So you’re finally leaving home to head into res life, and you’d like to know what to expect. Here’s our advice on navigating through the craziness, and surviving your first year at res.
Manage your money
Living on your own for the first time means that your finances need to be in check, and that this will quickly become your responsibility. Start by learning how to create a basic budget, and getting involved in managing your own bank account. If you think you may struggle to cover your monthly expenses, consider getting a part-time job. Learning to manage your money is good to do sooner rather than later- trust us, you don’t want to get stuck without enough money for toilet paper midway through the month!
Keep it clean
Not having anyone to help you clean your living space will be a bit of a shock at first. Even if you’re used to doing one or two chores at home, res life means you’ll now need to keep EVERYTHING tidy on your own. The best way to stay on top of this is to do a little bit of cleaning every day- otherwise, the trash will keep piling up and eventually overwhelm you. Pick a day of the week for a specific chore (eg. cleaning the bathroom on Wednesdays), and for chores such as washing dishes or cleaning your desk space, try to do get into the habit of doing these every day. It’s hard at first, but trust us- you’ll feel much more comfortable this way, as well as confident to have friends over!
Respect the rules
While it may seem tempting to sneak a bottle of alcohol into your res, or to let a friend stay the night without permission, breaking your res’ rules can get you in trouble, and even kicked out, very quickly. Learn and respect the rules of your res, because breaking them is a risk that isn’t really worth taking.
Let’s face it- the newly found freedom of staying on your own for the first time can be super exciting, and there’s nothing wrong with socialising or attending the occasional chill sesh. You’ll quickly discover, however, that crazy parties are the norm at lots of residences, and often times people can go overboard and get involved in binge drinking, drugs, unsafe sex and other risky behaviour. Stick to your values and don’t let your roommates pressure you into doing anything you aren’t keen on. You’ll gain far more respect that way, and you won’t have to worry about the consequences of a bad decision.
Staying at res is a super fun experience, but it’s also the next step in your life which means you need to begin creating a good lifestyle for yourself. To have the best time at res, start getting serious about your responsibilities and you’ll be rewarded with independence you can be proud of earning. Good luck!