A guide to living on your own for the first time.

Posted by Jackson Li

Except you’re not, are you? Not properly on your own: suddenly you’ve been plunged into this new world where not only are you expected to be able to look after yourself, but there are 4-6 strangers shoved in the same house with you – along for the ride.  Maybe you don’t know how to use a washing machine; maybe you need to use Google to cook an egg; maybe you’re straight up homesick and you need reminding to shower. It’s going to be all right, take a deep breath. Don’t panic.

The first thing you need to take care of is your isolation. Go and talk to your new housemates, try to find a common interest and get chatting. I know its awkward, but you need to make an effort to engage with these people even if you don’t know them: you’re going to be living with them for the rest of this year at least! And try to remember everyone feels the same – just as lost and weird as you feel. Just be friendly and you’ll have dealt with your homesickness easily!

Second, you need to make sure you’re eating enough – and eating properly. You’re used to three meals a day crafted by a loving family? Newsflash! You have to be your own mother now. The easiest way to deal with this one is to create a meal plan. It sounds totally lame but it’s a great way to make sure you’re eating enough and to stop yourself getting ill. Don’t forget about vegetables and try to have some kind of protein at least twice a week.

Finally: you’re a university student now! I know it’s hard but try not to get too swept up in all the fun of first year and make sure you go to your lectures. It helps me to make a physical copy of my timetable and stick it on my wall so I can see where I’m supposed to be.

There are plenty more things to consider when you first leave home, but if you try to prioritise the ideas I’ve mentioned the rest will fall into place a little easier.

 

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