Living on campus is a learning experience.
By that I mean: you’ll realise how easy you had it living at home with your parents when you figure out that toilet paper actually costs money. There are a lot of things about transitioning into adult life that makes the cut for my “top 10 things I didn’t realise needed cleaning” list, but learning what’s necessary to become self-sufficient and independent is awesome, once you get the hang of it ;). Here are a few tips for surviving uni while living on campus:
Your RA’s are the greatest
You know that one human that sometimes makes food, leaves you notes and study tips outside your apartment door, and sometimes even hands out goodie bags? Yep, that’s your RA. These guys are literally your fairy godmother while living on campus. They know how you feel about moving away from home, because they’ve done it themselves. They realise the obstacles you’re going to come up against, and they are always around to help you out. I didn’t engage with these beautiful humans enough when I was living on campus and I regret it. They will always lend you an ear, brew you a cup of tea, and if you have a cool idea on how the community can be improved they will look into it for you. Their job is to literally make your stay as homey and comfortable as possible.
Washing your clothes is not that difficult
Hot tip: If you find yourself fishing dirty undies out of the laundry basket, it’s probably time to do your washing. Make sure you set a timer on your laundry, so many people forget that they are living in a communal space – no one wants to remove your underwear from the dryer, you gotta move those bad boys yourself. ‘Adulting’ means doing your own damn laundry, and it’s really not as hard as it looks. If you’re an early riser or a night owl, those are probably the best times to do your washing, because no one else is around. Oh, and one more thing. Those softener wipes you pop into the dryer with your clothes? Worth the buy .
Remember, everything is included
Yes. Your bills are included in the cost of the rent when you live at the Village (and is generally the case at other on campus accommodation as well), which is ultimately an awesome perk. Here’s why: long showers, using a heater (if you have one) won’t cost you a limb, accidentally leaving a light on won’t cost you anything. Having said that, you should always make sure you turn off your heater, lights and hot water when you’re done, because we gotta care for the planet too!
Budgeting will save your life
Now, this is a skill that admittedly takes time to master, especially if you’re anything like me. Splashing cash just isn’t an option for most uni students. Aldi, Coles, and Woollies catalogues are a saving grace. Sign up online to get the latest deets on discounts, because honey, food is essential, you have to keep your brain and belly fed. If you’re not that into cooking, then communal cooking can save you cash and is a great way to socialise and mix up dishes and try things from different cultures. Another great way to budget is to take out cash and leave your credit/debit card at home – impulse purchasing when you’re out is a dangerous prospect… Lastly, keep weekly reminders of bills and expenses on your phone; it will take some time to figure out how much you spend on average monthly. After a while of doing this you’ll figure out how much moolah you need each week – this also means saving up a few hundred dollars in case of emergencies (emergencies are not synonymous with ‘SALE’). Try minimalism. There’s a Netflix doco on it. You’re welcome.
More than anything, just take care of yourselves. Everything in moderation. Eat your veggies. Wear suncream. Don’t try to do everything alone and enjoy uni life.