How to Become Independent in College


Once you turn 18, it is time to start preparing for college not only in financial terms but psychologically as well. Leaving the family home and the custody of your parents can present a shock for many people because becoming self-reliant is no easy task. There are several skills that you have to develop fast in order not to lose it when you go to college. Here is a short overview of the activities and stances necessary to become independent before you become a freshman.

Learning to clean after yourself

“Clean your room” is one of the most frequent phrases we could hear from our parents when we were in high school. Most kids hate cleaning their room and for that matter, cleaning anything. However, you are no longer a kid and your teenage years are coming to an abrupt end. An essential part of adulthood is responsibility. After the rowdy first year at college, your roommates will probably not tolerate your dirty socks all over the room. You don’t have to become fastidious but for starters, teach yourself not to leave a mess wherever you go.

Do I need a job?

Apart from hard decisions which classes to take, you will be faced with another dilemma, whether to get a part-time job while at college. For instance, Australia is just one of many countries where it is perfectly legal to attend college and work simultaneously. In fact, many students decide to get a job because they need money to pay tuition fees. Depending on your financial background, this will prove to be a hard call to make but making hard decisions is an integral part of self-independence. How do you think your parents earned enough money to purchase the family home?



Financial independence

We are not going to lie to you, there is no true independence in college and in life without financial independence. If your parents are still sending you money, hen we are sorry to say that you have not become independent. Apart from getting a part-time job we discussed, you can apply for a student loan or be more imaginative when it comes to making money. As a matter of fact, even adult arrangements are worth a shot in order to make a few dollars on the side. At some point in not so far futile, you will become the one sending money of your parent and college days are the time when this shift in responsibility begins.

The pressure is on you now

Remember how your parents were trying to get you to put down the joystick and do your homework? Well, long live freedom, as there will be no one at college telling what to do. You become the master of your own time and commitment, which can easily backfire on you if you’re not careful. The fact that you can learn whenever you want for the upcoming exams doesn’t mean that you don’t have to learn at all! In itself, freedom is nice and all but it does come with a huge burden of responsibility. However, coping with the pressure to succeed should be easier now that you’re the one generating it.

Foraging for food


When you were a teenager, a hot meal at least once a day was probably always available to you. Well, we have bad news for you, you are going to miss your mother’s (or father’s) cooking. Most campuses do have a canteen at their premises but the quality and the taste of food served it is incomparable with homemade meals. This means that more often than not you will be buying your own food out in the down. Pushing a cart down a supermarket is an essential part of being an adult in the West so the sooner you start, the better. After a few trips to the local convenient store, you will learn to be thrifty and you’ll start collecting those coupons.

Independence in life is nothing to be afraid of and you should think of the upcoming college days as an excellent opportunity to practice.  Once you start earning you own dollars, regardless of the sum, you will learn how hard it is to economize today. Hopefully, by the end of your final years as a college student, you will have learned to fend for yourself and you will be ready for challenges yet to come, like starting a family.


Fiona Adams is a freelance lifestyle writer inspired by traveling and colorful world around her. Different cultures, people and food make her want to stay on the road forever.

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