Moving out on your own for the first time can be exciting, yet intimidating. As a new college student, you get the freedom to make your own decisions and live on your terms. But you’re also responsible for managing your finances, maintaining your living space, and keeping yourself safe.
Here are seven tips for living alone in college that will make the transition easier:
- Create a Budget and Stick to It
One of the most important things to consider when living on your own in college is budgeting. As a student, you likely don’t have a ton of disposable cash. So, it’s essential to separate needs from wants and be mindful of where your funds are going. You need enough money each month for necessities like tuition and fees, food, rent, utilities, transportation, and entertainment.
After making a reasonable budget, it’s time to put systems in place to make sure you pay all bills on time. Keep an eye on your credit card spending and make note of when the balance is due each month. If you can, set up auto-pay so you don’t risk getting penalized for forgetting to pay.
Budgeting is a valuable skill that carries over into post-graduate life, so it’s well worth the time and effort now.
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- Take Security Measures Seriously
You’re responsible for your security when living on your own. This means you must take steps to protect yourself and your living space. Lock your doors and windows when you’re not home, avoid walking alone at night, and be aware of your surroundings. If you live in a high-crime area, consider investing in a security system or joining a neighborhood watch program.
- Keep Your Space Tidy
It’s easy for dishes and laundry to pile up when you’re living alone. You don’t have mom and dad around the corner asking you to keep tidy! But the truth is, it’s harder to stay productive and happy in a cluttered space. Combat apartment clutter by setting aside a designated cleaning day each week. If you’re a planner kind of person, then schedule when you’ll tackle different tasks each day. Storage solutions like bins and organizers go a long way in helping you keep your apartment organized.
- Learn How to Cook
Cooking is another valuable skill that you’ll take with you after college graduation. Eating out all the time can be expensive, and buying TV dinners can be convenient but unhealthy. Cooking at home can save you cash and encourage a healthy lifestyle. It can also be a fun and rewarding hobby! When you learn how to cook, you can experiment with different ingredients and flavors to create dishes that are delicious and satisfying. Feeling social? Invite your friends over for a dinner party and enjoy a hearty homemade meal together.
- Become Friendly with Neighbors
It never hurts to make friends with your neighbors after settling down. Having friends nearby can be a great source of support and companionship. You can also count on them when you need someone to check on your apartment or pick up the mail while you’re away for the holidays. Getting to know your neighbors is a surefire way to feel more connected to your community and make your living situation more enjoyable.
- Don’t Forget to Take Time for Yourself
There’s nothing wrong with taking time to relax, even if it means sacrificing some productivity for the day. It’s crucial to have a plan and prioritize your goals, but you’ll learn that you can’t be productive if you’re burnt out. It can be challenging to sustain a healthy balance between school, work, and life when you live on your own. After all, you don’t have someone reminding you to take a break or unwind after a long day. Find your favorite activities and make time to enjoy them! Painting, going for a drive, giving yourself an at-home facial, walking while listening to music, and reading a book are amazing ways to practice self-care.
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- Start a Workout Routine
While we’re on the topic of self-care, exercise is one of the best ways to improve your mental and physical health. But it doesn’t end there. Exercise can help you sleep better, deal with stress, learn new material, improve alertness, and stay motivated. These are all imperative for a good mood and optimal productivity levels in school.
Embrace Independence in College
College living is a fun experience, but it also comes with plenty of responsibility. It’s normal to feel nervous about this transition, but it’s possible to make it through with flying colors. We hope these apartment tips help you feel more confident in your ability to live independently for the first time.