Leaving home is a scary thing. I've found myself torn between wanting to go and wanting to stay. The longer I'm home at a time, the more I want to leave but the more sad I am once I drive away.
But we are adults (or at least pretending to be), so if you can afford it, it's likely you're moving out.
If you're feeling sentimental, take some time to write down the things you'll miss the most and the least. I know this website has a lot of gifs, but at the end of the day, I'm someone who is always homesick for everyone who isn't here and everywhere I'm not. Making lists like these helps me feel grateful for the good parts of my current life.
As you can tell, I'm a list kind of person. So rather than trying to make you feel better about leaving the only home you've ever known and the people you love most (*sob*), here's a list of things you should do before leaving.
1) Take inventory of your items. What will come with you? If it's unclear, have an honest conversation with your parents. Are your pillows really yours? Make a list and check it twice to see what you're missing.
2) Ask your parents if there's anything else you can take off their hands. Perhaps they would like to upgrade their couch? Or the TV that glitches sometimes? If not, invite them to go apartment shopping with you. It'll make them happy to do it with you (plus, they might even pay for some of your purchases).
3) Get copies or originals of all ~official~ documents. Go to the local town office in the town you were born (if possible) and request another birth certificate. You'll need it for annoying things, like getting a passport or registering a car. Get it now so you don't need to worry about it later.
You can also request a replacement social security card for free online here.
Don't forget to make sure you have a license, a passport, the title / registration for your car, insurance paperwork, your checkbook, and everything else you'll need once in a blue moon but very urgently.
4) Figure out keys. Do you get to keep their house key? Should they get a copy of your apartment key? What about car keys?
5) Leave a thank you note. Even if your relationship with your parents has been rocky, it's likely that they've helped support you financially, emotionally, academically, etc. You're heading out on your own, but take a moment to appreciate everything they've done to get you there. And even better, say it to them aloud, in an email, or in a note. Don't forget to invite them to visit you! You're a real adult now so you have to let your parents visit sometimes (post-covid, I suppose).
6) Pack up the car, hit the road, and call them when you arrive.
It's the end of an era but hopefully the start of a better one. I think leaving your home and family (whether it's for the first or last time) is the hardest of the moves. Once you do that, you can handle anything life throws at you.
What else are you doing to prepare to move out? Are you going to remember to sometimes call your family to say hello?