Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Why Independence is Essential for Young Women

People often comment about how independent I am, which is funny because my personality is probably the farthest thing from “independent,” ever. I’m prone to fear, I’m not the toughest person physically, I don’t like talking on the phone to people I don’t know, and I’m not even good at math.

I moved out of my parent’s house when I was nineteen, but not because I wanted to. It was because my health required a drastic change of environment. As difficult as the move was, it gave me push I needed to become more self-sufficient and to take on more adventures. I’m still probably the farthest person from independent, but I am a stubborn spirit, and strengthening that stubborn spirit through independence has been one of the best things that’s ever happened to me.

Here’s some of the ways my opportunity for independence has shaped me, and why I've grown to believe self-sufficiency is essential for young women.

1) Being Independent Helps Stabilize Crazy Growing Periods

Your late teens and early twenties will be one of the biggest growing periods of your life. You’ll change more now than you ever have before. So much change may create the perfect environment for emotional crisis, but not accepting that change can be dangerous, too. By picking up some physical independence, you’ll be able to stabilize that crisis stage, while still hanging onto the healthy adjustment that it is.
You’ll begin forming your own opinions, searching out the truth, and determining where you’ll take the rest of your life. You’ll better be able to determine that with some extra independence, too. While horizons are expanding so much in your mind, let them expand just as much in your physical world. Take on some new basic tasks to keep up with your head.

2) Independence Shapes you into an Individual Person

Older women are right when they tell you that time to mature alone is essential. Learning to pay your own bills, do your own taxes, manage a budget, manage your time, build and use credit, and handle insurance companies are seriously so imperative. Not only will they teach you about life, but they’ll also teach you about who you are. There’s nothing better than a money crisis to teach you about your own resilience. Relying always on parents or a husband to do these things for you isn’t healthy, and it isn’t what’s best for you long-term. You’ll need many of these skills in the future, whether or not you want to accept it. So, give yourself the chance to embrace them.

3) Independence Gives you the Best Opportunities to Build into Others

My roommate and I have talked about this a few times. We both get called in so often to babysit for friends and family, and we have the freedom to drive a couple of states, or fly to another country to spend time with friends. I often am able to show up when a friend is in need, or when a parent needs a little extra independence of their own, and it's been such a joy to be able to do that.

4) It Might Keep you from Marrying the Wrong Person
There are good and bad marriages inside and outside of the independence spectrum, so obviously don’t live by this. However, I can imagine that simple knowledge about the world, and a little confidence in your own decisions could keep you from marrying someone who wants to blindly control you. If you know how to handle finances, you’ll know whether or not your husband is smart with his resources. If you’re confident in your own decisions, you probably won’t date or marry someone who wants to control them for you.

5) You’ll be Braver
When faced with a difficult challenge, you’ll know how to take it on. Independence puts you in so many scary situations, it makes you braver to face other tougher ones in the future. It makes you strong and resilient in the face of adversity, and it teaches you in advance how to navigate through life’s challenges. It probably feels tough, but it probably won’t be tough forever.

6) Maybe You’ll Be More Thankful

They say independence makes you thankful for all the time your parents provided for you, and it’s true. But independence will make you thankful for other things, too, like the extra bits of time you get to spend with family and friends, and the small moments you get to have to yourself. You’ll probably have less money, so independence will make you thankful for small things you can afford, or maybe the hand-me-down clothes your roommate passes on to you. Being independent will make you thankful for the moments when you feel confident enough to travel across the country on your own. It’ll make you thankful for the free days when you can wander the world without accountability. It’ll make you a better person.

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What are some things self-sufficiency has taught you? What reasons would you have for encouraging friends to embrace independence?



  1. Thank you so much for this post! This is so encouraging and definitely what I need right now! I have to move out soon to go to college, and honestly it terrifies me. But it also seems exciting, so thank you for sharing the good that will come out of it!

    1. Aww I'm so glad, Alea! I'm so excited for you moving out to college. It's going to be amazing and you're going to LOVE it!

  2. I think #4 is especially true. I sometimes wonder if I manage to figure out how to live comfortably on my own, would I feel any inclination to marry? You definitely need to figure out life on your own somewhat before bringing someone else along.

    It's a long journey - this growing up.

    1. Yes, you do! It's wonderful and healthy. I guess it depends on the reason you want to get married. There are some things about being independent that might make you want to get married even more, like the idea of sharing the world and your life with someone. But it depends on the person and what they want out of life, I guess! :)

  3. As a 20-something adult, I am for the first time on the possible verge of moving out on my own and it TERRIFIES me. I know, mentally, I am a responsible person, but the idea of being on my own is difficult still (plus, I will not have the backing of my family at all and that makes everything more daunting). Your list gives me hope, that maybe I can do it without..you know...dying...XD

    Have you considered doing a blog post with tips and pointers for young women on the verge of venturing out on their own?

    1. You CAN do it, and you'll do great! I also didn't have family backing when I moved out, and I didn't have the option to go home if I needed to. But what I did have was many wonderful friends who supported and backed me (still do!) and made it possible for me to thrive. They answered my questions, gave me tips, and donated old clothes and random coffees to my life cause, haha :) There are a LOT of amazing people out there.

      I have considered that! I've gone back and forth with whether or not I think I have enough knowledge to write a post like that. :) But thanks for the encouragement -- I might consider it more now.

      Please let me know if you do decide to move out and if there's any way I can support you!

  4. I couldn't agree more. Thank YOU for writing this.