College can be challenging but living on campus and away from the safety net of your parents is a whole different thing. With unfamiliar faces and environment, you’ll need to get accustomed to a new place you’ll be calling home for the next few years.
If you’ve never been away from home and feel anxious about how to navigate your life living on campus, don’t worry! Here are 6 survival tips on how you can easily adapt to this change.
#1. Pack your patience
Living on campus means you’ll be bunking in with others as housemates or even roommates. While this is the easiest way to make friends, you might also risk being matched with housemates you find challenging or don’t relate to right away.
Staying with your housemates is not the same as living with your siblings so whether you like it or not, you’ll need to strap yourself with patience. You may want to react or blow a gasket when they’re being rowdy late at night but you don’t really want to create a hostile environment.
The best way to go about this is by establishing ground rules from the get-go. Make your preferences known so you and your housemates can avoid conflicts. This goes to establishing personal spaces, scheduling study hours and setting up a duty roster to keep the house clean. This is better than blowing up every time someone messes up.
#2. Organise your daily schedule
Now that you’re away from the shackles of your parents, you’ll find that you have more freedom to do the things you couldn’t do before! However, freedom comes with great responsibility. After all, you don’t want your grades to suffer just because your mother is no longer around to nag you to study or come home on time.
Set a realistic plan or a practical to-do list that is flexible enough so you don’t experience burnout. This means setting some structure in your routine and sticking to it. For example, pencil in specific study hours, set up goals to accomplish by the end of the week and give yourself a reward by taking a much deserved break.
#3. Choose your friends wisely
The best thing about living on campus is that you’ll be at the centre of your college community. This makes it easier for you to gain access to all the events happening on campus and build friendships along the way.
While making friends on campus sound relatively easy, you can get tangled up with people you don’t share similar interests with — or worst, the wrong crowd. And shaking off bad company can get difficult since you’ll be living in close proximity.
Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, it’s important that you choose your friends wisely to avoid unwanted drama or vicious gossip that will distract you from having a stress-free college life.
#4. Get creative with your spare time
When it comes to living on campus, you’ll be saving plenty of time getting to and from classes since your dorm will likely be within walking distance or just a shuttle bus away. This means that you’ll have lots of spare time after class, so take advantage of it.
Get creative with how you spend your time by exploring your potential in various areas. If you already have a talent in music, art, programming or even cooking, use the time to hone these interests. Or, you can expand your horizons by learning new things or being productive. Alternatively, there’s no harm in just taking some time to recharge.
#5. Know how to keep yourself safe
This is the most important tip when it comes to living on campus. It’s normal to think that you’ll be safe with security guards patrolling campus grounds 24/7 but crimes can happen to anyone at any time so don’t take that chance.
Always be vigilant of your surroundings, especially when you’re walking alone. If you’re planning to study in the library till late at night or go for an early morning jog, get a friend to tag along regardless if you’re male or female.
Even if you’re confident that your college campus is secure, it doesn’t hurt to take extra safety precautions. As the old saying goes, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
#6. Prepare yourself for change
Certainly, living on campus and out of your comfort zone is not going to be easy, especially if it’s your first time away from home. It can be a lot to take in at once — adjusting to a new college environment, living on your own and not having a good support system.
Nonetheless, this is truly your time to shine. Embrace the challenges that come your way, be it good or bad, and take this opportunity to grow from strength to strength. Who knows, you may just be surprised by how well you can live independently.