How to Adjust to Living on Your Own

You’ve just graduated from college, and you’re about to jumpstart your career, maybe even far away from home. Regardless if you’re moving on your own or with roommates, it’s going to take some adjustment. In college, you may have lived on your own in a dorm or apartment, but you never were really on your own. You had your family’s home to go back to on breaks and weekends to visit. This next step in your life is going to be different from anything you’ve experienced before, which is both exciting and scary. Adjusting to living on your own will take time, but it’s definitely doable. Here are some tips to make this transition a little easier.


Practice independence

The post-grad period can be a little unsettling as you learn to officially stand on your own two feet, but it’s a wonderful time to truly learn independence. For your entire life, you’ve had a place to fall back on, but moving forward, it’s important to not rely on that mentality. Learn to fix things around your house on your own, pay your bills on time, and get things done yourself. Learning new skills sets will probably be the most challenging part of the adjustment period, but it’s a crucial one. When you learn to become independent, it will set you up for greater mental and emotional stability down the line. Knowing you’re able to not only survive but thrive on your own will better prepare you for future relationships.

Budget. Budget. Oh, and budget.

Moving out on your own will make you appreciate all the help your family has given you over the years; especially when you realize how expensive having a phone bill, car payment, rent, utilities, and grocery bill are. It can be overwhelming figuring out how to budget your money for bills, savings, and still have money left over to spend on fun things. Nonetheless, creating a budget is essential to managing your money and it will give you some peace of mind knowing where all of your money is going. Start by using a budgeting template to determine all of your costs. From there, you’ll be able to have a visual of your money while feeling more in control.

Get into a routine

The best way to adjust to living on your own is by creating a routine that you can stick to and look forward to. Whether it’s waking up earlier, preparing your meals for the week ahead of time, establishing a gym routine, or enjoying a walk after work; routines give you a sense of purpose and self-assurance. However, make sure you choose a routine that’s realistic to ensure that you stick to it, and revisit habits that don’t feel like they’re working for you.

Meet your neighbors

As an adult, making new friends isn’t as easy as asking your childhood neighbor to play or asking your new dormmate to go to a campus event. However, a great way to meet people while also making your living situation better is by going out of your way to meet your neighbors. Being friendly with your neighbors gives you a sense of security knowing that they’re more likely to look out for you and your apartment. When you run into a neighbor, be sure to introduce yourself and make yourself open for conversation. You’ll gain a sense of belonging and feel more at home.

Learn to cook the necessities

In college, a ramen noodle and mac n’ cheese diet may have worked for you just fine, but as an adult now living on your own, it’s time to learn how to cook the essentials. Not only does cooking help you budget by allocating money for groceries, but it will also help you maintain a healthier lifestyle overall. You’ll be able to entertain when you have guests (perhaps your new neighbors) and feel more confident about your ability to cook. Start slowly by learning one new recipe per week. Before you know it, you’ll have a whole list of go-to recipes you can choose from at ease.

Find a new hobby or passion

With so many obligations and distractions during college, you may be confused and a little lonely once things settle down during the initial post-grad period. It’s good to embrace this time of solidarity to allow yourself to slow down and have an open schedule for yourself. Now is a great time to incorporate hobbies and passions into your life. Find new hobbies you can start after college that you may have wished you had the time for prior. Try something out of your comfort zone and make sure to enjoy yourself!

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