Stepping out

By Madhushala Senaratne and Himal Kotelawala

You're all grown up now… finished schooling and looking for a job or a university for higher studies. It's time to start thinking of a future of your own. In the back of your head, you know that a time will come, sooner or later, when you'll have to consider moving out… out of the place you called home all your life… to a new location… a strange land, if you will.

Circumstances will force you to make that tough choice – whether to go or stay back; it maybe because you have to go abroad for your education or work, or maybe you want to stop depending on your parents and live on your own, or it may even be because of marriage. People move out for various reasons.

Moving out is both good and bad. It's a whole new world out there, you've moved from the comfort and friendliness of the people and places you've known for years and been with for years. You move to some new place and it means starting the process all over again – making new friends, arranging your bedroom, packing-unpacking and so on.

But, on the other hand there comes a time in your life when you would have to move. You can't live with your parents all the time, you need some space, some freedom, and you need a home of your own to bring up your own family.

Moving out at a young age prepares you for this – especially if you are going for studies and you've got to live on your own. It's a learning experience. You will also learn responsibility, become independent and you would have to make decisions on your own.

But it can be a bit depressing, especially if you've spent your entire life with your mom, dad, siblings and other family members, spoiling you and doing things for you. So the shift and the sudden lack of that affection may come as a rude shock, but c'mon they can't be there for you always. You've got to learn.
It's hard to adjust to a new life and new home. Packing-unpacking, empty houses, new friends, old friends, from chaos to order (hopefully)…life's hard, change is hard. But you'll get used to it.

You may travel far, meet new friends and even settle down far away from where you first grew up. Sometimes you can't avoid moving out or sometimes you want a change. But one thing is certain – you'll never be able to replace what you called home, for, as the saying goes, there is no place like home… home sweet home…

We spoke to several young people on their thoughts on moving out.

Shabnam (28)
“I've always loved moving...to a new house, a new workplace, a different country. Despite the sadness of leaving the security of the known, the excitement and allure of something new is greater. Moving, in my life, has always been indicative of better times to come, new experiences and new friends, while still keeping the old. I think, overall, its something that enriches your life.”

Ravi (20)
“How I would feel actually depends on the kind of environment we will be moving into. Living with your family is always a good thing; however moving out to a better living environment can significantly enhance the quality of your life as well as the lives of your loved ones. Putting it simply, most of us who live in heavily urbanized neighbourhoods find it very difficult to actually live in peace.

Caring neighbours are always great to have, however when it comes to nosy neighbours I draw the line- same goes with nosy and caring. Personally I would recommend a certain amount of seclusion not to be mistaken for total isolation. Your children would need to learn to interact with the society at some point, so neighbourhoods actually provide this combined social environment which is essential.”

Shashini (22)
“Oh yes moving out.... First of all it's overrated. I know that because we'll b moving out in September to a new place. And of course we still haven't found a place to go. We have to pack all our stuff. And for that we have to find boxes to put the stuff in and bags, etc. It takes a hell of a lot of time to do that and you always forget something that you really have to take. Even if you double check after packing everything something is always left behind. And when you do realize that it's always too late. Your whole daily routine changes. The distance for the university or the work place and even the grocery store results in having to change the waking up time and even the meal times! And most of all you miss home and all the good things about it. When it's time to find a new place it can be quite a headache. So… I hate moving out!

Meerani (22)
“Moving out – going abroad for studies – I lived on my own for three years while doing my studies and now I'm working abroad…so a few more years on my own. It's good and bad. I miss home a lot; don't get to go home often. But now I've gotten used to life here, it's more like my second home. It might be hard when your really young and having lived with your parents all your life, it will be hard to live alone in some far away country. You'll be on your own and no one to actually guide you and watch over you 24/7, which is both good and bad. It all depends on how you handle the situation – for example, you go abroad for studies, but since you know that your parents are not there monitoring all your activities, you may end up cutting classes or taking up bad habits. So it's up to you to be responsible. After all when you go to university, you are over 18, so you are meant to be more adult-ish and mature. You should know what is right and wrong. You are not a baby anymore. Soon, it'll be time for you to marry and move out. So might as well get used to that. But that doesn't mean you have to forget your home or not go there at all, I know a lot of people who live abroad for so many years studying or working, but come back to their homes and parents. Like anything, it's got the good side and bad side.”

Manoj (21)
“I think moving out is great for us. After a while we find all these differences between ourselves and our parents, siblings etc....and there is more tension as we try to define ourselves and find out who we are we (at least I) find it really tough to NOT argue at every turn at home. Anyway.....this moving out thing is not so big in our society and those lucky enough are the ones that have other obligations like university or work away from home. Otherwise moving out is nearly unheard of in our society, isn't it? But I think moving out gives us the space we need to be ourselves and also, in a really big way, to appreciate the people we take for granted all the time… and them us!”

Shalini (25)
“Moving out is a scary thought, but then it gives you a bit of freedom, independence and also teaches a lesson or two about this world. So it's good in that sense, because you can't always live with your parents, you've got to move out and lead you own life some day. If you move out at a young age then you get used to this – especially things like cooking, paying you own bills, go finding the repair man and all that. It also teaches you responsibility, because you've got no one to depend on, you have to do stuff on your own (ok, maybe you can call your mom or dad if and when you need them). But then on the other hand, you miss home and this can be hard. But you'll get used to it. It's fun. You can party, no one to stop you. But then be careful. If a cop comes you'll have to deal with it on your own.”

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