In grade 12, as I was nearing my high school graduation and preparing to go to the University of Waterloo, moving out from my then-home in Whitby was inevitable. The notion of having my own space and total freedom seemed like a dream come true. Along with it, I had all of these far-fetched ideas of how I would spend my freshman year at university. The Emily of 2012 was someone who neatly packed her embroidered tea towels, china tea set, framed opera posters, and any other dainty lacy thing I had collected over the years, and imagined how I would deck out my new townhouse residence. After spending one day in said residence with my crazy roommates, I decided that living away from home was not for me. In fact, at the end of the first semester, I transferred to Ryerson and spent my time commuting from both my mom’s in Whitby and my dad’s in Toronto.
It’s been over four years since I decided for myself to make this move back home, and although I sincerely did miss the freedom of being able to do what I wanted, I still found that I was largely able to move about the city of Toronto (and Durham, when I went to visit my high school friends) as I pleased. The first couple years of this were perfectly fine, especially as my number of friends from back home sizzled down to a select few, most of whom regularly frequent Toronto anyways, while my social group living in Toronto began to expand. In many ways, I have been laying myself a foundation for eventually living in Toronto during this time; I am comfortable here, I am happy, and I can’t picture myself working anywhere else but in the city. Not to mention the perks of having constant access to concerts and events (and the subway), which are all extremely important things for me. There is no sense of isolation living in the city, unlike when I was living in Waterloo. Because of this, I have found myself contemplating more and more the idea of moving out and getting my own place to live.
Most importantly, because I can’t afford to live completely on my own and need a roommate, deciding who it is that I want to live with is a difficult task in itself. For the last several years, my friend and I have fantasized about living in California while going to school there; however, after I revoked my applications to U.S. schools post-election and Christian decided on taking a year off to work before his postgraduate schooling, I realized that I would have to consider having another roommate while I stayed in Toronto to complete my certificate program in marketing. Thankfully, one of my closest friends (who I have known since I was six years old) is looking to move out of her apartment and is more than willing to share a place with me. If I am being completely honest here, I already spend a significant amount of my time hanging out at her place, so we know that we not only get along well in a small space, but also have the same taste in décor (I’ve drifted from my Victorian manor style to a more modern, coastal vibe…although, I still want to keep my bedroom soft and feminine). We are also dead set on living in the heart of downtown Toronto, close to both work and school.
As we narrow down where exactly it is that we will be living and go to view different condo units, the fact that I am going to be moving out becomes increasingly real each time, and consequently makes me so much more excited. I can see my living space coming together in my mind’s eye. The desire for me to get my life together intensifies with each unit visit. To think that by the end of the summer, I will be living in my own space and have this extra responsibility – but also the total freedom that comes with it – is quite liberating.
When did you move into your first place? Do you have any tips or tricks for someone who is living on their own (outside of school) for the first time? Let me know in the comments!