The ABCs of living on your own

Disclaimer: I am not in any way an expert on the matter – as any visitor I ever had in my room could easily confirm – but rather a fellow uni student who made enough mistakes in the last 2 years and 1 month to have learnt a few lessons here and there. And trust me, you don’t want to make the mistakes I made. 

Let’s start with being completely honest with each other: we are students, we have just left college and entered that messy stage of life in between teen years and proper adulthood called “20s”, which means that it’s totally ok to not have your life nor your basic needs completely figured out yet. After all, most of us have been living with our parents until now, so how are we supposed to know what it means to pay rent, cook a decent meal every day and manage our daily life all whilst studying and going to classes without anyone’s help? We are not.

Don’t worry, most of these things will come in naturally after a while – especially the rent thing, as you’ll surely find your email inbox full of reminders from the landlord every single time it’s due – although others are not that obvious and, if ignored, could easily turn you into one of these guys. So here are a few tips I’d totally share with a younger me:

  1. Buy a spare anything: everything could happen anytime and from my experience, small disasters tend to happen all at once, which means your bathmat, bed covers, tea towel, bath towel and pyjama might all be in the urgent need of a visit to the laundry at the exact same time and, well, let’s just say that is not a nice situation to be in, so make sure to be ready.
  2. Don’t be lazy: I know days can be hard and that even taking the plate back to the kitchen after you had your dinner can seem like an impossible burden, but do yourself a favour and do it. You know what happens otherwise: the next day it will be just as hard as the previous one and so will the next one and, sooner than you’d expect, you’ll have your whole house – and garbage – piled up in your bedroom.
  3. Plan a laundry schedule – and stick to it. Now, I still have loads of problems with this one and thus end up having to sometimes wear my pyjamas bottoms at dance class – as I said, learn from my mistakes. Choose at least one day a week to get most of your clothes clean + 1 day at least a month to wash your bedding. Keep in mind that it usually takes a while to get everything done, so you may want to do it on the weekend – Sunday afternoon/evening works perfectly for me.
  4. Buy a plant. I know it sounds pointless, but you don’t realise the huge difference a simple and healthy plant makes until you have one: it makes the messiest of messes look tidy(-ish) and gives the impression that not only can you take care of yourself, but of another living being as well – just remember to water it. Plus, it’s a perfect background for an Instagram selfie.

Good luck!

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Alex

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