Six specific things you need to learn to survive living alone

College, internship, and working season has just begun for some, and whether it’s your first time or not to live in a dorm or condo, there are a few things that one must know to enjoy a smart, comfortable, and healthy stay.

Pasta is your best friend

One of the things that you will miss the most about living at home with your family is the food. It’s bad enough that we may not have someone to eat with, but it’s worse that we have to sometimes rely on processed fast food to fill our stomachs conveniently. But, a pro-tip to remedy that is to have pasta as a go-to meal! Known as a staple item in most dormers’ kitchen, pasta is both easy to cook (in under 15 minutes!) while assuring yourself that the food you eat is real. Plus, you can mix and match different kinds of sauces and noodles, and you can cook a big serving that can last you for days as long as it is refrigerated.

Setting aside some time for a quick exercise or meditation

Living independently can mean being lonely and isolated. This can take a toll on your body and mental health, and without anyone to remind you to go outside or socialize, self-care is something you must consider as a priority. Apps like Headspace and Calm can be one tap away in guiding you to take quick meditations and breathing exercises. Taking an hour off of your day for a run or an exercise routine can be pretty helpful, too.

Your roommates don’t always become like siblings to you

There’s that popular narrative that your new roommates automatically become your ultimate best buddy. The truth is, that kind of friendship grows over a period of time, depending on your personalities, and that’s okay! Some roommates even last months without going beyond saying hello every day. One way you can grow closer is by asking to have dinner or lunch dates with them, finding common interests, and sharing some snacks.

Big is always better

Make sure to buy your personal items—shampoo, condiments, food items, laundry detergents—in large sizes. Sure, sachets and tester sizes seem more ample for just one person but it’s always more convenient to have less packaging: there’s more product, but less money spent, and less trash wasted. You never know how much you can consume until you finish that large bottle of conditioner you thought was too big for you.

Scheduling some quality time with your family and friends

A lot of those who live alone usually do so for work or school. This means being displaced from the comfort of being near your closest friends and family, and just the overall feeling of being home. Homesickness is always normal the first few days or weeks of moving away, but this sickness can come back every once in a while even when you feel comfortable about living alone. Having a scheduled FaceTime session or a specific bonding day with friends or family balances out enjoying your new place while keeping a close distance with those from home.

Finding your own spot

To some people, home means a parent, a friend, the specific way your mom cooks a meal, or a coffee shop that you can always run to that’s just near your house. Normally, you leave all this behind indefinitely when you move away. But home, as they say, is a feeling, and you can always recreate that feeling in new spaces and traditions. Find a place near you that reminds you of home, perhaps a restaurant that’s almost too similar to your mom’s cooking. Create a certain tradition that you can enjoy alone without that lingering feeling of loneliness. Pick a favorite restaurant or coffee shop that becomes your me-time place.Choose a TV show that you can enjoy watching on your own. Soon, you will embrace the fact that home is always within you, and starting anew keeps you closer to that feeling of home. InqPOP!/Bea Constantino


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