I’ve been MIA for a bit, but was because I was frantically packing and moving down to start school in the fall!
There was a time (after I watched Silence of the Lambs as a kid) when I vowed I would NEVER live alone. It was scary, and boring besides. Now here I am, just a few days removed from a life filled with constant roommates and little personal space, with my own apartment at grad school.
I debated whether to live alone or with roommates. During my childhood, I always shared a room and my first two years of undergrad I lived in tight quarters with 1-3 other people. My junior and senior year I lived in three-bedroom apartments with roommates, though I had my own room. Roommates bring down the cost of living a decent amount – you can share appliances and electricity bills so no one roommate has to pay for everything. If you’re friends with your roommates, there’s also the added social bonus.
In spite of the fact that I loved my roommates last year, there were a number of times that I opted to join them in a Pretty Little Liars marathon or an extra episode of Bridezillas when I really should have been getting work done. Occasionally, they would have guests over when I needed quiet to study, or they would be trying to study during my down time and I would feel guilty having friends over. And this was all the scenario if you got along perfectly well with your roommates!
When it came down to it, having a roommate you do not get along with can ruin an experience more than anything else. You can escape from a bad professor or a fellow student you do not like, but when you nemesis lives with you, there is no sanctuary. I like to think I am an agreeable roommate, but when someone is just mean-spirited I feel like I can’t relax around them. I also like to be able to make the calls like “I’m busy, I can do these dishes later tonight” or “I want to leave my painting supplies out on the kitchen table” and not have to worry about these choices inconveniencing or angering a roommate.
So, in the end I chose to live alone my first year of graduate school. I was slightly worried that this would lead me to not be “social” enough, but so far it hasn’t deterred me from getting out and meeting people. Now decorating the place is an entirely different story!