First things to establish when you leave are:
“Home” address to use for job/school applications. There are several resources out there that can help families or individuals who are in need of housing. You can search through the internet, reach out to other people you know who are already out (best found on the evil facebook), or advertise on noticeboards, craigslist, or newspapers saying you are looking for temporary housing till you get your feet under you. If the hof has put you somewhere that you are unhappy with, you don’t have to stay there. Reach out to the admin here for solutions.
New photo ID so you don’t have to carry your passport everywhere because they are a lot more expensive and more trouble to replace if lost or stolen.
If you are a careful person who never loses anything, a passport will serve you well enough. However, passports are extremely difficult to replace, so it is a good idea to invest in acquiring a government photo ID. Visit your local DMV and fill out an application for a driver’s license or a Non-Driver Id, depending on your skill level/ability to take the driving test. Price for these varies by state.
Cheap cell phone. You will need a phone number for prospective employers/colleges to contact you. A cheap temporary flip phone is easy enough to acquire if you don’t have the funds for a long-term phone. A temporary, prepaid flip phone can cost as little as $10 if you can get to Staples. If you have the means, it is easier to just get a more temporary phone from the start instead of buying 2 or 3 temporary phones.
Take time to get used to the enormous difference in the way things are in this world. Try to get in touch with any of us on this site, Facebook, the Facebook Afterhof group or if you know someone, so they can answer questions you might have, and help through the adjustment period. Just remember: you are not, and now never will be, alone. Be gentle with yourself, for as you treat yourself, so you will treat others. You were raised to need community eve n if the hof is the wrong one for you.
Find work, any work. This buys you time to then stabilize yourself mentally before setting off in whichever direction you want to go. Your work ethic is probably excellent, thanks to your background. This will help you a lot. Be early to work, clean (shower every day and use deodorant) and always do more and better than expected.
“Since you and I come from a highly judgmental/critical religious background, the danger exists that we will impose critical former, deeply ingrained attitudes on those around us.” Don’t.
Take the time to find yourself – by that I mean – what will make you happy in life, what do I want to do with my life – jobs, relationships, place to live. At this time don’t think you must have a life plan. Take life day by day and discover what is around you, make new friends but don’t do bad stuff to make people like you. This is a tough time for most leaving a place where you knew everyone and now they are not there for you. Know that you might be very sad, or depressed and that is not unusual at all. Talk to someone, take a walk – know that you are not alone.