bra size was next to impossible. That’s beside the point.

I may have spent a little more than I wanted to on the chair, laptop, and bras, but they were necessities. Now my butt doesn’t hurt after working, I don’t have to wait centuries for my laptop to boot up, and my boobs aren’t spilling out of my bra anymore. Also, cycling with my bigger Shefit bra is much more comfortable.

Produce Expires Way too Quickly

Serious yet not so serious point. This reminds me of a meme I saw a while ago that said produce expires faster when you’re the one paying for it, and I can relate so hard. Not me trying to be healthy, buying a whole pack of grapes, and them growing mold after a week! Fruits go bad quicker than you realize. They’re also expensive.

Final Thoughts

Overall, I think I’ve learned a lot since moving out of my parents’ house. I’ve grown and gained some life experience. I often wish I could go back when life gets hard, but they didn’t raise no quitter. Hopefully, someone will find this information useful. Or maybe you just got a good giggle. Either way, I’m gucci.

Thanks for reading!

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