As more young Singaporeans seek independence and autonomy over their lives without having their parents look over their shoulders all the time, there is now a stronger appeal in moving out, and into temporary accommodations like a short-term apartment rental in Singapore. That being said, this is an undertaking that requires a great deal of thought and consideration into various factors before making a decision. In this article, we interview Lia, a 25-year-old Singaporean who will be sharing her experience living on her own in a co living space in Singapore, as well as the lessons learnt throughout her journey.
Hi, Lia! Thank you for giving up your time to share your story. Let’s start from the beginning — what made you decide to move out of your family home?
Hi! Thank you for having me. Well, like most Singaporeans, I had been living with my family for the majority of my life. Unlike countries like the US, we rarely move out even after starting university, and even then, we stay on campus until we graduate and then move back home. I started living independently for a couple of years during my undergraduate education and was determined to continue having that independent lifestyle that I had grown to love and appreciate — so I moved out and stayed in a room for rent in Singapore.
How different is it living alone as compared to living with your parents in their home?
Living with my parents, there was definitely less to worry about in terms of finances, like paying the bills and so on, but since I’ve started living on my own, it has been distinctly more peaceful, and I also have less accountability towards my parents. I don’t mean this disrespectfully, of course, but as a young adult, I want the freedom to live on my own terms, even when I make mistakes, as I’ll learn and grow from those experiences. This freedom is definitely worth the financial tradeoff, in my opinion.
What are some of the positive and negative experiences you’ve had living alone?
There has definitely been a mixed bag of good and bad experiences, but either way, I’m thankful to have been on both ends of the spectrum. For instance, I enjoy the company of my close friends, and as I’m living on my own in a co living space in Singapore, I’ve been able to host them without concerns over noise, or whether it would be awkward for my parents to have a bunch of friends over for hours on end.
On the flip side, living alone means that I am fully responsible for the upkeep of my apartment. Ultimately, these experiences have helped me mature as a person.
What is something that you’ve learnt to appreciate more since moving out?
You know, with fewer responsibilities and worries back in my parents’ home, I’ve been able to enjoy better and more peaceful sleep. That has become a luxury since I moved out. There’s always something to do, or plan, or fuss about; your mind doesn’t stop thinking about the next thing to check off on your to-do list. So, on slow days when I don’t have much to do or think about, I’ll try to catch a few more winks.
If you could turn back time, would you still move out?
Absolutely. Despite the challenges involved, the peace and quiet I get before and after work is well worth the hard work. Singapore is so small and congested sometimes that it’s not easy to get away from all the noise and have a moment to myself. Staying in a room for rent in Singapore is like having my own sanctuary to stew in my own thoughts and reflect on the day that has just gone by.
Moving on to more specific decisions, why did you choose Coliwoo when you moved out?
So, I live in Coliwoo Boon Lay, a co living space in Singapore, and people might get the impression that it’s tucked away somewhere obscure like NTU, but it’s actually reasonably convenient — it’s near Boon Lay MRT, as well as bus services that can take me to many parts of Singapore. It is also close to Jurong Point if I need to go on a quick grocery run. Additionally, I like my peace, and Boon Lay is one of the more peaceful neighbourhoods in Singapore, from my experience. There’s not much going on after the sun sets, and I like it that way.
Lastly, for anyone looking to move out and start their own lives like you have, what should they consider before doing so?
I empathise with anyone who craves the freedom that comes with living independently, and I do feel like it will be a positive experience for most. That being said, you’ll have to grow up really quickly and be responsible for everything that goes on in your apartment. This includes chores and financial considerations like rent and other bills. If this is something you’ve never done before, then I think you should weigh those responsibilities and be honest with yourself about whether you can handle them. Regardless, if you’re still keen to dip your toes into the water, then consider a short-term apartment rental in Singapore so you’re not tied down to a long contract if you ever find yourself unable to cope.
— Lia Tan, 25, self-employed ontological coach & educator
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