Things to know when living on your own

Moving out of your parent’s house can be a huge change for any college student, and whether you are moving to a dorm on campus or an apartment of your own, there are some important things to know.

1. Manage your money

Keeping track of your spending is a very important aspect of living by yourself. If you don’t have one, invest in a checking or savings account and learn how to use a checkbook to keep track of your balance as you spend.

Most bank accounts also come with a Debit/ATM card that you can use. Your bank will also provide you with a checkbook to use to keep track of your balance. Be sure to update your checkbook at least once a month.

2. Know where to find food

Knowing the best places for food is essential. Eating is important, after all, and there are several great places to eat on and off-campus.

For those who live in the halls such as Downing or Best, the Commons will be your best bet. If you live in the Towers, the Marketplace will be the most convenient. There are also other options available, such as the various food places in the student center; Salsa Grill, International Kitchen, Starbucks, Wendy’s and Subway are all on the first floor.

However, if you want to eat off-campus, there are some great restaurants nearby. The Tower Inn is a popular spot, as is the Wurst Bar. There are also many places that you can order food to be delivered like Jimmy John’s, Dominoes, Papa John’s, Insomnia Cookies and more.

3. Find things to do outside your room

Staying in your room all day isn’t very fun, and there are tons of things to do on and off-campus.

Almost all of the dorms host events thrown by the resident adviser. By going to their events, you get a chance to step outside of your comfort zone and have tons of fun. There also events in the Student Center that are worth your time. Not only are they fun, but some of them are approved for LBC credit.

There are also clubs on campus where you can be sure to people with interests similar to yours, and maybe even make some new friends.

Even just going to the hall lounge and saying ‘hi’ to whomever might be hanging out there is a great way to meet people.

4. Keep things clean

Cleanliness is important when living in a dorm room or apartment. Make sure to have cleaning supplies on-hand for any type of mess that comes up.

Don’t forget the basics like trash bags, sponges, soap etc. If you have a roommate, a great way to keep things clean is to split tasks between the two of you. For example, have your roommate vacuum the floors while you clean the bathroom. The same can also apply for doing laundry. Don’t let your dirty clothes sit in the hamper for weeks on end. Make sure to buy the proper supplies for doing laundry.

5. Take notes

Making lists is a very useful tool when living on your own, and is also a great way to keep yourself organized. Keep reminders for the most important things you need to do, such as when to get up in the morning for classes or when to do your laundry.

If you have a smart phone, it should have an app which allows you to make notes and set alarms. When setting alarms, be sure to get to bed on time so you don’t sleep through them. As fun as it is to pull an all-nighter with your friends, sometimes it pays to get a good night’s sleep and wake up in the morning well-rested.

6. Stay safe

Sometimes emergencies can happen when living on your own, and this can be scary. However, there are resources available on campus that you can make use of if something does happen.

The first person to contact in the dorm is the RA on duty. These are the people that keep watch on each floor and they are there to deal with minor situations, such as noise complaints.

If the emergency is severe, you can call the Department of Public Safety, our campus police.

Another important group of people is SEEUS. You may have seen them wandering around on campus at night wearing bright yellow ponchos. These people are the campus escort service and are very helpful for getting back to your dorm at night if you don’t feel comfortable walking back on your own.

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