Nur Ozkaynak is currently a college student at Montserrat College of Art. She is in her senior year and is working on a Bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Arts and a minor in Creative Writing. She works as a librarian at her college and as a teacher’s assistant in a class for freshman learning to work with paper as a medium. In her free time she likes to read, write, draw, paint, sculpt, and watch netflix while cuddling with her boyfriend. After graduating college, she hopes to find a job as a makeup artist, while still finding time to write and make art.
College is a very important chapter in the lives of people who decide that that is the next step after graduating from high school. As we all know, college is where you further your education, it’s where you get a degree to help you find a job and hopefully start a career, and it’s where you meet lifelong friends. College, for many, is also where you’re on your own for the first time- which a lot of people don’t fully realize before their first semester away from home. Here are some things that I wish someone told me before starting college:
● If you’re living away from home and in a dorm, you’re going to be living with other people. Maybe you only have one roommate or housemate, maybe you have 8; you might even be living on a floor full of 26 other girls. Everyone’s housing situation is different. You need to learn to get along with the people you live with- or at least tolerate them. Sometimes the personalities around you won’t mesh well with yours and you need to find a way to live with them. It’s not like work or high school where if you don’t like someone you can get away with giving them a stink eye or starting an argument. You have to remember- you live with this person. You don’t want trouble with someone you share a home with and see every day. If the situation is extreme and it is impossible to live with this person because they are affecting your state of mind, your schoolwork, and etc. then you should talk to an RA and try to move into a new dorm.
● Again, you are living with other people and you need to learn how to share one very important thing: bathroom time. If you are living in a dorm with five other girls, and you only have one bathroom, there’s going to be some trouble. I experienced this myself, and it was very difficult when four out of the six of us had class at the exact same time and needed to get ready. You need to figure out how long it takes each of you to get ready, what you can do outside of the bathroom (like doing your makeup in your bedroom) and when you need to leave the house by. Then you need to understand that you’re going to have to sacrifice getting extra sleep to get up earlier to use the bathroom so everyone can use it. If you sleep in, chances are you just lost your turn in the shower and you’re going to need to slather on some extra deodorant and spray on more perfume than usual before running to class.
● You don’t have your mother’s cooking to come home to anymore. If you’re living away from home you need to learn to cook for yourself. You may luck out and have a cafeteria at your college, but it doesn’t come cheap. It is convenient because you don’t have to cook meals or raid your cupboards for food in between classes, but it can be more expensive than buying your own groceries. When grocery shopping, try to avoid buying only snack foods and try to buy ingredients and things you can cook. Cooking is an important skill to know, so you may as well start now.
● Chores, chores, chores. Your mom isn’t here to pick up after you. You and your roommates need to do your dishes, sweep and vacuum, take out the trash, clean the bathroom, etc. You should organize a chore chart as soon as you move in or at least come to some sort of understanding with how things should be handled. This is important because no one wants to live in filth. People often have the mentality of thinking someone else will do it, but trust me, they don’t. You need to take care of your own mess and have a clear plan on how to share household chores. A lot of colleges have monthly inspections to make sure your house is at least livable.
These are some of the most important things to know for college students living on their own for the first time. Keep these things in mind when you arrive on campus for move in day.