North Texas Daily

#NTDailyFirsts: Living on your own

#NTDailyFirsts: Living on your own

Paulina De Alva | Staff Photographer

#NTDailyFirsts: Living on your own
August 24
22:27 2015

Sam Beckett | Staff Writer

@SamBeckett27

Living on your own for the first time can be scary, but it doesn’t have to be.

Students will often find themselves feeling lost and overwhelmed. There are so many people stressing out over academic deadlines and they miss the support and familiarity of home.

Here are some tips to making things a bit easier:

Engage

Many extracurricular activities are available on campus. These include intramural athletics, academic clubs, Greek organizations and social networks.

Sometimes, new students may find it challenging to seek out social circles on their own. Most are excited when they reach out and quickly make friends.

Vanessa Lopez, a senior resident assistant at Kerr Hall, is involved in both the Kappa Delta Chi sorority and the Korean Culture Exchange, an organization aimed at encouraging cultural examination between American students and Korean foreign exchange students.

“What really helps is community engagement. Getting involved in on-campus organizations is key,” she said. “I am passionate about the Korean language, so meeting other people that share that similar interests opens social doors and establishes trust.”

Establish a Routine

Building a routine based around positive activities will foster a more stable lifestyle. Finding enough time to accomplish everything without feeling rushed can be hard.

Many students take advantage of a planner or a scheduling app to plan their time more efficiently. Setting aside specific times for studying, working, attending classes and having a social life is important. Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day will help sustain energy throughout the week.

Cut the Junk

It’s easy to have a diet of convenience when living alone for the first time. Buying groceries and preparing food seems like a chore.

Late-night study sessions are often powered by processed, prepackaged foods. Substituting junk food for healthier options, eating breakfast, moderating caffeine and alcohol consumption and cooking quick, nutritious meals encourages a healthier, cheaper lifestyle.

Ask for Help

Dealing with life on life’s terms is difficult, but it’s even more challenging alone. UNT has services designed to help students navigate the emotional roller coaster of college.

Rodney Mitchell is the associate dean of students at UNT. His office is in Stovall Hall Suite 150.

“Advocate for yourself,” Mitchell said. “The office of the Dean of Students has many resources available to students in need.”

Mitchell said the Office of the Dean of Students is always open and willing to help students in need. Other helpful outlets, he said, are professors. They have a wealth of knowledge about the university and the academic process.

“Seeking options and solutions will help resolve university-related issues,” Mitchell said. “The care team is designed to support student success. A food pantry is available to students in need of groceries.”

Set Goals

Setting goals is important because it keeps the future in mind. Articulating desired accomplishments will offer motivation during times of fatigue and hopelessness.

Many college students lose sight of why they decided to attend college in the first place. Personal goals help students feel like their college career has a direction, and reminds them why the journey began.

Have Fun

College is one of the defining periods of a person’s life.

A lot of people discover their passion in college. Some fall in love, while others establish lifelong friendships and get grounded with their careers.

David Lawson, an alumni of UNT’s graduate school of counseling, is now a licensed practicing counselor and equine-assisted psychotherapist in the Denton area. He urges young people to get out and explore.

“Denton and its surrounding areas are filled with lakes, state parks and walking trails. It’s fun to get out and be active in the Denton community,” he said. “The Square is a wonderful place to be a part of the unique and comfortable environment that is present here in Denton.”

Featured Image: Mechanical energy engineering junior Basil George-Kuriakose carries a box down the stairs as he moves into his new apartment at University Courtyards on Friday, August 21, 2015. Paulina De Alva | Staff Photographer

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