Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Living alone

(This is an English homework).

Back in the early 90's I lived alone. Well, actually I had my sister as flatmate, but she had her own bedroom and was never at home, as she spent most of her time at her boyfriend's place. Nevertheless, it was a good way to assess the pros and cons of living alone. After two years of experience it's even possible to write a few lines on the subject.

It's obvious that the main advantage is the liberty. You can bring in your friends, your girlfriend (or boyfriend if you prefer), have a party any day without having to ask your parents. You can do whatever you please as long as you do not disturb your neighbours. On the other hand, this also means that you need to do all the house keeping: if you leave a glass in the sink, it will stay there forever unless you wash it. Some people claim that only after living alone they realize that the fridge does not get filled magically, the clothes don't get washed by themselves and the bills need to be actually paid.

As a result, you are forced to be very independent. After living alone, even a few blocks from your parent's home (and it was my case), it's easier to break the bonds and move to another city, another state, another country. Nevertheless, precisely because all kids eventually grow and this departure is inevitable, the parents should delegate tasks for the children since they are very young, as a preparation for the adulthood. The mother that crawls after her kids picking dirty clothes from the floor is raising spoiled children.

It could be argued that one may feel very lonely living alone. This is partly true as most of the time you are at home there's nobody else to talk with. However, if you work full-time and study, this may be a bless as you probably arrive home late at night and usually all you want is go to the bed. But in spite of this, it's up to you to have a healthy social life. Some prefer to hang out with friends, others prefer to watch a movie home alone. Nowadays the Internet can be a great way to stay in touch with friends and relatives.

There's a trend called Boomerang Generation, that refers to the young adults that choose to move back home with their parents after a brief period of living on their own, usually college, or to never move out in the first place. Other countries have adopted similar slang to represent this domestic phenomenon. In Italy, the term mammon, or "mama's boys" is used, while the Japanese refer to them as parasaito shinguru, or "parasite singles". In UK, they are known as KIPPERS (Kids In Parents' Pockets Eroding Retirement Savings).

To conclude, it's clear that living alone is a good thing for most young adults. Eventually every children will leave the security of the family home to start their own lives. Although both kids and parents are sure to worry, it's important to realize that this is just another passage in the growing-up process.

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