There comes a time in every person’s life when they have to leave their childhood home. This is not always a sad experience. It is an opportunity for people to grow up, make their own decisions, and create their own path in life.
Although there are benefits to staying at home, such as saving money, there are also many reasons why young people should try to live on their own for at least a little while. Being alone grants a person skills that will become useful throughout life.
Single-Person Households are Very Common in the U.S.
In many Asian countries, young people tend to live with their parents well after they finish university. They only move out when they get married but, otherwise, they stay in their childhood homes, take care of their aging parents, and save up for when they have a family of their own.
In the United States, on the other hand, it is not unusual for a person to leave home when they turn 18 and even before they find a job. In fact, as of 2019, there were an estimated 34.75 million single-person households across the nation. That number has been increasing gradually since the ‘60s.
Knowing How to Man the House
Living alone means that only one person is responsible for the apartment or house. For all the expenses — from grocery items to plumbing — the money comes out of your pocket.
Unless you have a really generous-paying job, you would have to learn to do a few things on your own. You would have to change the lightbulb on your own and paint your own walls. Calling an electrician or a contractor for these tasks would be too expensive and is not worth the hassle.
There are, of course, some tasks that you are not expected to do. A siding repair job, for example, requires expert hands. A broken heating and air conditioning system also would benefit from the mastery and skill of someone who knows the machine well.
In addition, living alone can teach you skills that used to be associated with women, but will become useful in the future. In a married couple, women are expected to be organizers who create the plan, compute the budget for the month, and do household chores. When a young man lives alone, however, they assume all of these roles.
Learning to Maintain a Level of Social Connections
Those who live alone are not alone all the time. One study found that, compared to those who live with another person, people who live alone are able to maintain a higher level of connection outside of their household. This means they meet and hang out with family and friends regularly.
A lot of adults are actually very lonely. A survey conducted in the United Kingdom found that one in 10 adults does not have someone to call a close friend. Meanwhile, one in five people feels unloved.
Maintaining social connections is necessary for a person’s mental health. A friend is someone with whom you can be yourself without judgment. They provide support during good or bad times, improve your confidence, and increase your feelings of belongingness.
Adults tend to lose their social connections as they grow older. Many start a family, are too busy with work, move to another city, or develop other interests. While you are meant to form new relationships, some adults do not. Nearly half of all American adults find it a challenge to meet new friends.
Living alone as a young person teaches you the skills you need to maintain relationships despite major life changes and to meet new friends in the future.
You Get to Know Yourself Better
Living alone is a challenge. You are bound to face some problems along the way that will test your wit, your courage, and your strength. Because you can only rely on yourself, you discover things about yourself that you did not think you are capable of.
Even if you are scared of spiders, for example, you have no choice but to face your fears because no one will do it for you. If you overspent because of an expensive and unnecessary purchase, you have to deal with the consequences of your actions.
These experiences build strength, confidence, and character.
Leaving the nest and creating a life of your own far from your parents is a terrifying yet exhilarating experience. Young people should live alone if they can to gain skills and wisdom that they otherwise might not learn from lingering inside their comfort zone.