I’m on My Own… Now What?
Where to Start
Moving out and into school is exciting. We get to be independent and live on our own, without our parents and families, for the first time. While this is fun, we should also remember that independence comes with a lot of responsibility.
For many students, this may be the first time that we really have to care for ourselves. Here are some tips to help you navigate living on your own a little easier.
First things first, your clothes need to be clean. Now, if this is your first time having to do laundry, I know it may seem a little intimidating, but don’t worry; the machines on campus are very user-friendly.
At home, you may have been taught to separate dark and white clothes, but you’re a busy college student on the go, so just skip that step. Instead, wash all of your clothes together on a cold cycle; this will save you time and laundry detergent.
Courtesy tip! When you put your clothes into a machine, make sure to set a timer so that you can take them out as soon as they’re done. Remember, hundreds of other busy college students are trying to work doing their laundry into their schedules too!
Keeping Our Own Spaces Neat
When we have busy schedules, it can be easy to let our living spaces go. Rooms get messy and sheets go unwashed. It happens. But don’t fret! There are simple ways to get back on track and prevent this from happening again.
First, make sure that everything has a place in your room. When we keep designated spots for our belongings, it’s easier to put them away and keep them in order.
Next, make sure to set simple goals to meet every day in order to make sure that your space is kept neat. For me, I like to make sure that all of my clothes and shoes are put away every day. It sounds like a small thing but, after a day or two, things like hoodies and kicked off sneakers can clutter up a room fast.
Figure out a routine that works for you and your roommate(s) and stick to it. Having a neat living space will make you feel so much more comfortable and will make your room much more inviting when you come home from a long day of classes.
Use of Communal Spaces
The word “communal” here is important. When you live on a floor with dozens of other students and you all share the same kitchen/bathroom, you need to respect that space.
This means, when we cook, we have to clean up the dishes. Make sure to use hot water, a sponge and dish soap to clean dishes and properly disinfect them. Just rinsing them will not do!
Courtesy tip! Take a moment and reflect on how you leave each communal space you enter. Are you leaving it as you found it? Better? Worse? Are you making a mess that you wouldn’t want to deal with?
If your answer to the last two questions is a yes, rethink your behavior. We need to remember that we are sharing spaces with a lot of other people and we need to be respectful of them as well. Additionally, we need to be respectful of the custodial staff that may have to clean up after us; it is not their job to deal with biohazards in the bathrooms.
Pointers to Practice
Now that we’ve gone through some skills for living on our own, it’s time to put them into action. If we all chip in, we can maintain Arcadia as a great place to live. Hope you found some of these tips helpful. Good luck!