Before college, I had never experienced much of “living alone.” At home, I had my mom, dad, two brothers, three dogs, and a cat. I was never used to really being on my own. Since I was the only girl child, I had the luxury of having my own bedroom and bathroom to myself so besides the occasional youth group ski trip or school field trip, I was used to only having to deal with myself. College has taught me a lot about how to manage myself in various ways as well as share a room with another person. Since I live off-campus now, this year has taught me a lot about living in an apartment setting and even a glimpse of what it is like to live alone. Here are a few things I have learned:
1. Have a consistent cleaning schedule
Regardless of if you have a roommate or not, hold yourself accountable and create one for you to remain consistent with. Whether it is to change your bedsheets every other time you do laundry, do the dishes twice a week, or even just tidy up your room every few days, having a consistent schedule keeps you organized, helps keep your area clean, and helps to teach you discipline.
2. Don’t just stick to take out or frozen dinners
Something I have absolutely loved about living in an apartment is having a kitchen! Grocery shopping every Sunday helps me get into the mindset that the week is about to start and helps me feel more prepared. Sure I have a few Lean Cuisines tucked away in my freezer, but being able to find a Pinterest recipe, get some ingredients, and cook myself dinner has been super liberating. Now that I am not relying on a food court or mess hall, I have become more consistent with eating three meals a day which has made me feel so much better during the day.
3. Using a mailroom/package concierge
I know it sounds silly but this was such a new concept to me when coming to college since I was always just used to getting the mail from the mailbox at home or at the front door. Something so mundane has really helped me learn how to ~adult~ by making sure I am being specific in my shipping address, making sure I am constantly checking my PO Box & making sure that I am being prompt with picking up my packages when I get the notifications.
4. Down Time
As someone who is usually a busybody and loves to have everything planned out, I have really learned the importance of alone time and taking time to just chill. It is so refreshing to just cook dinner, have a little dessert, take a shower, do my skincare, and settle into bed with my twinkly lights & watch some Disney +. Having a roommate is so much fun so having someone else to spend that “recharge” time together is super special.
Though I still have lots to learn about life, college has been a nice running start. I have grown up a lot since my first steps on campus and have taken all my experiences as a learning opportunity. I am super grateful for all of the life learning moments thus far and although I am nervous for the real world after college, I feel more confident and prepared! Hopefully, this will help some of you as well.