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Readiness to Live Independently

Page history last edited by Holly Swyers 6 years, 6 months ago

How do you know the right time to start living independently?

Decades ago, the norm was to follow the same structure in life. This usually resulted to everyone living the same life or else you could have been looked down on by others. Some of the norms included: going to grade school, women doing housework, men working, not living independently from your parents until marriage, waiting till marriage to have kids, and always being financially stable with the help from your family. Nowadays, the norm is to do the exact opposite, and there is more personal freedom & options for young adults. Choosing the right time to start living independently is an individual’s personal choice based on how ready they are in life.


Being Financially Stable

It can be very expensive and difficult to start living independently. The transition from being financially cared for by your parents or guardians to being financially independent is difficult.  There are many different expenses that a young adult takes on when living independently, such as rent/mortgage, food, utilities among other things that people don’t realize and are able to plan for when they make this decision. Financial stability is a big point for many people, including Dolly Nabokov, who stated, “The big part of it is financial independence. It is very important to be financially independent if you want to live by yourself.” Living independently does not mean that you live alone and your parents still pay for everything, it means that you are independently responsible for being financially stable in order to provide a place to live.


Acquiring a job

Acquiring a job is the best way to become financially stable and to start living independently. Out of the 21 people who were interviewed, 8 of them stated it is appropriate to move out of your house once you have secured a job that you plan on having for some time. The stability of having a job is a way to start earning an income and paying your own way through life. It is close to impossible to start living on your own without having a job unless you were responsible enough to save a percentage of your previous paychecks or birthday money, but even then, the bills will start to pile up. A lot of times once you get your first job and start receiving a steady paycheck every other week so you can make a smooth transition to living on your own. “I accepted my first job in a city outside of my home and I’ve never lived home since then,” said Bonnie Fitzgerald who was responsible and smart when she began living independently. 


Graduating from school 

The best way to start living independently is to get a degree and attend Graduate school. Having a degree other then your high school diploma can give you more opportunities when looking for a job, and will help you become financially stable. Earl Van stated, “Once I went to grad school I became more independent,” which is exactly what you want to be able to start fully taking care of yourself and live independently.



There were many people who stated it all depends on your circumstances and the type of people are around. Some people like Marco Cain and friends of Gordon Kennedy were kicked out by their parents. A few people moved out because they had a significant other they wanted to live with. Another man, Earl Van, has been completely financially stable since he was 30. However, even after he got married and had kids, his parents would still give him money here and there or buy him groceries, “Like when my dad comes to visit he will buy food for the week that he is here. So even now I am still not completely independent."


Emotionally ready 

There were many people who agreed you need to be emotionally ready to live on your own. You need to know yourself and be comfortable living alone, even if that means living with your significant other. Dolly Lewis explains, “It’s important for people to live alone even if that’s with someone you are in a relationship with because that’s something a little bit different than living with a roommate. Having your own home makes you independent." You should be emotionally ready to take on the big change in your life. And according to Michael Lee, “You just know."


This page was developed from interviews with:

Felix ClansyCindy AdamsBonnie FitzgeraldMarco CainGordon KennedyEarl VanDolly LewisMichael LeeDolly Nabokov



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