Going home at the end of the day should be a way to wind down, relax, and get ready for the next day of busy student life.
However, along with the freedom, living on your own for the first time can pose its own set of challenges. When trying to manage a full courseload, the last thing you want to worry about is feeling homesick, being involved in house drama, or wondering if someone remembered to take out the garbage that week. You can easily settle yourself into this new, independent routine with some simple planning. Try these top tips to help you survive living on your own!
Find great housemates
Who you live with can strongly impact how easy it is to live on your own. Having good house dynamics is an important factor in maintaining a calm, positive, and comfortable living environment. When looking for compatible housemates, you should consider what type of a person you are and what you want your house dynamics to be like. For example, do you want a large house with many housemates or a small one with few? Are you a night owl or an early bird? Do you like to shower in the morning or evening?
Once you’ve determined the qualities you’re looking for, it’s time to start the housemate hunt! The rumour is you shouldn’t live with your best friends, but in reality, it can work. As long as you agree on the basic characteristics of your house, you will get along just fine. Things such as level of cleanliness, sleeping patterns, and noise levels should be agreed upon by all members to ensure a positive house dynamic.
Establish house rules
The next step to help you survive living on your own is to establish house rules. These should include rules for having visitors, planning a laundry schedule, and designating “quiet hours” during exam season. This will ensure everyone is on the same page, give some structure to your new living routine, and can help prevent conflict.
You should also consider developing cleaning and cooking schedules with your housemates to alleviate some of the pressure of living on your own. Try sharing tasks such as vacuuming the living room, cleaning the bathrooms, and taking out the garbage to ensure your house stays in order. Having each person cook dinner for the rest of the house once a week is another big stress reliever, as it helps to free up your time during the week and can help you maintain a healthy diet.
Make your house feel like home
One of the biggest challenges to overcome when living on your own is homesickness. After staying embedded in a comfortable environment with your family for years, it can be hard to transition to a new place by yourself. The best tip to combat homesickness is to make your house feel like a home.
Before you move in, spend some time with your housemates finding inexpensive furniture and decorations, check your options for repainting with your landlord, and design your bedroom theme to make it “you”. Adding personal touches to your living space can help create the atmosphere you’re used to.