The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Challenges of Living Alone for the First Time

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One of the hardest parts of college is learning to live on your own. It was daunting at first (realizing how many things I would have to conquer on my own). Making new friends, having fun, and juggling classwork were all issues constantly floating around my mind. No longer would I have my mother and father to constantly rely on whenever I needed them; it seemed I was completely on my own. To help you out, using my experience, I have compiled a list of important things to remember to do when first living by yourself!

Although it may sound completely ridiculous, doing laundry is definitely an important part of living on your own. Never again will I take for granted free access to clean clothes whenever I needed it. For the first few weeks I let the clothes pile up until I had nothing to wear! Make sure to bring LOADS of quarters with you so you don’t have to awkwardly ask every cashier to exchange your dollars for coins. But, most importantly, remember that you might have to wait for washers and dryers to be available (especially if it’s Sunday).


Another important aspect of living alone for the first time is the ability to be friends with whoever you want. College is a time to meet new people, spread your wings, and interact with everyone you can! It may sound cliché, but don't be afraid to put yourself out there and be yourself! The first few months of college can be stressful trying to find your crowd, but just hang in there and it will continue to get easier.


The most important aspect of living alone, however, is remembering to take care of yourself. Whether it be through exercise, eating right, or finding the ability to balance school and fun, it is crucial to take time to make sure you’re doing okay. College can be stressful, and sometimes it’s important to take a step back and make sure you’re not wearing yourself too thin. Although I still struggle with this as well, I believe we all have to constantly check up on ourselves in order to learn and grow.


Transitioning to College

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Checking Up On Home

Closeup of hands holding a phone

Being at school can sometimes feel like a completely different universe. I know I’m so constantly tasked with juggling school work and my social life that I sometimes forget to check on family and friends from home! Although I’ve progressively gotten better over the years, I still find it difficult to constantly remind myself that I have to maintain the relationships of friends from home while still at college!