You are on your own now, living away from home, and learning how to be an adult. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Who is the boss around here? You are!
Now that you’re living away from home, particularly if you’re living off campus, there is no one around to enforce rules that you have to follow, or nag you about all the things you should be doing. You’re in charge now, and you can basically do whatever you want. Feels pretty empowering doesn’t it? Maybe you’d like to celebrate by doing a victory dance around your house in nothing but your underwear… well, by all means go for it! That’s a choice you get to make.
- With great power comes great responsibility…you need to have self-discipline.
So you’re the boss now and that’s awesome, but it can also be a dangerous concept. You’re living away from home and mom and dad aren’t around to tell you what you need to be doing, or motivate you to achieve your goals. Those jobs fall on you now, friend, and it’s crucial that you manage your time and organize your schedule wisely, so that you’re doing well in school and that you’re well prepped for midterms and exams. If you want to eat a whole wheel of Brie and watch Netflix until dawn, by all means do it, but now you have a stomach ache and you’re behind on your homework. Being an adult means knowing how to take care of yourself, and a crucial aspect of that is having some self-control.
- The garbage doesn’t take out itself.
Just like the fridge doesn’t magically empty when food goes bad or refill when you’re hungry. Some of you might be thinking, “Okay yeah… and bears shit in the woods!” It’s true this may seem like common sense, but as somewhat of a “daddy’s girl” myself, discovering that the toilet-paper roll didn’t regenerate all on it’s own was a bit of a harsh wake-up call.
- Try your best to do your dishes on time.
There are several reasons why this is important.
a) Dishes accumulate in the sink so easily. If you just do them right after you’re done eating, they’re done! Then you don’t have to worry about doing them later when they’re grosser and smellier.
b) Dirty dishes attract bugs, namely pesky fruit flies, and god forbid, centipedes, which is definitely not something you want to find at the bottom of the sink and mistake for a brillo pad.
Lastly, c) it prevents World War Three from erupting in your household; any fights I’ve personally had with roommates were over dishes not being done. Grab the Palmolive and get busy!
- Eat Healthy!
You’re probably buying your own groceries now, and it can be so tempting to go crazy and indulge in a huge junk food binge, and maybe buy all the treats you love that you’re parents never had in the house. Not to mention you’re going to be going out a lot this year, and the large quantities of alcohol you’ll consume are unfortunately laden with calories. Make sure you are eating lots of fruits and veggies, cooking well-rounded meals, and drinking lots of water!
- Try to get along with your room mates.
You’re going to be seeing them a lot and hopefully spending some time with them, so it’s pretty important you all like each other right? And besides, changing room mates is not as easy as changing dorm-mates.
- You will get homesick
When you first move away from home, chances are you are super-excited to be in a new place with new people, and you’re just focused on having a good time. Mom and Dad who? However, being homesick is inevitable and you will experience it eventually. Maybe it’s on your first night in your new room, or maybe it’s that harsh realization that it’s up to you to drag that stinky green garbage to the curb. Homesickness happens to all of us and is totally normal. Luckily, in this day and age, your parents are just a phone call or skype session away.
- Invest in a toilet plunger.
Just… just do it. You will never be sorry that you did.