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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at TAMU chapter.

As a returning sophomore at TAMU, I was faced with the challenge of truly living by myself, away from campus. My first year was spent at a dorm, and though I live close to my family, it was a huge adjustment.

The main difference was learning how to schedule my downtime. In the dorm, I tried to be out and about as much as possible (because dorms are tiny), so I was always in a new campus building, which helped me study more often. Off-campus, staying at home is more my style for relaxation. Having more time in between my classes allows me to break up my day and plan what I need to study and what I need to get done around the house. In my experience, breaking up responsibilities makes everything more manageable and doable.

Another difference is basic housekeeping. Though it may seem easy to take care of a house, doing it all can get super overwhelming. I don’t mind doing chores but sometimes it all piles up. Mostly, I use it as another way to break up my time in between schoolwork. My roommate and I try to split chores evenly (we’d go insane if we didn’t). Doing the small things together can really make a difference when it comes to more daunting tasks. Small things like dishes and laundry can help me feel accomplished enough to get through whatever else I need to get done.

The last difference I notice is the effects living alone can have on my mental health. Being alone more often can be stressful, and without the right outlets to decompress, I can get a little overwhelmed. Talking to friends and family helps me recenter with myself and realize that I’m doing the best I can by being me. Spending time picking up hobbies has also been a lifesaver. Cooking and baking have been a really good way to stay healthy and take control of my time. Small changes have really helped me retain my mental health.

Changing environments can put a strain on many different areas of life, and I always remember to adapt to the changes and do the best I can while being the best version of myself. 

Erin Haggerty is a junior forensic science major and psychology minor at TAMU. She is a returning member of Her Campus for the fall semester. Outside of Her Campus, she works full-time at a local BBQ restaurant, C&J Barbeque as a shift lead, as well as being a full-time student. Her campus is her only published writing experience, as she enjoys writing about her life, College Station, and researching about anything! Outside of school, she enjoys hanging out with friends, playing with her dogs, writing, and cooking. She’s found great passion in cooking and baking, mainly through creating her recipes. Through work, she also gets the opportunity to work tailgates for Aggie Football season, and though it's grueling, she enjoys the spirit!