(Side note: I wrote this blog a while ago and have been so busy, and my internet hasn’t been the best so I’m just now posting it.)
On May 13, 2017 I graduated with my bachelors degree in Communication from the College of Saint Benedict. Sadly, but like many, I graduated unemployed. Through this I had to make the decision of where I wanted to live and what I wanted to do this summer as I continued my job hunt. I knew that I wanted to work in Minnesota, and so I made the decision to move into my Best Friends house. I should probably mention that my other option was to move to my parents house in Indiana, where they moved my Sophomore year of college.
I knew that moving into someone else’s home would be different and a little difficult at first. I didn’t fully realize however that through these difficulties that I would learn lessons about myself, and living with someone else after college.
You never know what’s the right thing to do:
The first difficulty I’ve found myself trying to live around is knowing what the right thing to do is in any situation. I don’t mean things like ‘should I invite this stranger over’ or even ‘should I invite my best friend from high school over’. Instead I’m talking about small things like should I be helping cook dinner, should I help with cleaning the house, what should I be doing during the day. Little things. When living on campus you have a freedom to do almost anything. There’s no one there to tell you when you need to be home, when the dishes need to be done, who can come over, etc. But, now that I’m living at a friends house, with their family, I find myself questioning basically everything that I’m doing.
You feel awkward getting food by yourself:
Food has always been a struggle for me. I find myself in a constant battle of eating too much or too little but never a balanced in between. Living at someone else house, however, can make this struggle a little more difficult. Now, I’m not living here for free. I do pay rent which helps go to groceries and other needs around the house. But, I still haven’t found the balance of being okay with eating and preparing my own meals. There’s still that awkward “I don’t know where everything is” and then there’s the situations of “if I eat this I’ll finish it” or “should I really be opening this”. I’m still struggling to find that balance between I’m living here and can eat/make anything unless someone’s name is written on it. As the days go on this gets easier and easier, but I still find myself buying specific food for myself and keeping it in my room to snack on.
You never know if you should tell someone when you’re leaving:
I’ve found that this one has become a mix of living in someone else’s house, but also being a 22 year old adult. At home I’ve always told my parents where I was going if they were home, even as an adult. Its just become a habit. So much that I would even tell my parents the night before what my plans were and what errands I was going to run while they weren’t home. I believe that this comes from having a strict rule in high school to text my parents where I would be if plans changed. It wasn’t so much of a ‘ever time you leave a location text us’ but more of ‘If you tell us you’re going to be at person A’s house but decide to go to person B’s house let us know’ type of thing. But now, living in someone else’s house its a little different. I always make sure to let them know if I’m not going to be home for dinner, or if I wont be home that night, but I haven’t quite gotten the hang of if I should tell them when I’m running errands or not. So far I’ve ended up letting someone know if I’m leaving after dinner so if I pull into the driveway late at night they know. Or if the conversation comes up at dinner, like tonight when I went to grab coffee with a friend. I tend to follow the rules I grew up with while adding the rules I gave myself while living alone at college.
When I first moved in it took me two weeks to do laundry. Now for some this doesn’t seem like a big deal, they have plenty of clothes to last them at least three weeks. And yeah I have plenty of clothes to last three weeks as well. Underwear, on the other hand I don’t really have three weeks worth, especially if I’m wearing a skirt vs leggings. During college, and even at home, I was in a strict habit of doing laundry once a week. And usually I would have a full load so it made sense. When I first moved in however, I felt as if a weeks worth of clothes didn’t add up to a full load of laundry. Of course, that was kind of a crazy thing to think, as I soon found that two weeks of clothes almost added up to three loads of laundry for me. I soon grew into a habit of going back to doing laundry weekly, and sometimes every week and a half. The only thing I still struggle wit now is finding the perfect day and time to actually get that laundry done. The routine of when everyone else’s laundry is done has helped this out a lot as well. Of course, I’m still told I don’t have to do my own laundry, that I’m always welcome to throw my laundry down with everyone else’s. This is of course one thing I will probably never do while living here. Some habits are too hard to break ya know?
Helping out around the house:
When am I supposed to help and when am I not supposed to help? I’ve found it semi difficult to find out when I should be helping out around the house. I’ve gotten into a routine with some things. Others, not so much. I’ve found that doing the dishes after dinner each night that I’m home isn’t a huge deal and I actually enjoy doing it. Helping out in the garden and other things around the house however have become a lot harder to know what to do. I think this is going to take a while to get used to, and is harder to explain fully. Honestly, I think its my hesitance to over step my boundaries and the guest mentality that still surrounds me living here.
You’re a part of the family:
There’s so much more that I could list in this blog, but I feel that with some of them I would just be repeating myself but with a different topic. One last thing I would like to say I’ve learned is that you become part of the family. Yes, there are still times where I’m not invited to family meetings, etc. But I feel as if that’s a typical family thing to do and I’m okay with that. But there is still this overwhelming feeling of being apart of the family. Getting invited places, doing things for the family, helping with dinner and other things around the house, and of course treating this house as if its my own.