Many people experience a similar trajectory when it comes to living situations: we start out living with a family or with guardians, possibly with siblings. Then, if we choose to go to college, we often live with roommates for the next four years.
Many of us continue to live with roommates long after college has ended, and for good reason. It’s a way to make housing more affordable while also nurturing a healthy social life.
But when it comes to our mid- to late-20s, there’s a wonderful opportunity to explore a completely novel housing experience, namely, to live alone.
Living alone can seem scary at first. After all, financial responsibility toward rent and bills is entirely your own. And when it comes to socialization, you need to make a serious effort to leave the house and meet with friends.
But there are many benefits of living alone in your 20s, and we’ve decided to explore those benefits in this brief article.
So if you’ve been considering living on your own in the near future, we encourage you to read on.
Everything Stays Where You Left It
One of the most frustrating aspects of living with your family or with friends is that things get picked up and moved around without your knowledge. It’s just unavoidable.
Whether it’s kitchen supplies, snacks, or important papers that you left on the coffee table, you may come home one day to find that they have inconveniently disappeared.
But when it comes to living alone, this problem is essentially erased.
Sure, you may still misplace items now and then, but you’ll be the only person left to blame. And this is why it’s a good idea to stay incredibly well organized when you finally make the effort to live on your own.
Organization and cleaning will be entirely up to you. This may seem intimidating at first. After all, there won’t be anyone else around to remind you to keep your apartment clean.
But what may seem challenging at first is also an opportunity for personal growth. It’s a chance to force yourself to keep track of your belongings and in the process reach a new level of personal independence.
No Line for the Bathroom
Whether you grew up in a large family setting or had a shared bathroom in college, the idea of having a bathroom entirely to yourself may seem like a pipe dream.
But this simple benefit of living alone in your 20s can prove to help you cut down on daily stress and encourage you to take your time when it comes to hygiene and cosmetic care.
If you’re running late for work and need to shower immediately, no problem! The shower is all yours, forevermore.
Feel free to take your time getting ready for the day ahead. Stock up on toothpaste. You won’t finish a tube for a month or more.
Your Time is Your Own
When living with others, how you spend your free time isn’t entirely up to you. And yes, there are times when this can be positive.
For example, if you find yourself bored, without plans, your roommates may encourage playing a game or getting out of the house.
When living alone, how you spend your free time is entirely up to you. Only you can decide whether to sit on the couch all afternoon, watching cartoons from your childhood, or buckle down and finish some work you’ve been putting off.
And if you don’t feel like doing the dishes until sometime after 10 PM, that’s your prerogative.
You Can Turn Up the Volume
One of the most enjoyable aspects of living alone in your 20s is that you decide what to watch or listen to, 100% of the time.
Maybe your old roommates didn’t like listening to Suburban Lawns that much and would regularly yell at you to turn it down or turn it off.
Not a problem anymore. Just turn up the volume and dance the afternoon away. Your only limitation is the tolerance of your next-door neighbors.
And if you do start receiving complaints from neighbors, just reserve your one-person dance parties when your neighbors are likely at work or have left the building.
You’ll Get to Know Yourself Better
This is the age of self-discovery and self-care. And living alone speeds that process along.
This isn’t to say that living with others makes self-discovery impossible, but it can make it significantly more difficult.
When we surround ourselves with others for the majority of our free time, we tend to mimic those people in very subtle ways.
In other words, we are not entirely free to be ourselves. We still have to keep up appearances.
But when living alone, you’re free to be exactly who you are, and make adjustments as needed. Living by yourself is an excellent opportunity to observe yourself, learning more about what motivates you and what doesn’t.
Control Over Your Diet
When trying to eat healthy, many people find it more manageable when they have the power to decide what food enters the house in the first place.
It’s rare for a group of roommates to have entirely the same dietary preferences and needs.
So even if you’re trying to stick to greens and lean meats, you may find a welcoming bag of potato chips on the kitchen counter, on offer to the whole apartment.
The food other people bring into the house just ends up being another source of temptation on your path to eating healthy.
Living on your own, it’s much easier to stick to pre-approved foods. The easiest way to avoid unhealthy snacking is just to never bring unhealthy snacks into your home.
You may also want to check out these suggestions for how to shop for healthy foods.
An Enhanced Sense of Independence
The first few months of living alone may take some getting used to. But as you adjust to your new living situation, you may find that you really enjoy living alone.
You may even start to develop an enhanced sense of personal independence. You’ll know that you can rely on yourself to get your bills paid, to keep your possessions organized, and to keep your home clean without help from anyone.