It's a little weird how living so far away from home is forcing me to do all sorts of things I never would have had to do if I was living at home. For example, I wouldn't have to pay (or bother) to do my own laundry, nor would I have to hunt for vegetarian-food-serving restaurants (or cook for myself). I wouldn't have to walk to college while it's raining bloody cats and dogs, and get completely soaked on the way, or pester my hostel-in-charge to come and fix the blocked sinks in my unit.
I also wouldn't be in a situation where I would find myself homeless in a month unless I arrange for some accommodation myself. I wouldn't have to call a dozen real estate agents, searching for a decent, affordable apartment that meets the varied specifications and expectations that my 4 flat-mates and I have. I wouldn't have to negotiate the rent down, pay commission to the agent, or sign leases.
But, after a couple of weeks and $60 worth of phone calls and messages, I finally have an apartment. And a really killer one at that. We sign something called the 'Letter of Intent' today, and the official lease/contract sometime next week. I have to say, I'm a little proud of myself for doing all this work. Even though I didn't actually manage to negotiate the rent of this place down by much, I did talk down the rent for two other apartments that we didn't end up taking, and I did it all almost by myself.
I don't know whether this experience and all the other experiences that I personally don't believe I'm old enough (or sensible enough) to be having right now are teaching me anything, or making me more mature and sensible. But I do hope they are. Starting April, I will be living completely unsupervised in an apartment with four other girls, and I really hope I'm ready for all the expected responsibilities (such as paying the bills and the rent on time) and the unexpected responsibilities that we will all have to bear. I'm actually an adult now; I'm growing up!
On a slightly related note: sometimes, the amount of independence I have here overwhelms me. It hits me at random moments: how I'm completely free to do almost anything I want. I have complete control over my expenditure. I can buy things that my parents certainly wouldn't let me buy if I was at home, I can go out and not have a curfew, I can skip a lecture and go shopping instead. I think this freedom actually teaches me more responsibility than I could ever have learned living at home. Maybe I actually can deal with having my own place better than I think I can.