For me this was by far the most difficult challenge of being independent. I’ve never been good in the kitchen even though I love food more than, well, anything else. I was determined to learn to cook to avoid ordering in every other night … we won’t discuss how that went… but it’s safe to say cooking can be a nightmare. There’s all the preparation and making sure you don’t burn it and then when you inevitably do something wrong you have to figure out a way to fix it (i.e. add random herbs until all bad tastes go away). Good luck with that.
Having limited money is a quality all student share. You want to do all the things your new friends are doing and join all the clubs going to make the most out of your time but balancing fun, food and rent payments isn’t always easy. Compromises have to be made when it comes to what you want versus what you need, but despite that, budgeting can be used to your advantage. It’s a great multipurpose life skill helping you to understand the importance of decision making and prioritising, things that employers like. Budgeting isn’t all bad, but its not all good either.
For a reason that escapes me, I thought I wouldn’t have to pay for washing my clothes at uni and I was sorely wrong. It’s a simple enough task, but needing £2.50 in 10 and 20ps at the exact time you run out of clean clothes always comes at the most inconvenient of times. It was the last thing I thought about during the week and I am pained to say how often I found myself washing clothes in the sink to save myself the trauma of paying for a washing machine. You too have this to look forward to.
Waking Yourself Up
This may not be something everyone struggles with, but I undoubtedly have don’t-wake-me-up-before-11am-syndrome. Me and sleeping have a good thing going. I’m one of those people that if you wake me and it’s not snowing, the building isn’t burning down or there is no pancake breakfast then you will be sorry. Choosing a hall a little far from lectures didn’t help me here, so when I had a 9am to go to, waking up was hell. If you’re like me, I suggest researching where your lectures will be before choosing a hall or, if you think you could bare it, take advantage of early morning fitness classes to get yourself up and going in time.
Not something that immediately springs to mind, but getting to know people from scratch is something everyone struggles with. As we’re all used to our regular friendship groups, socialising as a stranger surrounded by strangers is intimidating to say the least, and new to all of us. There will be just as many awkward moments as there are insta-best-friendships but always keep an open mind, this is a grand opportunity to show people the person you have always wanted others to see. Leave all your life baggage at home and enjoy the social ride!
As you can see, it’s not all doom and gloom, and being prepared is always helpful. So take these few pieces of advice and you’ll be more than fine! Good luck!