In the last year of high school, I was called into the guidance office for some direction in choosing a post-secondary institution. The councilor, a very, very Caucasian man, went through the features of each university, noting especially the ones with nice campuses. In an effort to save his time, I explained that the esthetics of a university were of no consequence to me, because they wouldn’t affect my life. Apparently this was a different approach from other students, whom he believed decided on the direction of their education through a desire for lush lawns and big dorm rooms.
I’d always believed that I’d feel the same way about a house as a campus. Give me enough room for my computer with walls thick enough to crank my music and I’ll be happy, I used to say. While this may still hold true, I’ve discovered that I’m even happier with a nice place. I finally understood that councilor, four years later, after changing universities for a brief post-graduate stint. The new campus was big, modern, and inspiring; quite a difference from my previous university with its brown buildings and constant construction.
It’s the same when comparing a rented place of residence and an actual house. A house begets security, and in turn, a sense of confidence. There’s a distinct feeling, every day, waking up in one’s own home. Knowing that every paycheque is going towards some equity, a little piece of property I call my own. Having a comfort zone, a place that I don’t have to deal with anyone I don’t want to. A place where I make the rules, not having to answer to landlords or security.
It was the process too, that helped me grow. Aside from the common sense of owning a house as a long-term investment, I was inspired (or should I say “driven”) to move because of a roommate. After one particularly childish conflict, I decided more than four months before I actually had time to look, to buy a house and take Trolley with me. We moved in before the lease was up on the apartment.
I went through the entire process myself, knowing nothing at the start. I had never done anything on this scale before, and while it may seem trivial to those who have been initiators their entire lives, this was a big step for me. It let me know that I could actually accomplish the things I want.
And that cast aside all the doubt that was holding me back.