There are three lessons I have begun learning recently, that I know are changing me for the better. The first: the world is full of surprises. The second: independence is easier said than done. The third: everything will work itself out in the end.
Spring semester, I didn’t really know what I was going to be doing for the summer. For a while, I was looking for internships. Then, I was looking for summer camp jobs. Then, I just started looking for jobs in general. I applied to a few places in Chapel Hill, thought I got a job, looked for a room, didn’t hear from said job, and moved home. Then, I got a call from my favorite restaurant on Franklin Street – Supdogs. And all of a sudden, I was packing up, and moving to Chapel Hill for the summer.
Well, technically, I still haven’t moved yet. I am currently sleeping in an empty room in the house of one of my sorority sisters (shoutout to Ashley for letting me crash for a few days). Then, I will go home, get my things, and officially move into an apartment. This weekend will be one of my last in Mount Airy for a while.
This summer, I am paying for everything – groceries, rent, parking spot, gas, etc. For the first time in my life, I am going to attempt to be financially independent from my parents. And guess what? I’m terrified.
I have always been a fairly independent person. As a kid, I never wanted my parents to help me with my homework. As I got older, I gradually kept seeking out doing things on my own. I guess another word that could be used to describe me is headstrong – sometimes I tell everyone I can do things by myself, but in all honesty, I have no idea what I’m doing.
I’m not good at saving money – something that I have to work on this summer, since I will be in charge of my own finances. I have to stop impulsively spending money on burritos and clothes. I’m creating a budget for the first time in my life so that I won’t spend my money as soon as I get it.
I have to learn to eat healthy, and cook for the first time since getting to college. Gone are my days of only eating Cookout and Moe’s. It’s time for me to learn to stir fry for just one person, and then live off of the leftovers for a few days. This is not off to a great start, considering I’ve eaten burritos for every meal this week. It’s time for me to learn to actually stick to a cleaning schedule, so entering my bathroom does not require a Hazmat suit.
And yet, I am so thankful that I get to have this slightly terrifying experience. I’m glad that my parents trust me enough to let me live on my own. I’m glad that I am working at a real job for the first time in my life, and getting to work at a place that I truly love to spend time at. I’m glad that I get to spend two months in my favorite place on Earth, with no stress except making money and keeping myself alive.
Summer sixteen, watch out – I’m comin for ya.