Mar 07, 2012 2 Share

Learning to Live Independently

Black and white silhouette image of man alone in apartment.

In a few months, I will be graduating from college. This signifies that I have learned a lot about different subjects, some of which I will need in order to continue working, and some of which I will probably never have to use to any great extent. However, there are some things which none of my college studies have taught me, things I will need to learn in order to live more independently. 

I am going to have to learn how to shave by myself. Currently, my father and mother help me shave. I do not have the hand-eye coordination necessary to safely shave with a razor, so I depend on my parents to perform this duty. We are all intent on buying an electric shaver which I will be able to use effectively on my own. My parents have purchased several that have not worked out for me. I need to obtain one which is easy to use and which I can safely manipulate without accidentally cutting myself. If we can find one that works for me, it will be another step toward independence in my life.

I will also need to learn how to do my own taxes and pay my own bills. I do not worry too much about financial matters because my parents currently advise me and help me understand any financial transactions that I make. I learned about taxes in the money management course I took, but I have not yet put what I learned into practice for myself. After I graduate and have more time to devote to these issues, I want to learn all that I can so that I am able to manage my own finances. My parents have assured me that they will continue to help me in this area.

I will need to learn how to maintain my own apartment or house. I have lived with my parents for my entire life, and they have helped me to learn how to do many chores around the house. I can do the laundry, wash the dishes, clean the bathroom, take out the trash, make some of my own food, maintain my bedroom, and do some light cleaning. I go grocery shopping with my parents, but I will also need to learn to do this on my own. My parents are continually teaching me more and more tasks, and I know that in order for me to live independently, I will need to know how to do everything that is entailed in maintaining an apartment or house. 

If I do not learn to drive, I will have to learn how to navigate the public transportation that is available in my area or come up with a plan that will enable me to get around on my own. I am sure that with my parents’ help I will be able to come up with a plan of action and carry it out. I have no interest in driving yet, but there may be a time when I feel comfortable giving it a try.     

These are just a few issues that I have thought about and know I will have to work on in the coming days. I am sure there will be many new things that I will have to learn along the way and there will be challenges that I must overcome. With the help from my parents and a little bit of time, I know I will be able to make any adjustments that will be needed and make everything work for me. I have to remember that circumstances in my life will always be changing and I need to be willing to adjust and change with them.

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It is great that your son is able to learn to do that.  My hand-eye coordination has limited my ability to learn how to drive.  Presently, I do my college work online from my home.  Whenever I need a ride to the college campus, my parents provide it.  Thanks for reading my column.  I hope you enjoyed it.Ben



My 15 year old is learning this in ninth grade at high school.  Did they teach that with you?  How do you get to and from college now?