My independent life began when my roommate and I moved into a rented apartment. Before graduating from high school, I used to imagine how it would look when I lived on my own and made my own decisions. In the Youth Facility, we always made decisions together with the educators who guided us, so this was an entirely new experience. Moving into the apartment was an interesting experience and I was very happy about this huge new step for me. I looked forward to living on my own, although I missed the Youth Facility very much. The first day was so unusual – everything was quiet somehow; I wasn’t used to such silence. Back in the YF, it was always noisy, there was always laughter, teasing other residents, singing, even arguing and now all of that is gone and I miss it more than anything else. Luckily for me, my roommate and close friend was there with me. My brothers and sisters also helped me and made sure I would never feel lonely or bored. They kept visiting and keeping me company until I adjusted to this new way of life.

My roommate and I realized early on that living on our own meant a lot of new responsibilities and obligations. We took care of everything in the household, we went grocery shopping – fortunately, the store is just across the street – and we also had to pay all the bills. Luckily for us, our educators taught us all about that, so we never had any trouble with such chores, and I am very grateful to them for that. The thing that worried me the most was getting on a wrong tram and bus and being late to work. I commute from Zagreb to my job in Velika Gorica every day. I wasn’t very familiar with Zagreb at first, so just to be sure, I would arrive to work an hour before I should have been there. Now that I know my way around Zagreb, that’s no longer a problem.