My College experience came early. Only two weeks after high school graduation I packed my bags and went to college for summer classes. I thought the experience would be overwhelmingly intense and prepared myself by making a sleeping schedule as well as a study schedule for my mere two classes. Surprisingly though, I found the isolation from friends and family to be a welcome environment. I was able to produce some of the best grades I’d ever had, and when fall semester approached along with my group of friends from high school, I took good grades as sign to go from summer at the dorms to renting a house in the fall. Having made mistakes over the course of that freshman year, this will be an opportunity to provide some advice to those trying to do the same.
Place high importance on knowing your friends sleep habits before you even consider sharing a place with them. Or a room much less. Although you have no control over this in the dorm scenario, the quirks of a stranger are somehow less frustrating. Because of that, I think it’s easier to maintain a sleep schedule if people are accosting you to play video games into the wee hours of delirium with them.
Make sure you are setting boundaries and able to find time for privacy and most importantly sleep. You can’t stop roommates from stopping intergalactic warfare on their big screen television all night, but having an escape of your own is a must. Remember that being a good roommate means socializing as well though, and not of the Facebook variety either.
Restaurant or Eating In?
This should have been a no brainer, but eating out regularly is the least financially responsible thing a student can do besides setting your money on fire. We spent money on restaurants and fast food as well as stocked up on groceries regularly as means to escape studying. We weren’t’ alone either, it looks like data has come forward that reveals some startling information about how students prioritize their spending. Student spending on dining out has risen above grocery sales. This isn’t sustainable though.
Planning meals is a must, even if they take place away from the roommates. On the flip side, trying to plan time to go eat a meal out once every week or two can help distress and keep your roommate foundation solid. Just make sure to keep it to a minimum. Cooking for yourself can be fun, and a good stress reliever. Remember you’re a college student so you’re never too good for cheap, and simple ramen.
There is a certain focus required to retain course information and actively study. Although coffee shops may provide shelter from distracting extracurricular activities, there is also the often-overlooked library. With a maze of books and hopefully a few floors, hiding away should be no problem at all, and if you’re lucky, you might lose cell service in some spots.
Location isn’t always the most important aspect of a productive study session however. Make sure you can block out some time during your day to solely focus on school.
Finding the New You
When you room with a friend from high school much of your old tendencies are likely to room with you. By not branching out and learning to live with someone new, who probably has a much different background, you’re not allowing yourself to grow. College is supposed to help guide us into life with new perspective and sometimes it’s hard to do that if old habits are left unchecked.
- Finding an apartment within your budget and in the right area: Abodo
- Cheap furniture is always an easy find at Goodwill
- Budget cost of groceries and other necessities mint.com
- Coffee. Coffee. Coffee.
Whether you decide to live with your high school chaps or not, college should be a time for growing, learning, and staying healthy. Though there are many roads you can take to experience college remember to keep your sanity on the top of your priority list.
Ryan De La Rosa misses his college roommates and thus bugs them incessantly on Twitter @fernsandmoss