Living by yourself can be hard. College is not living on your own entirely, but it gives you a way to learn how to take of yourself. It can be scary sometimes and stressful, but Mom is always a phone call away.
Your mom or dad is not going to be there with you at college to clean your clothes. I started learning how to do my own laundry at home, but felt overwhelmed when I did for the first time in college. I will admit to calling my mom about washing certain shirts in the washer at times. Once you get the hang of it, you are thankful that you have clean clothes.
Does your dorm, apartment or house have laundry machines?
Most do. Yeah!
Do you have to pay or is it free?
Most Cost, and if you have a laundry room near your dorm room your College ID card is used like a credit card.
Sometimes you have to use a laundromat. Sometimes it can be uncomfortable, and I would never leave my clothes there. I take my schoolwork (whatever you call it) or grab a friend and hang out there the whole time.
Tip: Separate the whites, lights, and darks. You can also get a net bag for delicate clothes.
Do you have all your supplies?
- Dryer sheet
Does the clothes need to be tumble dried or ironed?
All of these questions can get confusing. I ruined lots of clothes figuring this out the hard way: white sheets became pink, underwear got torn, etc.
Tip: Set a routine. Every two weeks, I do laundry, change my sheets, and clean my room. Setting a routine keeps me on track and doesn’t let the laundry pile up.
Otherwise I am stuck doing laundry in the middle of the night so I have something to wear!
Do you know how to use your checkbook and take care of your money?
I opened my first bank account in high school. When you are on your own at college, you may have to take care of tuition fees, club fees, food, fun and other expenses. Make sure you know how to keep track of your money, because nothing is worse than overdrawing your account or bouncing a check which costs money.
Everyone has a different way of doing it, but here is a basic video to show you how to balance a checkbook for starts. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KLuuSY2UlQ
Write a Check / Balance your funds
College brings tuition fees, club fees, and other expenses. Make sure you know how to keep track of your money, because nothing is worse than overdrawing your account or having a check bounce. Keep a notebook or check your account every morning. Writing a check is a simple process, but can be messed up just as easy as signing your name. Your parents having been doing the process a while, so asking for advice will be helpful in the end.
HOW TO WRITE A FORMAL EMAIL
With the internet slang, people forget about spelling every word out. Even a simple email to a professor or program will show respect and politeness. Your attitude towards your professors, etc. can make a big difference in your program or job.
If your professor has a Ph.D. address them as Dr. or Professor at least at first, until they tell you something else. Otherwise address the person as Mrs., Ms. or Mr. Using these terms will show respect, and sound professional compared to “Yo prof smith.”
In all emails: spell out every word, be clear and concise, and end with an ending such as “Sincerely or Thank You” and your name.
TAKING CARE OF YOUR CAR
You may not have a car your first year of college, but these are still important things to know for future reference.
Do you know how to:
- Check your oil
- Change a tire
- Jump a car (recharge the battery)
Checking your oil is an easy task that will help you if your oil is low, and save your car from damage. Under the hood there is a circle end that reveals a stick, (every car has it in a different spot, but most of the time it is on the right side) pull the stick out and see which line (full, half, or quarter) the oil falls on. Less than half a tank is hard on the engine, so be sure to fill it when it falls lower than the half a tank line. If you have been driving swipe the oil stick first then put in again before reading it. You will have a better reading.
Changing a tire is hard and requires a lot of strength, but it will keep you from calling an expensive tow truck.
In cold areas, car batteries can fail easier, so knowing how to jump a car will help you from being electrocuted. Two cars are needed: One with a dead battery car and another with a working battery. Start the car with the working battery. Jumper cables have two red ends and black ends (a car battery has a red knob and black knob), attach the red side to the running car and then the other red end to the dead car. (Always attach the running car first). Do the same with the black ends, and after a few minutes attempt to start the dead car. If it starts let it run for a bit, before you drive off. After about three times and it still doesn’t start you may need a new battery entirely.
HOW TO TIP
Tipping is a courtesy, and it shows people that you are thankful for their service. Be generous and be kind.
15%-20% is the average tipping amount and depends on the service. If your meal is $10.00, a $1 is 10% so 1.50 would be 15% and $2 is 20%. If your meal is $13.40, $1.34 is 10% so 15 % is $2.01 and 20% is $2.68. [you may need to introduce how to calculate the % or show a pic of a tip-calculating app. I have an app and can input that here, if you don’t have one.]
HOW TO PICK UP A PRESCRIPTION FROM THE PHARMACY
You will need a few things to get your medication:
- A prescription slip from your doctor [at drop-off]
- Your ID (student ID or driver’s license) [at pick-up]
- Your insurance card
A prescription requires having a slip from your doctor. If we are using Walmart as an example, the slip is given to someone at the drop off window. They will ask for your information and insurance, so make sure you have your information with you. The time and/or day that your prescription is ready is when you can pick it up. Verification and a fee may come when you pick up your prescription, so ask how much the fee is in case it is higher than you expect.
Stay Tuned for more college tips and advice.