Moving out of a parents’ house is an inevitable stage of life for young adults. While it is definitely freeing and exciting, moving out is also challenging and scary.
Some Kenyan youths shared their personal experiences on this crucial stage and below are their stories courtesy of Nation.co.ke.
Lorgisa Rose, 24, recent graduate
I am yet to move out of my parents’ home. The thought itself is so scary!
What frightens me the most about going away is the idea of self-sustenance. A while back, I read a story of a lady who moved out of her father’s house but had to return just a few months afterwards because she just couldn’t keep up with the endless list of bills.
That was sad, and it taught me to stay put until I have a good strategy of how to survive on my own.
My plan was to move out immediately after college. One of the reasons for this is that I love art and I’m very creative, but my efforts to decorate my room were once met with very stiff opposition from my family. Also, I also wanted to put a bookshelf in my room but was told that I would do all that in my own house.
I like travelling and road trips and I couldn’t wait to get a place of my own where I could do what I wanted anytime I wished.
But now that I am wiser, I have come to realise that moving out is a project that requires meticulous planning, a good strategy and, of course, money.
At first the thought sounded like such a good idea, but not so much anymore because of the economic downturn and the high cost of living.
I am the first born in a family of five, and I want to be a good example to my siblings by making sound decisions.
I have now opted to stay with my parents for about two more years. By then, I hope to have secured a job and put in place a good strategy.
In the meantime, I have started investing and saving for this project. To raise money, I do a little farming and take up odd jobs. I have also taken up the 52-week-savings challenge, and I am sure that by the end of the year I will be in a good position to move out. I am also helping my parents to pay some bills at home so that I familiarise myself with some of the responsibilities I will later be required to shoulder.
Getting your own place comes with independence. You can do whatever you like whenever you want without having to seek permission. But this is not to say that staying with my parents limits my movement and activities. It’s just that I must be measured in my actions and must do without certain privileges.
My parents have consistently assured me that I am welcome to live with them for as long as I want, but sometimes I wonder if they will someday ask me to go, or if they are already pondering on how to tell me politely since I am the first born.
Also, I’m sure my sister is patiently waiting for that day so that she can take full charge of our bedroom. Could she be getting impatient?
Steve Adoh, 25, journalist
I was 18 years old and had just completed my secondary school education when I moved out. I was born and raised in Kibra, and I am the first born in a family of 11. Add that to the fact that I am male and you realise that the pressure on me to move out was intense.
I constantly felt that I had overstayed my welcome, and that the single room my parents owned was only fit for my younger siblings.
I also yearned for freedom because I felt like an adult. However, I soon realised that it all comes at a price.
My father was against my decision to move out since he thought it was not the right time, and believed that I should use the rent money to foot some bills in his house. However, my mother fully supported me
Looking back in retrospect, I believe I was not adequately prepared for the move, especially in terms of finances. On the day I moved out, I had nothing in my wallet but my identification card, which I used to find casual jobs in construction sites.
I also had the mattress I had used in secondary school, my mother’s old stove, a few utensils, a spare Sh1,500 and a very strong conviction that the future would be luminous. Armed with these, I stepped into the unknown.
Shortly afterwards, I found myself having to pay so many bills! I was so scared at first. There were many fears and uncertainties that I had to deal with but today, I am proud to say that I have metamorphosed into a clever survivor.
At Moi University in Eldoret, I was always the guy who ran several businesses, sometimes at the same time, just to afford my accommodation, upkeep and school fees. My parents believed that I was responsible enough and whenever they called, all they asked was if I had remembered to go to church.
Well, I believe I eventually lived up to their expectations. Moving out taught me to be independent, responsible and focused. I was determined to make a living and positively change the lives of my parents and siblings.
Sure, I have endured many challenges. I have, on several occasions, been locked out for failing to pay rent on time. Also, there was a time I spent most of my income buying things I did not need just to let my peers know that a boy from the ghetto can also live like a king, and it backfired. Through it all, I have learnt the art of saving, and to make only one step at a time.
Whenever I miss my family, I invite my siblings over for a few days.
To get to where I am, I have relied greatly on my parents’ nuggets of advice, and I now tell my peers, especially those who come from wealthy families, not to be in a hurry.
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