Key Tips For Leaving The Nest and Heading To University

Leaving the nest is something that most young people look forward to, but it’s not as easy as it sounds. For many young people, going to college presents a unique opportunity to leave their parent’s home. But, while the freedom that comes with it spurs excitement on many of them, the transition from the nest to college life is not as easy as it sounds. It’s a tumultuous time that’s characterized by a fear of the unknown.

When moving to college, there are a lot of things you’ll need to figure out - such as getting a student apartment, making new friends, and even staying active throughout college. So, what can you do to manage your transition from the nest to the university better?

Below are 12 useful tips to help make your move much easier:

  1. Have A Monthly Budget

College life requires you to be responsible for you own life and well-being. As such, you need to develop a plan on how you’ll spend the financial resources you’ll have available. Prepare a budget so that you know what your main expenses and limits will be. You’ll need to discuss bills with your roommate – agree on who’ll pay for water, Internet, and electricity. Agree on how the money will be sent to the person who needs to make the payments, and ensure that the payment method is convenient for everyone.

Place a dry-erase board in the kitchen to enable you to keep track of payments – who has paid for utilities each month and who hasn’t? Also, hang a mail organizer – this will enable you to monitor paid and unpaid bills. It’ll also make them easily accessible and organized. As you’ll be sharing bills, conflicts over who paid for what and how much was paid are bound to occur. To make it easy to resolve these, keep all invoices and receipts safe.

  1. Discuss Your Apartment Lease With The Landlord

College housing is one of the most important decisions students have to make before leaving the nest for university. To make the transition easier and more comfortable, most students want to move to apartments like that offer amenities that are very similar to home settings. Before you leave home for college, identify an apartment near your university and discuss the lease with the landlord so that you know what to expect.

Check what the lease covers, and be clear on what is expected of you. When you move into the apartment, ensure that the plumbing is in good shape, and all appliances, including stoves, dishwashers, refrigerators, ovens, and dryers are working well. Also, check the bathroom and kitchen to ensure there is no mold. If there are things that are not working well, give the landlord a call right away to inform him and ask him to fix them.

  1. Deal With Family Stressors

If you have unresolved issues with your family members, resolve them before you leave the nest. It’s good not to leave your family with a heavy heart. Having negative feelings about your family members can affect the relationships you build with the people you meet in the university. To avoid this, deal with any family stressors you might have before you leave home for college. This way, you’ll be ready to build solid bonds in college. The best way to do this is to talk to those who are concerned and explain how their actions affected you.  For instance, if you’re still annoyed at your parents for not showing up at any games or events that you participated in, talk to them about that and resolve it. This way, you’ll be ready to move on to the next stage of your life.

  1. Learn How To Make Your Favorite Meals

Unlike the home environment where you might be enjoying the assistance of family members, you’ll be all by yourself. This means you’ll be responsible for making your own meals. While you can opt to be eating take-aways every so often, these kinds of food will only make you feel full once in a while. The cost of having such is extremely high and not sustainable. The best way to consistently have healthy food on-campus is to learn how to make your favorite meals.

These are not just healthy to have, they are also more affordable and will keep the great times you had with your family alive. A great way to do this is to ask your family members to share their tested secrets to making the meals you enjoy most. Putting together a weekly meal plan can help you plan your meals better and eliminate the burden of figuring out what you’ll eat every day. If you’ll have access to a fridge on-campus, consider making your food in bulk during weekends then pack the food in meal-size portions.

  1. Take Some Framed Photos With You

If you’re going to a college that’s far away from home, you’ll most likely experience homesickness when you least expect it. Being many miles from home means you’ll not be able to see your family members as often as you’d wish. Having their photos in your room can help you get through moments that you really feel the need to see them. Although this may look like an old-fashioned way of dealing with homesickness, framed photos are easy to access and you don’t have to spend hours scrolling your device to find photos with memories to cheer you up. Besides, seeing familiar faces every time you enter your room will make it easier to transition to your new environment.

  1. Embrace Healthy Habits

University life is characterized by high activity. For some students, maintaining a healthy lifestyle consistently can be a challenge. Weekends are loaded with social activities, while weekdays are characterized by learning, assignments, and exam sessions that can easily leave you feeling deprived of sleep. For some students, cereal bars become the norm. This means that veggies and fruit are left out of their daily diets. To avoid being caught up in such a cycle, prepare yourself for university life by creating regular sleep patterns months before it’s time to leave the nest. At the same time, put effort in making healthy food choices to ensure that you maintain proper nutrition and fitness. Also, pay attention to your mental health by ensuring that you don’t get hooked in drugs.

  1. Place A Plant Pot In Your Room

The transition from the nest to college and the separation from the people you love and have spent most of your time with can bring sad emotions that weigh you down. Having potted plants in your room is a great way to brighten it and also relieve the stress that comes with this change. Having plants in the room or in the spaces outside not only freshens the air around, but also enhances your mental health and general well-being. If you’ll be living in a room that has a small garden outside, consider doing some gardening – this will make the place feel more of a home than a college room or hostel.

  1. Maintain Contact With Friends And Family Back Home

As you start a new life away from home, ensure that you don’t lose the connections you had back home with your family and friends. Remember, it’s the support that your family – particularly your parents – and friends give you that will help you pull through the difficult times. The easiest way to maintain these connections is to use digital apps like Google Hangout, WhatsApp, and Skype to communicate regularly. Get on chat sessions regularly with old friends back home, and schedule weekly video calls with your parents and siblings to maintain the connection. It’s very easy to lose contact with the people you love and care about if you don’t schedule chats or calls with them.

  1. Be Open To Making New Friends

Most young people who are leaving the nest to go to university worry about finding new friends who share their values and interests. As you start your university life, be proactive in building new relationships. Find people who share your values and interests. Ideally, student life should be fun. This can only happen when you have friends who are like-minded and make your transition a lot easier. Great places to start finding people who share similar interests are associations or clubs. Find those that work best for you – great bonds are created in such places where people come together for a common goal.

Besides friendships, it’s common for young people who are transitioning into college to fear that their new roommates may be party animals or total jerks. To allay these fears, initiate contact with your new roommate either by sending an introductory email or giving a call. The purpose of doing this is to see what the two of you have in common. You may also want to take a look at social media pages for freshmen. This will help you familiarize yourself with several new faces on campus.

  1. Hunt For Student Discounts

As a student, you can benefit from discounts when shopping in areas around your university. However, these discounts will not be obvious. As you make the shift from the nest to university, invest some time in researching on the city that hosts your university to find out which businesses offer discounts to students. With this information, plan your shopping well so that you can benefit from them. For instance, if you’re planning to eat out, consider doing so on the nights when they’re having special offers for students. If there are events being hosted in the city, book your ticket early to take advantage of student discounts. Even before you report for your first semester, check out textbook stores and stationers, and shop from those that offer discounts for students.  

  1. Engage In Activities That You Love

The easiest way to enjoy campus life is to do what you really love. If you’re into music, don’t shy away from joining the orchestra in your college campus. If you love sports or journalism, join college teams or write for your university’s student publications. By engaging in activities that you love, you get a chance to be yourself, show off your talents, and even grow in them. Getting busy doing what you love is a great way to boost your social life, meet people who share your interests, and keep homesickness at bay.

  1. Agree On Apartment Cleaning

Most students prefer to share apartments to cut down on their living costs while in college. If you decide to have a roommate, you’ll need to think about how you’ll keep your apartment clean and maintained. Once you move in with your housemates, take time to discuss how you’ll all work together to ensure the apartment is clean at all times. One way to do this is to split weekly cleaning chores.

If you agree on this, consider making a chore chat and just keep varying tasks from month to month. Alternatively, you can decide that each person in the house does specific chores. For instance, anyone who users the dishwasher, cleans it. Also, whenever someone has friends coming over, he cleans the mess they make. In this case, you’ll need to develop a list of rules for everyone to follow. Agreeing on these things makes living with other people easier and prevents resentment.

Final Thoughts

Leaving the nest for university can be a challenging transition to make. However, you can make it easier by being proactive and thinking through the transition process carefully. If you’re a student who is planning to leave home for college soon, or a parent to a young adult who is just about to leave the nest for university, apply the tips discussed above to make the process much easier and more successful.

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