Over the past year, I've learned a lot about myself, but also a lot about how to take care of myself. As a kid, I never really had to do much to stay on task for my mental and emotional health because I had a strong support system at home. However, once I moved four hours away, I learned just how important it is to understand how I worked as a person and how I needed to live in order to survive by myself. These are 10 things that I've learned while on my own, and I've used every. single. one.
Keeping a planner is the BEST idea I've ever had.
In the beginning, I had been told that keeping a planner was more of a hassle than anything. But, I can for sure say that it has helped me tremendously while trying to balance homework, class, actual work, rehearsal, and even outside life activities. Now, I make my own planner with a bullet journal, which obviously takes more time, BUT for anyone in school (of any level really): USE A PLANNER. You will be grateful later by just writing everything down, and it's also really satisfying when you can cross it out.
Everything is expensive in college.
Welcome to the land of EXPENSES. Between tuition, meal plan, housing, books, cups, sidewalk, grass...you pay for everything here, and you have to accept it. However, you can still have fun and be poor at the same time. I've learned that taking the time to walk around campus, listen to some music, and do homework in a quiet place has literally made my life so much better and a little less stressed out about money. But, eating off-campus is also a good thing. So, basically, scrape for some food money and you're good.
SAYING NO IS OK TO DO.
I used to be a giant pushover when it came to my friends wanting me to go hang out with them or go out until 2 a.m. the night before an 8 a.m. class. I soon learned that saying no and staying in not only is OK but will be beneficial for your physical and mental stability. Being tired for most of the day really makes the day drag, especially when you have class all day. Going out every once in a while is totally awesome; we all do it.
But honestly, don't make a habit of it because it catches up with you, and your weekends could potentially be booked with early call times or projects if you're not careful. Stay healthy and hydrated kids!
Do. Your. Homework.
Should there really be a description? Probably not, but come on, YOU'RE PAYING TO GO HERE. You may as well try a little bit in your classes.
Laundry is the biggest pain, ever.
Laundry is the biggest pain I've ever had to deal with. It takes about an hour and a half to two hours, and sometimes the dryers decide that they don't really feel like drying things. Oh, and you have to be careful to get your clothes out on time because other people want to use the machines and will definitely take your clothes out. And sometimes you even have to pay to use the machines.
Be involved in something you are passionate about.
Find something that you are passionate about and look forward to going to every day or once a week. It makes the weeks seem shorter and less lonely, especially if you are finding people who do the same things that you do! In high school, others may find it strange that you do certain things, but I can almost guarantee that there's a club for it in college.
PEOPLE WALK VERY SLOW.
Oh boy, this one gets me every time. There will be groups of four constantly stealing the ENTIRE sidewalk, and they won't move almost ever. You're better off stepping in the grass to get around them because they are more worried about the tea they're spilling than the sidewalk that you're also paying for in that tuition.
Oh, and watch out for cars.
No seriously, if you don't move, they will run you over. Moral of the story, JUST WALK FASTER. And end of rant.
Call someone you love every single day.
I call my mom and my grandparents every day, and I do it not only to check in on them but to ease my mind that they are doing just fine without me being there. I used to never use my phone to make actual phone calls, which seems kind of stupid considering they were created for real conversation and not texting in the beginning. But calling the people that I love also reminds me a little bit of home, and even though I worked so hard to move away, it is reassuring that home is always there when you need it.
It is OK to take time for yourself.
Being away from home and in the presence of so many strangers is really hard, especially if you've never been away for very long before! But, it' OK and healthy to get away and be by yourself for a little while. I go off-campus and spend a day just taking care of myself. You are constantly surrounded by people here with a roommate, suitemates, hall neighbors, classmates, etc. It can get very overwhelming, and having some you-time is perfectly fine. Find a time where you can be alone and get your thoughts in order. It helps so much.
All in all, I'm glad to have learned these lessons (even if it was the hard way). Getting a new perspective on life is exciting and terrifying at the same time, but you know, I'm OK with it...for now.