I Couch Hopped Long Term And Learned 10 Important Things

I Couch Hopped Long Term And Learned 10 Important Things

I don't suggest it for long term living, but a couch can be a humble home.
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I spent most of my high school career hopping from friends house to friends house. You may think, "yeah, so did every teen," but my parents essentially revoked their guardianship.

I didn't hop around for a weekend, but rather for a few months to a year. I became an expert on shrinking my amount of possessions and conforming to new household rules at a young age.

Resilient is my middle name.

As an adult, I have found myself in similar situations more than once. Sometimes I choose the couch and sometimes the couch is thrust upon me. If you're like me, the reason that you're currently residing on a couch is that you had to pick yourself up from a bad relationship that moved too quickly.

My current home is my good friend's leather loveseat and I anxiously await the hot Summer nights that shall stick my sweaty skin to the sofa.

My couch hopping experiences have come with a few cons (having your sleep disturbed, lack of privacy, etc) but I've come to learn that there are multiple pros:

1. You never need to invite friends over because they are right there in your room (the living room)

You may see this as a con, but I am a textbook ambivert— I enjoy being around people but it can be draining. Forbes describes a trait of an ambivert as "If I spend too much time alone, I get bored, yet too much time around other people leaves me feeling drained." Having your bedroom in the living room puts me in the perfect position. My roommates have to come to me, meaning I don't have to exert energy to socialize. They also have their own bedroom to hide away in if any of us get drained from our interactions.

2. Whenever someone cleans the living room they are also tidying up your room

It's a win-win situation.

3. If I clean up my room, I look like the model roommate who picks up the common areas

This makes for happy roommates.

4. Everyone is normally forced to watch whatever you are watching

After all, the TV is in your room.

5. You find a good amount of new shows and movies because you are also forced to watch what your roomie's watch

I had only seen some of The Office and Adventure Time before I moved in. I am forever grateful.

6. Rent is the cheapest it's ever been

I rushed out of that shared apartment with my ex. My friends were so understanding of my messy situation and they fairly charge me for my new, small space.

7. The commute to the kitchen

It takes only a few steps or a quick crawl to reach the fridge. I approve.

8. If someone's cookin', I can normally get them to share

I mean, I'm right here.

9. Your roommates may have some cool hobbies they do in the common area

For my roommates, that's music and art. My eyes and ears are always being blessed.

10. It's nearly impossible to have tense roommate situations

You would think that because we are around each other so often that we'd be at each other's throats. The contrary is true. I think we all understand each other's patterns well, thanks to these close quarters. It adds a whole new level of empathy to the mix.

Cover Image Credit: Devon Bennett

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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Summer = Rest?

Sometimes it feels as if we need a vacation... from our vacation.

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Ah summer: Popsicles and sun burns, mixed with fresh-squeezed lemonade that local kids are pandering to make enough money for Roman candles and Black Cats. The crack of the bat can be heard among the simmering charcoal grills and Troy-bilts humming through the ever-lasting sun. School is out and children are wild. It's a paradise.

Or is it?

But after countless sports camps and tournaments, other camps, vacations, school (?) events, traveling teams, VBS, summer seems to have been sucked fun-free.

Maybe it's Hollywood and Harper Lee's fault for giving us this utopian view of what summer should look and feel like (I'm looking at you Sandlot). But how can we really rest this summer? Because everyone needs some actual rest, even adults.

First thing is do NOT pack your summer full. Say no to some things. Coaches and Families can expect too much and it's okay to say no to them. You have to. There is no time for kids to be kids anymore.

Work can take a backseat. Vacations need to be taken. Families need to reconnect.

And for all my super-scheduled people out there, please PLEASE don't schedule out your vacation. Just enjoy it.

Another bit of advice would be to put away the technology and spend some time outside. When was the last time you tried to catch lightning bugs? Or went for a swim? Or listened to birds on your front porch?

I may sound like I have an old soul, but I really feel like we have lost this connection to the outside world. Summer is all about getting a farmer's tan and getting stung once or twice. I can guarantee you that's some of the best therapy in the world.

Maybe this sounds all over the place. Maybe this sounds like me ranting. And it probably is.

But I'm telling you that this stuff matters. Don't let summer whiz by and you arrive in August more drained that you were in May. Enjoy this time with family and friends.

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