Moving away for the first time can be an experience that is both daunting and exciting in equal measure. Not only is there the possibility of making new friends and ending up in bizarre situations, the changes you experience will set you up for life. That being said, there's a couple of changes that are going to take some getting used to:
1. Friendships become your life:
Whether you're moving away for college or after you graduate chances are that unless you roll with a vast entourage consisting of your entire social circle, you're going to be leaving a lot of friends behind. While you might make friends with new people who'll always be having an 'iconic house party', remember those who made you the person you are today.
Don't turn into the friend who says "Hey, I haven't seen you in forever! Let's meet up!" and then doesn't respond with actual plans for six months. Though if the friends you make in college are sounder than your home friends, that's okay too.
2. The lack of Mammy means you can literally eat anything:
Instead of Mammy doing the weekly shop you will be left to fend for yourself in the aisles to source all your weekly needs. Slagging your Mam for caring about the essentials of 'bread, butter, and milk' is now your destiny, child. Learning what's decent toilet paper is a life skill you never knew you'd need, but you will learn it, the hard way.
The good news? You can fill your presses and belly full of chocolate spread and colorful cereal and nobody can say nada to you.
Top tip: Avoid any jumbo packs of toilet paper with a cost price of below €1. Quality matters, but if you go triple-ply you are an irresponsible hedonist who wants to see the world burn around you.
3. The word 'broke' is your new best friend:
You'll miss those days when you could take advantage of a fully stocked press and as you buy essentials like those fancy teabags you like, and fresh bread, you'll notice a sharp decline in your bank balance. Food, especially free food, is a luxury. If anyone hands out free food on campus or if there's an event with free food - GO!
4. You're no longer the bee's knees, you're the Queen:
Now you've moved to the big city, you have some serious competition but that's okay. You might have come from a small town but every Queen needs a new hive.
5. Let the experimental phase begin:
A move away from home means that you're no longer creatively stifled and if you choose to, you can stay awake till 6am. This is a bad idea, especially if you're moving away from home and have real responsibilities.
Take this time to be as experimental as possible but without derailing your life. Find that 'healthy balance' between self-sabotage and fulfilling a teenage fantasy. If you make a mistake, that's okay! Your family and BFF are only a phone call away... unless mad-new-you loses your phone or drops it down a toilet.
6. Sharing a house with strangers is in your future:
Growing up with siblings you learn that there's not a lot of boundaries. Stealing your clothes, food, and friends is the daily duty of any sibling.
When you move away, you're living with people who may or may not murder you in your sleep. The reality is you can't 'borrow' their clothes, food, and cosmetics like you use to and without asking. If they're angry at you for taking their stuff, you can't turn around and say "Well, Mam bought it for you so it's technically mine!". In short, strangers won't put up with your shite.
7. Neighbours don't always become good friends:
While you might have known everything about everyone in your hometown, your neighbours in your new home may as well live on Mars. You're more likely to spot a yeti than see your elusive neighbour in the city you call home, that is until the day you decide to host a project x party.
8. Dealing with public transport is 'interesting':
Transportation in your hometown might simply have been a taxi driver who goes by their second name and a bus that runs to the next town on the weekends. Now you'll be dealing with buses full of people who want to sit beside you and taxi drivers who'll refuse to bring you home if they're not getting a decent fare.
The benefits of transport? A train or bus trip back to college after a weekend at home means lots of gossip to share and making concrete plans for the week ahead.
9. The overwhelming feeling of doom will pass:
Even though your fears of moving away are legitimate, soon you'll be a dab hand at doing the shopping; a washing-machine cycle genius, and those strangers will become solid friends. If it doesn't work out, well, you can always move home.