Living with roommates is great and is definitely something all university students need to experience at least once. But when the sun sets and you have a mountain of homework to get done, no one has washed their dishes, and the whole house smells like someone's bargain-brand scented candle—it's time to consider packing up and moving out.

Not only does living on your own give your free reign over your domain, it teaches you some things about yourself and the way the world works that you wouldn't have gotten otherwise. Here's ten confidence boosts to help you take that first step towards independent living.

1. Your house, your rules

No more petty fights with your roommates about what is and is not an acceptable place to store your bike or your vinyl record collection. When you live on your own, the only person you're responsible is yourself (and your landlord and parents, but that's a minor consideration). If you want to store your reusable grocery bags in the closet and your tops under the sink, you can.


2. You are your own DJ

There's nothing worse than coming home after a long day and hearing your roomie blasting the Busty and the Bass album again. You're in your zone and if you want to blare Beyonce and the Arkells on loop without a single interruption from t-swift, only the SPVM can stop you.


3. If curtains exist, pants don't have to

Summers are hot and winters are full of itchy wool. We all know the freeing feeling of getting home after a long down, flopping down on our beds, and shimmying off our jeans. We also all know the heartache of wanting to get a snack from the kitchen, and dejectedly pulling up a pair of shorts before we enter the common area. In a studio apartment, that heartbreak is dead and gone—put up some curtains to block your creepy plateau neighbors from peering in, and you can revel in your Risky Business impression non-stop.


Photo cred - Chris Ford

4. Cook anything you want

Montreal is dripping with speciality markets that sell all sorts of pungent delicacies for you to feast upon (kimchi/brussel sprouts/fermented shark). But what's the point of coming home from Schwartz's with multiple pounds of smoked meat if your roommates is just going to spend months complaining that the house smells like a deli? In your kitchen, the obstacle is your wallet, so go ahead, reheat yesterday's fish in the microwave.


5. The sink may be full of dishes, but they're your dishes

Maybe this one's a little gross, but we all know a mess is only truly upsetting when it's someone else's mess. If you're a clean freak, living alone will finally give you the sanity you've craved. If you're a natural-born slob, who cares if you left last month's dished to fester in the sink? You can always buy new ones at dollarama if the damage is irreversible.


6. Bringing hookups back home with you

Everyone knows Montreal is one of the friendliest cities in the world—from our bars crawling with brand new friends to the local markets filled with smiling faces, you need to have a heart of stone not to have at least one friendly interaction with a stranger each time you go out. And with all that kindness comes a ton of new friendships and if your lucky, romances. So don't let your roommates 9 p.m. bedtime keep you from schmoozing and socializing—get your own place and the party doesn't stop until you pass out. Plus you can be as loud as you want (*wink*wink*).


7. You can release your inner interior designer

Don't be forced to cram all of your posters, photos, instagram prints, and throw pillows in one forlorn bedroom. When you have a single apartment, every single room is just dying to be decorated by you and you alone. Don't be locked into shared common room furniture that you would kill to repaint, instead move into an empty studio, hit up your local Free & For Sale facebook group, and furnish, arrange, decorate until you actually feel at home.


8. Privacy is a given

Yes, you love your roommates, of course you do, that's why you lived with them in the first place. But you're lying to yourself if you haven't at least once come home, desperate to have some alone time to deal with your thoughts and emotions, and had your live-in bestie plop on your bed and spend hours showing you the great deals she found at Eva B.'s. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and when you live alone you'll put more effort into seeing the people who really matter, without having to sacrifice your personal space.


Photo cred - mommyshorts

9. Independence is synonymous with adulthood

Why the hell are all of my bills in French? Did Bell shut off internet without telling me? Is the water in the sink supposed to be scalding hot? Did I get evicted or am I just drunk and trying to open someone else's door? It's the little things you have to deal with when living alone that will make you respect your parents more and teach you how to handle stressful situations just like a grown-up would.


10. You'll learn more about yourself than you ever thought possible

Maybe its the tangible silence that comes with an empty home, or the inability to wake someone up when you're stressed, hungry, or drunk, but living alone forces you to be stuck with your thoughts ready you were ready to deal with them or not.  You'll have moments where you're terrified late at night, moments when you'll question the sensibility of attending a Quebec university, and moments where you want nothing more than to unplug the WiFi and stay in bed all week. These moments will help define you, and they'll all be worth it.

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