Good Afternoon Prospective Students (and students),
Whilst struggling to conceive an idea of what I could write about today, I did something I do rarely. This was going back and looking at my old work. Therefore, I dived into the pages of my blog and went back to the ‘beginning’ and remembered I was very passionate about doing a collection of articles called ‘student worries’ and therefore, I thought I’d do one that I’d never done before! Therefore, I welcome you to ‘student worries: independence’!
Through my time on ‘The Student Roon’ in the early part of 2016 and previous and then my time on Campus since the beginning of this year… and my entire three years at university, independence is something that is two-fold. 45% of students are dying for it, 45% are terrified of it and 10% are both. It is fair to say that when we are starting university, putting the studying aspect aside for a moment, it is all about independence.
Personally, I believe you have more independence when moving out of home and actually living in halls/student housing. Purely because, I feel, if you stay at home – you are stuck between two worlds. A world of routine you have always known and then a world of study and socialism that you have never experienced before and I believe to truly immerse yourself in the independence of being a student, you have to move on. This is not to say that students living at home are not independent because they can be, but, I just believe there is a huge amount of growth to be said for moving out of your family home, paying your own way and supporting yourself. Each to their own though.
Anyway, independence! The idea of being independent as a student is accumulated with several reasons. It is the idea, as said above, that you are paying your own way and supporting yourself. You have taken the step of moving away from home and doing your own cooking; cleaning; shopping and more. Also, learning to be alone away from your family and friends that you have grown up with and loved. Now, to some people, it does not affect them and they are just ready to move out and begin living ‘their’ life, but for some people, it is quite heavy and there is nothing wrong with this.
Independence; The Scary Side
Let us, for a moment, focus on being scared of having independence.
From what I have experienced in my three years, being scared of having independence is again, two-fold. So, firstly, you can be scared of independence because you have led an extremely sheltered existence and never really learned to ‘stand on your own two feet’ metaphorically speaking. This means that you have led a very ‘laid back’ lifestyle whilst living at home and had a lot done for you, or, purely decided not to actively learn the skills you need to survive in life. This means, you have very limited knowledge of cooking, cleaning is commonly known as ‘hide all the junk under the bed’ and shopping is something only your parents do. If you are one of those people, going to university and living in halls is going to be a shock. Like jumping in an ice-cold river.
My advice for you people. Despite the fact this sounds like a harsh dig at you, it is not. It is trying to get you to open your eyes early so you do not have a meltdown when you first get to university. My advice is this; take control of your life and learn the skills you need to learn. There a student cookbooks out there that guide you through even the most complex of recipes and they are very easy to follow. Take pride in cleaning your space – it is really rewarding knowing that you have cleaned up! And finally, GO SHOPPING. Even if it is just joining your parents, go out shopping. Understand how much you are going to be spending on a certain time period, learn how to bargain and where to shop. It is not as easy as you think. Just, PREPARE. As they say, fail to prepare, prepare to fail and that applies to every aspect of university.
Secondly, you are scared of independence purely because it is a massive change. These are the people that are perfectly competent in looking after themselves and being able to cook, clean and shop – however – they are about to break out of a routine they have known for a long time and submerge into a way of living that they have never really experienced before. ‘Flying the nest’ is actually a lot more stressful than it looks. You are looking forward to being away from family and friends and being able to ‘do you’ when you want, but, you do not really know how you are going to deal with it or how you are going to adapt, but again, is perfectly fine.
My advice for you people. As bad as it sounds, you just have to take the plunge and get there. There is no real ‘trial run’ you can do before you go to prepare yourself. You can get everything prepared and know the skills, but to truly know how you’ll fair once you are there, you just have to take the plunge and do it. I will not lie to you, it is not for everyone. Some people cannot handle it and end up moving back up and commuting and again, that is okay. Some people just are not ready for that. However, the majority pick it up straight away or as we students like to call it, you learn how to ‘scrape on by’.
Independence; Being Ready For It
Now, this is the one I relate to the most and purely because it was me when I started university.
These people are the ones that are just ready and again, arguably, they are two-fold. With the amount of ‘two-folds’ that go into independence, it’s got to be like 16 folds by now! Anywho, these people are two-fold. Like previous; they are either unprepared and ready for whatever comes their way with an ‘I’ll learn as I go along’ attitude or they are like the latter ones where they have all the skills they need and are ready to face whatever comes their way. Equally, both fine. However, going in with this attitude can be slightly dangerous. You may be thinking, ‘why is it dangerous?’, well, if you go in with this attitude (and there is nothing wrong with confidence) you can be a bit oblivious to the things you may not be prepared for and at the end of the day, it is always better to be prepared, as they say ‘expect the unexpected’… however, if you expect the unexpected, does that not make the unexpected, expected? Wow, trippy.
ANYDOODLE, MY ADVICE FOR YOU PEOPLE IS… do you, just be prepared a little. Be confident, as confident as you want too because I was. I was ready to move out, I had lived out my time at home, I had the skills and I was ready to move onto the next chapter of my life and when I got there, there were a few hiccups at the beginning but, it is a learning curve – as it is for everyone. Enjoy it!
And for now, that is student worries: independence!
I hope you were able to take even a small something away from this post!