Being independent at a young age
22nd January 2015
When I was about 8 years old I went to Brownie camp and I hated every minute of it. I remember being so excited about a weekend away with my friends doing fun activities, but instead I cried all the way home and begged my parents never to let me go again.
From that moment onwards I thought I would be a home-bird forever. I think my parents thought so too. I thought it was homesickness, but now I look back and realise it was probably more the fact that we had to be independent; learn how to cook, clean up after ourselves, etc.
I moved out when I was 18. I was fortunate in that I had a good home life and it wasn’t because of my family that I moved out. I moved out because I wanted bigger things and I didn’t want to wait. I’d fallen in love with a city and I was prepared to do anything to be there; even end up in approximately £45,000 worth of student debt.
I remember the day I moved into halls and waved to my parents as they left. Reality hit me like a ton of bricks. I’d never used a washing machine before or cooked more than a handful of dishes. I’d never had to clean a kitchen or a bathroom before.
I kind of went into survival mode. I was facing my fear of independence.
It definitely helped that I wanted to be in Liverpool. I think that was my motivation to stay even on the dullest days. If I’d lived in a place I didn’t like I honestly don’t know if I would have stayed.
I came home a lot in my first year of uni. I can honestly say that I was homesick because I lived in the crappiest room known to man and I missed my bed dearly. I also missed my parents and Tyrone.
I moved home in the March of my first year for summer because my lectures had finished and I saw no point in staying. I loved being home and I worried that I might even get a bit too comfortable back in Shropshire. The worries soon evaporated when I got a terrible job in a supermarket and realised that if I stayed, that would be my life.
So keen to get away again, I moved to back to Liverpool in August 2013 and brought Tyrone with me. We found our little flat and settled quite quickly. I was happier because I was living in a much better environment and because I had a piece of home with me; my boyfriend.
Even after moving in with Tyrone I still considered myself to be very independent. I turned 21 at the beginning of this month, but even before the age of 20 I had managed to rent a flat, sort out electricity and water bills, and deal with the council (and their uselessness) on several occasions. When I look at that I realise that not many 19 year olds I know have had to do those things, and to me that is a huge mark of independence.
I like being independent and I like being independent at such a young age, even though it isn’t always easy. Sometimes I want to throw it all in and move back home to feel safe and to be free from worries, but that’s just boring.
If you were to ask me what I thought my greatest achievement has been in my university life I would probably push aside the 1st class grades in my first and second years, and the highest score in the class on a phase test. I would say my greatest achievement has been moving out and staying out.
If you are at that point in life where you are wondering if you should become a little more independent then do it! Take that leap, no matter how scared you feel. The sooner you do it the easier it will be. The more time you spend considering it, the more you will talk yourself out of it.
I’m not so afraid of being independent any more because I am.
Thanks for letting me share my thoughts with you.