For high school seniors everywhere, college is approaching faster than it seems. Many of you incoming college freshman are going to be getting ready to live in a dorm room on your own, without your parents to make you dinner, do your laundry, or keep your mail organized (among many other things). Some of you are used to taking care of yourselves and acting responsible and resourceful – you’ll be fine! But some of you are going to have a tougher time – you might not be as independent, and you may not be ready to live in a dorm room on your own.
There’s no need to feel ashamed of that! Living on your own can be really, really hard. It’s not all about ice cream for dinner and setting your own curfew. You have to do boring, mundane adult stuff on your own, because no one will be there to do it for you. Luckily, you still have a few months before freshman year starts, and there’s plenty of time to get some of this basic stuff figured out. You might not feel independent right now, but you can make sure you won’t be completely helpless on campus. How do you know if you need some basic life training that even Google won’t be able to help you out with? Here are 13 signs you’re not ready to live in a dorm room on your own.
1) Your parents can’t trust you to be alone overnight.
They’re pretty much convinced that you’ll throw a raging house party, forget to eat, or lose the cat. If you can’t be trusted for a weekend with your parents away, what’s your whole life going to look like in college? To be fair, you probably deserve an opportunity, but if your parents feel so completely unsafe or worried for your wellbeing by leaving you to your own devices, you might not be ready to live on your own yet.
2) You can’t help yourself.
You’re always asking for help for the simplest things. It’s okay to ask for help… to a point. You should be resourceful and able to figure things out on your own and enlist help when you need it (like moving furniture – get a buddy and don’t hurt your back).
3) Problem solving is paralyzingly frustrating.
Beyond always needing help, you can’t even start without having a complete meltdown. The fact that your toilet might break after business hours for the plumber or student services is unfathomable. How would you deal?
4) You don’t know how to use basic household tools.
Hammers, screwdrivers, plungers… what?
5) You have no idea what to do in an emergency.
Really, if your house caught on fire, what would you do? What would you do if your roof started leaking? Who would you call?
6) You won’t eat fruits or vegetables unless your parents force you to.
Spoiler: your body needs those in order to function properly.
7) You can’t cook basic stuff.
You don’t need to be a chef to know how to make eggs, pasta, or oatmeal. Some people don’t know how to boil water. It might be time to sit down with those cooking videos
that won’t leave Facebook to save my life and get learning.
8) You can’t budget your money.
Okay, you can order take out if you don’t know how to cook – you caught me! Realistically though, how long can that last? Some of you may have saved for college, and $2,000 can feel like a lot of money until you know how quick and easy it is to spend $2,000.
9) You’re totally irresponsible.
You’re prone to leave lights on, curling iron plugged in, and if left to your own devices you may forget to pay rent or bills. You don’t get to be flaky about those things. You might not even know you’re doing it because you have parents or siblings catching all your mess ups, but that’s not going to be the case in college.
10) You’re spoiled to death.
Everyone in your life does everything for you. On top of that, no one in your life has any interest in showing you how to be independent. It’s no one’s fault that they were born into privilege. If that’s the case, you may want to start deliberately learning some life skills so you don’t fall apart when you’re living away from your family.
11) You can’t clean up after yourself.
You’re messy af! Having a messy room at home is cool if your parents are also cool with it. The thing about dorms, though, is that you share one room with another person. Even if you keep it on “your half” it’s still technically in their space. You don’t have to be the queen of clean, but not leaving a pile of dirty dishes in the sink is a good place to start.
12) You’re still super dependent on your parents.
I knew a girl in college who called her mom because she needed help picking out a top. Really.
13) Your separation anxiety is through the roof.
You’re going to have to leave the nest eventually. The thought of leaving your home sends you into a spiral of depression and anxiety. You might be ready to leave yet – truly – and that’s fine. There are commuter options if you’ve decided to go to school close to home. Living far away from people you’ve lived with for 18 years is of course going to be difficult, but you can get through it and come out on top. Maybe feeling even better than before.
Do you think you’re ready to live on your own? What do you disagree with? Let me know in the comments.