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Living Independently June 27, 2011

Posted by pilibustero in Personal.
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Living away from home is a recurring idea that comes and goes in my mind since I decided to study in Los Baños almost a decade ago. Now it’s timely since we just moved in to our new apartment, relatively near to my workplace. The catch, however, is that I’m with Ive, of course. Well, speaking of living in together among couple, mostly students in this nature setting is a common occurrence. Not to mention the mostly co-ed arrangement in dormitories and apartments alike. This is also apparent among organizations (org houses). But this is done on assumption of regularity and wholesomeness.

This same setup reminds me of how my parents were surprised upon learning during a visit to our apartment that I am sharing the unit with my org mates (brods/sisses) before I graduated. Proactively though, by the time they arrived there, we were able to keep the bottles of alcohol and ashtrays off their sight.

Indeed, college living, hundred, if not thousand kilometers away from home, is once in a lifetime experience. Many students can share a wide range of formidable and unforgettable stories, some even become legends. For the well-off students, a fully furnished dormitory or apartment (the likes of Westbrook, St Therese, 5th of September, Del Ray, etc) is the ideal choice. But for struggling students, the modest dorms inside the campus (Men’s, Women’s, New, Vet and Forestry dorms) and the makeshift bed spaces (along Grove) are a better and affordable choices (actually you got no choice).

This is the reality away from home where no one could prevent or stop you from your indulgences, except maybe for lack of money and when neighbors alert the barangay due to excessive noise, either because of music or indiscriminate laughter.
When it comes to food, mostly I guess everyone has a piece to share on skipping meals or crashing on a friend’s house to partake of any food there is to survive the day while waiting for your allowance. Good thing for me, I was then staying in Ellen’s which allows me to add on my meals to my rent.

Nevertheless, I still had experienced skipping many meals and settling on the infamous pancit canton and bread diet for a week. We also have the toppings n’ soup and proven n’ rice meals or avail of the orientation-hoppings or open tambayan roundups. You just have to endure the long lines or the look in other’s eyes if you’re sensitive.

Well that was yesterday. Now that I am already working, and relies mainly on my minimal earnings from work, I can well avail of other things I don’t get used to avail, especially food or gadgets. But the challenge is to strike a balance in every aspect of my finances (read: budgeting). Unlike the budgeting in college, I am now on my own. I can’t afford anymore to just ask my parents or siblings that I needed this and that. In fact, by choice that, if possible, I tried to lend a little to them. Plus, as mother would always remind me, save on for the future.

So when Ive graduated last semester, we decided that it’s wise and economical to stay together and share on expenses. We got a two-bedroom modest apartment at a reasonable rate. Since it’s within a village and inside a compound, we find it relatively safe and quiet. And since its bigger than my previous houses the past 8 years, we’re opening it for transient friends and meetings of our orgs.

Indeed, the advantage of studying or working away from home enables you to stand on your own. You can opt to do what you want, but marrying independence with responsibility is another case.

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