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Moving-Out Teen: A Survivor's Guide

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Moving out from your parent's house sounds like a lot of freedom (oh, trust me... it is!), but with that comes a lot of "responsibility." While that word may sound soul-crushing at first, it's a gigantic new chapter in your life that will ultimately prove to be a very exciting change if you're properly prepared for it.

When I moved out, I didn't stay in the same state. Not only did I not stay in the same state, I moved to the complete opposite side of the country! It was definitely frightening moving to a completely new location away from everything and everyone I've known. There were a few bumps in the road and a lot of changes I had to make to adapt as well. For those of you about to flee the nest as I just did, I have a few pearls of wisdom to consider before you go.

Challenge #1: FOOD!
One of the biggest changes I faced when moving out was food. Sometimes you just take things for granted. After years of living off of my mom's home cooking, I'm now responsible for buying my own groceries and feeding myself. Now of course, you could go through a drive-thru every night and call it dinner (no, seriously don't), or ask your parents or an older sibling about the basics BEFORE you move out. You should know WHAT to buy at the grocery store and HOW to cook a few basic items. Pasta, chicken and vegetables are all easy things to prepare. They're also delicious and healthy! Don't forget you'll have to stock up on things like salt, pepper, ketchup... things that were just sort of always around at home. The Internet is a great place to find easy recipes that shouldn't take much skill to master. But for those of us who are more challenged when it comes to cooking, frozen dinners and takeout will become your new best friend. I'm pretty sure I've ordered takeout every single day of the week for one week straight once... and I regret nothing!

Challenge #2: You mean I have to build furniture?
Since I moved across the country, pretty much the only things I brought with me were my clothes. A couple days into the move, I came to the realization that my apartment was completely empty of furniture. Well, there's a place on this earth where furniture is cheap yet difficult to put together thanks to the text-less instruction manual, and that place is called Ikea. Ikea became my new best friend, too. However, despite its instructional manuals being hard to follow, I definitely recommend Ikea when it comes to finding furniture for your new place. The furniture is inexpensive and comes packed into small boxes (I was shocked when I saw how small the box was for my queen-sized bed), which makes them easy to bring home. The instructional manuals are hard to follow because they consist of just pictures -- no text, but no worries. They have a help line. USE IT!

Challenge #3: Siri, call "Mom"
Being in a new location that you're not used to is definitely something that takes a lot of adapting to. Personally, I grew up living in the same town my entire life. It was a place I knew my way around and was comfortable with, so when I moved across the country I often got homesick in the beginning. Trust me -- no matter how much you may hate the town you live in now, you'll miss it to death the second you leave. It's just how it works. There's definitely a lot of things you can do to get over your homesickness though, like calling your family... daily (hourly?), or just keeping in touch with friends from home. I also like to make trips back home every once in a while just to take a break from life and see everyone again. You've probably moved out for school or work, so try to keep your mind focused on your goals like homework and completing projects. It helps.

So while moving out from your parent's house comes with a lot of responsibility, it's a new chapter and an exhilarating one at that. There's a lot of changes to get used to, but approach this with an open mind and know some days may be just a bit harder than others. Meet new people, take risks and take every opportunity to explore your new city. You'll feel at home soon!

Check out the most recent episode of Jenn's teen reality series, "The Jenn & Andrea Show," which runs on AwesomenessTV, below.