What I've Learned From Living Alone

If you’re like me, coming to college is the first time that you’ve lived away from home. As a 20-year-old transfer student, I had been dreaming about the moment for years. I saw my friends move away from home and I wanted to be next. As much as I complained about living at home, I had no clue how much I would miss it until I finally left. Here are a few things I’ve learned since moving away.

  1. 1. Take Advantage of Home Cooked Meals

    While I was at home, I would complain that we ate the same thing all of the time. My family had core meals that we would make all the time when everyone was busy, one of them being my mom’s spaghetti. I was so sick of this spaghetti that I had been eating for as long as I can remember and complained about it all the time. Since I have been at UCSB, I have tried to recreate the same spaghetti three times and it won’t come out the same. You really don’t realize how much you’ll miss something until you can’t have it anymore. Take advantage of home cooking if you still can because once you leave home, you will crave it. Trust me.

  2. 2. You Won't Be Able to Please Everyone

    Like most people, I watched a lot of videos about going away to college before moving out. Everyone in the videos seemed to run into people that they knew and loved their roommates. I hate to spoil this lovely image, but it is completely unrealistic. You definitely will not get along with everyone that you meet. When I first came here, I thought that I would make a lot of friends and that my roommates would be my friends forever. But, that was what we refer to as the “honeymoon phase.”

    At the beginning of your college experience, nobody knows anyone and so you become really close. Over time, you start to understand people’s personalities and might not connect with them anymore. You will start to find new friends and meet new people on campus. This is absolutely okay! Being in college is learning to be authentic with yourself and connecting with people you feel comfortable around, not trying to fit in.

  3. 3. Keep In Contact With Your Family

    I miss my family more than I thought I would, especially my dog. Being 20 years old, I was done living by my parents’ rules and excited to make my own. Once I moved out and finally got the chance to make my own rules, I quickly realized I lacked structure in my life. I was staying up until 2 a.m.and getting up at 6:30 a.m. for my 8 a.m. classes. I didn’t know how to balance everything; I didn’t have anyone forcing me to go to sleep or come home by a certain time on a school night. I also found myself calling my mom and dad every single time I got sick. Even if I just had a small cold, I would freak out and my mom would just tell me to take an Advil. You will never stop needing your support system. Check in with them often, and make sure you make the effort to keep in contact with your family because they miss you too.

  4. 4. Keep a Calendar!

    A calendar will make life so much easier. Some people use their phone, but I found that having all of your events and activities written in front of me causes less confusion and overlap. Some things that that will most likely be on there are school schedules, events, assignments, chores, activities and more. This has helped me tremendously as life is overwhelming as it is and now I'm the only person responsible for remembering important dates.

As much as living on your own is nice, enjoy your time at home while you can. As much as you might not believe me, you will miss it!

Image via giphy