Life at UCB through the eyes of our international student bloggers

What living alone has taught me

What living alone has taught me

Hi everyone,

As you probably know, I moved from Portugal to England two years ago and living alone was the scariest thing when I came to Birmingham. I wasn’t completely on my own as I moved with my boyfriend, but it was living without any family. Since I am the only child I should be used to it, but I wasn’t. In the first weeks I found it challenging to find a routine, because I needed to cook, clean, go to uni, work and also have my free time.  It took a while but now I am used to it, and I like it, but today I am going to share with you what I have learned.

1. You Don’t Know What You’re Capable of Until You Try

When I first arrived, I didn’t know how to cook, I had no idea how to organise my life between uni, work and home and I didn’t even know what to buy in the supermarket. So of course when I started a lot of things went wrong, like washing clothes, they were white and now they don’t exist anymore. When I cooked the food was without salt or even not prepared and then we needed to get a  takeaway. That was all in the beginning, nowadays I can do everything that I thought I was not capable of.

2. Improved my social life

This might be weird for some of you but the truth was when I first arrived I had no friends, so I use to spend my free time alone. For some people living alone can be really hard and they can start feeling sad or angry, but in my case, it was normal because I was adapting to a new country and a new routine. So nowadays I have my group of friends, I can say that living alone improved my social life because all my spare time is for them, I am always available to do anything, and I am happy that I’ve made my best friends.

3. You need to be organised

As I wrote some few posts ago, I am an organised person but when I first moved I was so upset with all of my disorganisation that I needed to start prioritising. I did this by making lists which is something that definitely still helps me.

4. Living on a budget

Living alone can be expensive so you probably need to consider budgeting. For example, in my case I always try to eat at home or bring my own food including my bottle of water.  This is usually because I don’t like the food in uni, so I prefer not spending money on that and save it for something that I like. Another example when I was living in Portugal, I used to buy clothes every week and nowadays you can count with your hands how many clothes I bought in the last year. I am not saying that you have to stop buying what you like, you just have to find a way to pay all of your bills and still have some money for you to do what you want.

5. The house will never be perfect.

This one I found this year because I moved to a new apartment. I clean it every week but the day after I clean it, it can become a mess again so I realised that I cannot clean every day I just need to accept that sometimes it will be dirty or messy.

I hope you enjoyed my post for you and if you still have exams to do –  GOOD LUCK,
See you next week,

Madalena Ribeiro

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