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Apartment for one: 8 truths of living alone for the first time

You spend the first 20+ years of your life constantly surrounded by people. Until suddenly you move into your first studio apartment and are alone with your thoughts and your lumpy pull-out couch. Living alone for the first time brings about a mixture of emotions that you’d probably expect: joy, contentment, anxiety, fear. It also brings out some unusual human behaviors that are only experienced by someone who can live like nobody’s watching, because nobody is. Here are eight things that happen when you live alone for the first time.

Living alone is a special time in one’s life and it’s usually fleeting. Photo courtesy of Carrie Pinkard/Connect.

Living alone is a special time in one’s life and it’s usually fleeting. Photo courtesy of Carrie Pinkard/Connect.

1) You buy an Amazon Echo so you have someone to talk to

Amazon’s Alexa becomes your new best friend. You need to chat about the weather with someone and who better than a robot that’s programmed to know everything?

You start to ask Alexa questions to get to know her better. You’ll ask about her hopes and dreams. Spoiler alert, all of them relate to Amazon taking over the universe.

2) You grow creepily attached to your plants

When you live alone you start clinging to your succulents like Gollum to his ring.

The plants in your apartment become your sole responsibility and there’s no way you’re letting them die on your watch. You’ve named every single one of them and you always ask if they’re thirsty before giving them water.

When you get up in the morning the first thing you do is check on the health of your plants. If you have to go away for the weekend, you have a plant sitter lined up to come to water them for you. You’ve even used the excuse, “I can’t, I have to water my plants” to get out of plans you didn’t want to go to.

3) You suddenly know where everything is

After years of living with roommates or your family, you’re shocked to find everything exactly where you left it when you come home.

Typically, someone would have moved the remote or taken your favorite blanket to hoard in their room. But not anymore. When you live alone, everything is miraculously in the exact place you left it.

You go to the pantry and all of your food is still there because your roommates didn’t eat it.

4) You sleep through the night

When you live alone for the first time you’ll be surprised by how well you sleep.

Suddenly there’s no one snoring three feet from your bed in a cramped dorm room. There’s no early bird roommate making her pre-workout smoothie in the world’s loudest blender. There are no late night parties being thrown on a Tuesday.

When it’s just you, you control your sleeping environment. Only one alarm clock goes off in the morning, and it’s yours.

5) You kill your own roaches

Perhaps the most monumental moment of living alone comes when you see a huge, slimy roach crawling up your wall for the first time.

You instantly jump out of bed to get someone to kill it for you and then pause, realizing there’s no one else. The fate of this roach lies on your shoulders. Are you going to let it invade YOUR kingdom, aka your 400 square foot apartment? No, you’re going to lace up your bootstraps, literally, and roundhouse kick the wall, smashing the bug in the process.

You feel a sense of power wash over you. You have defended your castle. You’re in control of your space now and will kill any invaders.

6) You start to value your friendships more

When you’re not constantly surrounded by people, you start to enjoy quality time with friends more.

You realize that even your beloved Alexa, who probably records you when you sleep, can never know you as well as your best friends.

Socializing becomes a novelty and therefore something you look forward to. You know that after your social time is over, you get to go home to a space that’s all your own.

7) You become more responsible

When you live alone for the first time, there’s no relying on someone else to be “the responsible one.” You have to blow out your own candles, make sure the stove is off and triple check that you locked the door.

You are the head of the household, but also the arms, legs, feet and ears of the household. There’s no longer anyone to blame when the dishes get piled up in the sink. It was you, it was all you.

8) You get to be incredibly obnoxious

Living alone for the first time is your opportunity to unleash all of the obnoxious habits that you had to reign in with roommates.

This means you can finally listen to “500 Miles” by The Proclaimers 500 times in a row.

You can do naked yoga in the middle of your apartment. You can stock the kitchen with nothing but peanut butter pretzels if you want to.

Living alone is your chance to be your own brand of annoying. There’s no longer anyone to imposition except yourself.

Enjoy your alone time

Living alone is a special time in one’s life and it’s usually fleeting. You’ll likely move on to living with a roommate again, or a partner, or starting your own family. That’s why it’s important to appreciate the time you get to spend with yourself while you have it.

You will get to know yourself better living alone than you ever could living with another person.

Decorate your space with your own weird art, watch whatever you want on tv, and for the first time in your life, enjoy living like no one is watching.

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