6 Tips For Successfully Living Alone At College

6 Tips For Successfully Living Alone At College

If you’re living alone at college or thinking of residing solo, there are many differences you should be aware of (if you’re not already) between living with roommates and being on your own.

There are definitely pros and cons of living alone or having roomies, and which would suit you better is a decision you’ll have to make before looking into housing options. If you have decided to live by yourself, here are some tips to make your experience of living alone at college a good one.

1. Keep your place clean. When you’re living alone, it can be easy to push off vacuuming and doing dishes, and tell yourself you’ll get to it the next day. However, it’s important when you’re living alone that you keep your place organized and clean and set a real schedule or establish a routine for yourself to do the necessary chores.

If you had a roommate, you’d be able to split household duties and the responsibility of keeping up the apartment or house, but if you’re living solo, it’s all on you. And when you have people over, you can’t even blame the mess on someone else because you’re the only occupant — so pick up after yourself and keep the place tidy.

2. Make sure you feel safe. Oftentimes, a concern for people living alone at college is making sure they feel safe in their apartment and neighborhood. Before you rent a place, you want to be sure you’re moving into a safe environment so talk to other tenants and get their take on the neighborhood and meet your neighbors once you’ve settled into your new home.

You may also want to look into some kind of security system if it will make you feel better being alone in your home at night. If not, always make sure to lock your doors — both when you leave and when you come in — and set up a check-in system with a family member or friend so you’ll have someone looking out for you.

3. Invite people over. Living alone at college doesn’t mean you need to be lonely or bored — and having the place all to yourself means you can invite people over whenever you want for as long as you want. So if you’re feeling kind of bored or lonely, have people come over to your place for a dinner party, to do homework, to have a movie or binge-watching night, etc.

If you’re worried you’re really going to get lonely living by yourself, consider adopting a pet if your landlord allows them — besides being great company, they can also help make you feel more safe being on your own.

4. Create a happy environment. When you don’t have a roommate or a few, the entire apartment is yours to decorate and make your own. So once you’ve moved in or picked a place, start thinking about how you’re going to personalize it and put your stamp on it.

Making your home a place you like and want to be in is especially important when you’re living alone at college since most of the time, there won’t be anyone around to distract you from your apartment. Hanging pictures, baking on the weekends, singing in the shower — whatever you do to feel happy and relaxed, do it.

5. Teach yourself some basic skills. Knowing how to do stuff like cook, shop for groceries, and do basic repairs is super important when you’re living alone at college. If you don’t already know how to cook, you’ve got to learn — takeout and delivery is way more expensive than cooking for yourself — and in order to cook, you have to know how to shop for groceries.

Make a list of all the groceries you’ll need to tide you over for a week or two and get into the habit of going grocery shopping every week or every other week. You’ll also find being able to unclog a toilet, change a light bulb, etc. are handy things to know as your landlord or maintenance may not be so quick to come and fix your problem.

6. Plan your budget. Living alone means you’re not sharing expenses with anyone else so you should plan your budget both before you rent a place and each month you’re living alone. You’ll need to be able to afford to pay rent, utilities, the Wi-Fi bill, as well as food and other necessities. However, living alone at college means you can also look into smaller apartments which may be significantly cheaper than bigger places and houses.

Living alone at college isn’t for everyone — but if you think it’s for you, keep in mind these six tips to make your solo habitation a good and happy experience.

Geoffrey Nevine — IT Services and IT Consulting

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