Well, now that I’ve registered for classes, and I have 11 days to go until I leave for a mini vacation in Seattle, I’ve moved on to the next step in achieving independence in Victoria: Apartment hunting. Jaime and I unfortunately will not be able to have a place “of our own” together alone, until about December. Fortunately, we can just visit each other constantly, and I can sleep over at her place.

Since I don’t have a car, and I don’t like buses, I am looking for places which are within walking distance of the University of Victoria. I’ve found one that’s cheap, a 5 minute walk away, large, and comes with internet and all utilities included. The only catch is, of course, that I have to share it with three other people.

I feel torn about this. I am aware that I could sleep over at Jaime’s any time I wanted, that I would be spending most of my daylight hours at the university. I wouldn’t really ever need to be around these three strangers, and I could easily avoid them if I didn’t like them or they didn’t like me. However, I still feel a general level of discomfort at the idea. It’s difficult to adjust to a new country, a new city, a new university, a new lifestyle. Doing it when I am sharing a living space with a group of strangers? I’m not looking forward to that at all.

So I am taking my own advice (and that of others) and looking back to the chapters on Independent Living that we wrote for the Navigating College handbook, and thinking over whether that five minute walk, included utilities, cheap rent, and close proximity to Jaime’s house is worth the risk of being boarded with people who may judge me or dislike me. I’m leaning towards taking the place, since I’m aware of how little time I would spend at home anyways. Between the library, classes, Jaime’s house, and going out with her, I’m going to have a lot to see in Victoria. Might as well take advantage of an opportunity to have a place to lay my head which is close enough for me to roll out of bed in the morning and go to class.

By the way, I don’t want any neurotypical people telling me that I’m setting myself up for failure by being so darn pessimistic, that I should just give my theoretical housemates a chance, that I’ll catch more flies with honey than with vinegar, blah blah jabber jabber. I’ve heard it all before. I hate socializing, and I’m not a likeable person. I know how my interactions with other people work, and telling me I should be sweet, placid and fake happiness in order to give a good first impression is pure lies, lies, lies. It just makes me stressful to fake happiness and try to get along with people I am unfamiliar with. I may learn to like them in time, but I prefer my pessimism before that happens. It means I’ll have nothing but pleasant surprises.

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