Things that I have learnt…

I have been living away from home for 83 days, (damn is that all???) and I have learnt some pretty important life lessons, basic skills and generally easy things that I should have known how to do but didn’t until it came down to it. This post is a shout out to the naive 17 year old I used to be and you should maybe take notes if you are in grade 12 and are about to move out…

Okay, so let’s start with the essentials. Budgeting. The b-word. The hardest part of moving out is now you are in charge of your finances and therefore have to learn self-control if it wasn’t  a trait you didn’t already possess. Grocery shopping is a nightmare because there are so many foods that you are itching to place into your basket, like Connoisseur ice cream or those caramel latte sachets that aren’t actually that economical now that you really think about it. After spending my first weekend out on the town – trust me you are going to want to save your money now, (going out is so expensive wtf). Write a grocery list and stick to it!  And don’t go shopping when you are hungry because you will get home and realise all you have bought are chips, dips and nothing that you can actually cook a meal with.

Another thing: you are going to try so damn hard to fit in. Whether it is at your uni accommodation or your course, you are going to try to blend in in a desperate attempt to not be the ‘unique’ weirdo.  I tried to become the person I wanted to be in high school and it backfired. Not that dramatically, but it still backfired. I think I have finally found the balance now. People are going to tell you when you leave high school that now you can start fresh and ‘be yourself’. You will roll your eyes and ignore it. But the reality is, now is your chance to branch out and be yourself. Stop trying to place yourself in a triangle shaped box if you are a square. Uni is the place to be strange – because there are often people who are just as strange and want to be strange with you.

Top tip number 3, learn to cook more than five meals. Because it will be week 10 of living away from home and trust me, you will be sick of pasta and cheese by then. Take-out is too expensive and therefore not an option. You think you can cook because it looks easy when your parents do it? You are so wrong. Coming up with an idea of something healthy-ish to cook is so much harder than you anticipated. You will gain a new respect for whoever’s turn it was to cook back home. Taste.com (and calling your dad at 7am to figure out how the heck you can tell if bacon is cooked) will become your go-to. Also, don’t knock those Woollies recipe books, they are so good for meal ideas. Buy one of those ready-made jars of curry/frozen vegetable packets. They are idiot-proof (kind of) and are handy to keep in your cupboard/freezer.

Another thing you need to be able to do is take care of yourself. Eat vegetables. Buy sorbet that contains 42% fruit instead of 15%. Listen to your mum when she says “pack vapour rub and strepsils because you will get sick” and that kind of stuff is So. Very. Expensive. Exercise to combat all those terrible eating habits you have adopted now. Be able to look after yourself mentally as well. University is so damn stressful. You need to be able to have a day where you sleep and regenerate, (just don’t do it when you have assessment due the next day). Splurge and buy a book/coffee/that cute top from Topshop. Plan a day of study but then plan a day of fun as well. Go and lie down and stare at the stars, (admittedly you may need a car for this if you live in the city). Call your family and tell them you miss them (and your pet).

Ultimately you have to take care of you. And that’s essentially what being an adult is. Looking after yourself physically, spiritually and mentally, (that was so ‘Eat, Pray, Love’). Laughing at your mistakes, (i.e no, you can’t microwave melamine). Being responsible. Buying your own coffee and making your own doctor’s appointments. Learning that being drunk is not an excuse. Resisting the urge to buy olives because they are too expensive. But you got this. And I believe in you. You just gotta get motivated (and maybe even caffeinated).

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5 Things You Didn’t Realise You Took for Granted Until You Moved Out

After coming home for mid-semester break, (which definitely wasn’t long enough) I had the opportunity to not only remember what it is like to not have to watch how much internet data you are going through, but to be able to appreciate the finer things in life. Almost immediately after coming back to my stale smelling apartment however, I contracted an awful flu which I am still suffering from, (excuse me body, but I fed you a piece of fruit last week – how DARE you). But this has given me the opportunity to reflect upon what I took for granted when I was still at home…

1. Home cooking 

You honestly had forgotten what it was like to be able to eat a meal with more than one item accompanying it, (GOD, are you sick of pasta and cheese/2 minute noodles). Home cooked meals are not coveted enough if you ask me. The main ingredient: nagging about your poor eating habits with a side dish of “If you applied yourself and weren’t so lazy you could make this.” And the best part: not having to wash up.

2. Your Pet 

Do you remember all of those times when your pup was whining outside your door at 3 am, (because they want you to rub their belly just the right way) and you grumbled? Well now you long for the sloppy, wet kisses and that tail that always seems to be wagging. You didn’t realise how much you missed finding pet hair everywhere either. Your parents can call you anytime but unfortunately your pet hasn’t yet mastered the telephone…

3. Favourite Coffee Place

No matter where you are, you always have a favourite coffee place. That place that does your caramel latte just right. Where they know your name and life story because you went there everyday for nearly two months. That place where you can just walk in and they know your order. For me, this place is Frankie in Innisfail’s main street (the featured image for this post). Best. Damn. Coffee.  I am still trying to find a caramel latte that is up to the same calibre here in the big city.

4. Your Parents Doing Things for You

Okay so now that you are an ‘adult’ you have to do things like wash up, (without being told), do your laundry, book your own appointments, cook your own meals, set your alarms, make your own tea, buy your own food and proof-read your own damn assignments. But if we are being serious here, the hardest part about moving out of home is being able to balance all of this and be able to stay on top of your uni work. Sometimes at the end of the day you just want your mum to give you one of those amazing hugs and offer to pay for your food.

5. Full Pantries/ Not Having to Buy Groceries 

Speaking of food, the NUMBER ONE thing you take for granted when you live at home is food. You go home and there will always be something edible in the fridge or pantry, (even if it is just baked beans, slimy lettuce or last night’s Shepherd’s pie). Honestly the highlight of being back at home was not having to buy any food. Going grocery shopping with your parents is almost equivalent to going to a theme park – its exhilarating.  You want ice cream? Sure thing, chuck it in with the haloumi, olives and fresh vegetables, (Not those awful frozen homebrand mix bags). Oh man, budget, what budget?

So here I am, struck down with the flu once again, kind of on top of my assessment (not really) and with a sink full of dishes – haven’t been able to have any caffeine because of my flu but incredibly motivated to get better and survive the rest of semester one!