When Plans Change - The Story of Moving Into My Own Home

February 24, 2015
Three weeks ago I was sitting outside on our veranda with my step mom, Clauds. It was while we sat in comfortable silence with our hands wrapped around steaming mugs of coffee that I was overcome with a sense of frustration. Frustration directed at the direction (or lack thereof) that my life was taking. I explained to Clauds that I simply felt that nothing was happening for me. "My life just seems stagnant right now. I'm not excited for this year. It doesn't seem like anything is working out for me and I honestly just feel like I'm trudging through each day."

Looking back on that day, I'm not ashamed of how ungrateful and negative I sounded. I felt as though I was stuck in the same old routine, and while I am incredibly grateful for my life and just how blessed I am, I was craving an adventure. Little did I know that while I was complaining about how "boring" life was at that moment, God was up to something major. Something incredibly exciting and completely unboring. 

I was planning on heading back to Varsity on Friday the 13th of February to begin lectures on Monday the 16th. My plan was to return to the Res I've lived in for the last two years and to attend the lectures of the subjects I've been studying for the last two years. 

On the Wednesday (a day and a half before I was planning to head back) we got a call from the university letting us know there'd been a glitch with my Res allocation and that I no longer had a place in my Res. Not only had I lost my place, but there was not a single available place in Res across the entire University. Tears immediately made their way across my cheeks. What were we going to do? All of a sudden I was making mental lists of friends who had a couch that I could crash on for a couple of weeks. I didn't even know if I was able to move into a diggs - most diggs' fill up in June/July of the previous year. How on earth would I find a place to live not even four days before term started? Besides, who would I live with? All my friends had already made their accommodation arrangements.

My dad, being the absolute champion that he is, managed to find me the most beautiful little flat and promptly set my heart at ease. I called my friend Emma to let her know about my situation and she was only too happy to move out of Res and in with me. The Thursday was spent searching through our house for any spare curtains, crockery and furniture we weren't using. In the space of 48 hours I went from thinking I was moving into Res, to finding out I was essentially homeless, to finally having my parents travel down to Grahamstown with me, sign a lease and move me in. 

I couldn't be more grateful for my family and for the way things have worked out. The way they pulled through for me is incredible. 

One of many beautiful churches in Grahamstown - this is the view from our balcony

Toasting to our new home

I'm learning new things every single day and am soaking up this new independence. Our kitchen and bedrooms are fully furnished and equipped but our lounge is another story! We have one lime green bean bag and one old wooden chair with a bottle green velvet seat. We may not have it all together, but for a day and a half's notice I am so proud of us! 

I never expected God to turn my world around so completely when I sat on that veranda complaining about my stagnant life. I'll think twice next time before I mention that I want some adventure - I think this is more than enough excitement for a long, long time. These next couple of weeks are going to be full of learning curves, but I'm so excited to finally make my new little place feel a bit more like home each and every day.

Do you remember moving into your first home and the excitement you felt? What were some of the things you learnt in those first few days, weeks and even months? I would really appreciate any advice or tips you may have - or even a funny story or two!


  1. Shan!!!! This is so exciting - and what a profound answer of your faith from God - He really was listening to you that day! I am so happy for you - this is big move but such a wonderful one too!

    I moved into my first flat in my third year of varsity too - it was with my ex-boyfriend but he worked a full day and I only had 3 hours of lectures each day so I was home alone a lot and I loved it. I loved my new independence and I was so proud of my new space that I could decorate and make my own. I felt so grown up and it matured me too.

    Maybe I'm a bit of a domestic freak but I really enjoyed the mundane things in life like grocery shopping on a Sunday afternoon and prepping meals for the week. Sorting through laundry and dishes and making a cleaning schedule that I worked through each week. I had my set study times at my little office desk. I loved my quiet times in the mornings on our balcony with a cuppa, and I enjoyed hosting small and intimate dinner parties and pre drinks to go out!

    Living on my own taught me so much - in fact, it made me realise that the relationship I was in was not good for me and I preferred living alone and being by myself.

    Good luck my friend, it's going to be a fantastic year

  2. Yay this is so exciting, one of the best things ever. And based on your view I think I know exactly which block of flats you're in - stunning!


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