Living by yourself for the first time whilst studying can be a daunting task. The following tips will hopefully ease some of your nerves and aid in making the transition smoother.
Budgeting, meal plans, socializing, and learning basic household duties can save you a lot of stress and chaos if you’ve chosen to live alone, whether in a flat nearby or student-specific housing, such as Australian student accommodation.
Learn How To Budget
It is easy to go overboard and buy whatever snacks, stationery, and home décor you want when you’re living by yourself. However, university fees can add up, from amenities to books. Therefore, setting yourself a strict budget for each week or month will aid you significantly.
Designating certain amounts of money to certain everyday living costs is a good way to avoid unwanted debts. Using a budget app, whether specifically for university students or not, is also a great way to track your spending and gauge whether or not you can splurge that week.
Plan Your Meals
When living alone, especially in the midst of studying, it’s easy to forget, skip or order out when it comes to mealtimes. You will be looking after your spending and your waistline if you choose to cook and even freeze meals in advance.
You don’t have to be a whizz in the kitchen or spend too much time cooking; you may only need to plan your shopping at the start of the week to ensure that your stomach doesn’t growl too loudly in a quiet lecture theatre. Taking a little extra time to think ahead can also save you from sticking to unhealthy habits such as not eating enough or eating too many unhealthy foods.
A 2020 survey revealed that American students, on average, spend $4,097 a year on takeaway food. If that number scares you, consider looking at other avenues. Some universities also offer meal plans, which can stress if you don’t wish to plan and cook.
Learn Basic Household Chores
If you’ve never used a washing machine, vacuum or dishwasher before, you may want to have a few quick lessons before living independently. University can consist of a lot of running around to libraries, dining halls and lecture rooms.
As your pile of dirty laundry in your bedroom grows, you may be tempted to buy new clothing or set the pile alight. But if you’re wanting to own a washing machine, expecting that your clothing will magically clean itself, you might need to step up.
Finding a local laundromat is also a viable option. Keeping your home-study space clean and organized may also benefit you mentally, instead of letting the clutter of everyday university life get you down.
A few ways to optimize your productivity include:
- Writing lists of what needs to be completed
- Turning your chores into fun tasks (put music on, call someone)
- Taking pride and decorating your home how you wish
Whilst having your own peace can be addictive, it’s important to get out and socialize, especially if you’re living alone. It can be easy to go to university, focus solely on the work, and then come home to crash by yourself. But human interaction is significant and healthy.
Whether you wish to FaceTime, a friend, catch up with someone for coffee between classes, or plan a getaway with your family on the weekend, socializing outside of the university will help you switch off and refresh before your next seminar or study session.
Enjoy Your Privacy
It’s important to note that you may not always live by yourself, so definitely take the time to appreciate and enjoy your own peace, quiet, and company. Whilst living with a roommate has its perks, such as sharing the financial load and having a friend to talk to,
it can also become stressful if your roommate doesn’t pick up their slack, respect your privacy or chip in everyday costs. A survey of 13 student participants revealed that 80% preferred to live alone. Whether due to similar reasons as stated above, or something completely different, you may want to revel in the space you have all to yourself.
Living by yourself whilst at university can be both liberating and daunting. However, with the correct preparation and helpful advice, it can become one of the best experiences. Things as simple as food and cleaning can become expensive and hard to juggle if you’re not prepared, so take a few moments to plan and find the most suitable options in maintaining a healthy, fun work-life balance.