How I moved out of my Parent's house.
So let me tell you my story, and how I ended up in Savannah, GA, of all places, having been born in California, and since lived with my parents in Louisiana, Massachusetts, and finally Rhode Island before I graduated High School and moved out on my own to Ann Arbor, MI.
After high school I moved out on my own. I had absolutely no experience being on my own, and really no good reason to do it. Everyone else was going to college and I understood that I knew way too little about the world to just jump into a college major and decide on a "fate", if you will. I had to go find out about the world around me, I just knew it, but I had no place to start! I couldn't remain idle forever, so I told my parents I was going out there to check out colleges. As little as they bought this, they let me go anyway, because well, what could they do? They thought I'd be back in a matter of weeks. Boy, were they wrong. I've been gone for 11 months, and loving every second of it.
So I flew out to Michigan and moved into a little dorm-like apartment with someone I met on Craigslist (I know, I'm crazy!), using the money I got by selling my car on Craigslist, I had just enough cash for two months worth of rent, giving me just enough time (hopefully) to get a job. It turned out to be the best thing that I've ever done.
I chose a college town because I knew that positions at restaurants and stores are always changing availability, as students come and go, and figured if I applied to every single place that I could, I'd eventually get some sort of job. Well, lucky as I am, (or strategic, since I made sure I was applying a few months before college got in ), there were tons of stores in downtown Ann Arbor that had help wanted signs on the windows. I applied to every one that I could, despite my lack of experience at certain things (like cooking, or waiting, or bartending). And lo' and behold, I got called back.
If I recall, I got called back by a Noodle place, Panera Bread, Underground Printing ( a cool local shirt store ), and Starbucks, right off the bat. Well my roommate's mom (being so motherly and cool) told me about how her friend was employed at Starbucks and said it was one of the best things she ever did, mainly because of the benefits.
So Starbucks called me back and told me to come in for an interview, and being exposed to that hype, I was extremely nervous for it. By this time I had a job at two other places, one being Underground Printing, and one being the Ulrich's bookstore at the University of Michigan campus. I was already set, but the hours were all over the place because I was working at two different places part time. I was hoping that I could ask to work full time at just Starbucks, which would enable me to focus my energies on only one kind of work.
Well the interview came, and the barista giving the interview was kind enough to offer me a free beverage. I picked something highly caffeinated, and since I was kind of sensitive to it at the time, it made me a little hyper.... Okay, I was off the walls, but apparently high energy and talkativeness are traits that managers like to see in their baristas. I was liked, and hired a week later. I think I lucked out on that one, but for the future, I will always remember to grab a coffee before an interview.
So I got a job doing something fun- making coffee drinks. Now at first it was the HARDEST WORK IN THE WORLD, but after about 4 months I became quite pro at it, having worked full time at it, and while it was still some of the most grueling work I've dealt with, I realized that if I only worked a certain amount of hours (less than 30, more than 20), it actually gave me energy instead of taking it away. I was figuring it out; I was figuring finances out, and I was figuring life out.
So if I were to do it all again, what kind of steps would I follow to ensure smoothness? I think it would be somewhere along these lines:
1. Pick a place. (College campuses are GREAT PLACES)
I chose University of Michigan because I wanted to try something new and different. I also figured that since it was a college campus, positions would be opening during the summer for the upcoming school year, and I could be around my peers without actually going to college. This was the smartest decision I've made to date.
2. Have enough money
You need to have enough money for a few months rent, or hotel fees if you don't want to sign a lease, on the occasion you don't get hired and need to get back home. In that case you'll also need cash to get back if worse comes to worse. Most likely though, this won't be an issue, if you...
3. Apply EVERYWHERE YOU CAN!
I was lucky to get a job so quickly, but chances are if you just go to the place and apply EVERYWHERE, you will have a great chance of being called back. Remember, during an interview be smart (read a book before), be happy, and be caffeinated! If you get a job that's not great, and then get called back at another one that is more interesting to you, by all means drop that job and go work at the other one. Just make sure to drop it only if you're hired at the new place, otherwise you may be left with no job at all.
Start to realize what your needs are financially. Do you need $400.00 a month for rent? Then work enough to cover that. Do you need $200.00 for food per month? Then work enough to cover that. If you want cable and internet, by all means work that into the equation, but I think that they're a waste of money, mostly because there's never anything on TV, and there's free WIFI at nearly every coffee shop in America now.
And that's it!
These were the steps that allowed someone like me, a 19 year old with little experience with work and just a high school degree to get a job I loved 1 thousand miles away from home. The benefits and experiences you get while being on your own are many, so go for the goal and make your way in the world! You just got to do it!
Now I'm doing it all over again, but fortunately Starbucks allows transfers to different stores, so I don't need to apply to other places, I just pick the area and start working at a Starbucks again. I'm moving to Savannah, GA and got a job downtown at the Starbucks on SCAD campus! I'm really excited to begin my next adventure.
And now it's time for you to begin yours.