College and Beyond: How To Become Independent During College

While a huge part of college is about meeting new people and making friends, it’s also a time of self discovery.

Your early twenties are a time to learn who you really are and what you really want out of life.  In order to find these things out, you have to be independent.

I don’t only mean financially (we know this isn’t always possible in school,) but emotionally. It can be tough, especially if you live on campus, where there are always people around.

The fact of the matter is, though, once you graduate, you’ll be on your own. You’ll have your career, and so will your friends.  Schedules will be tough to match up, and more often than not, you’ll be running errands alone and spending evenings by yourself too.

It’ll be a tough adjustment, but if you starting penciling in “you” time early, it won’t feel so strange when you have to run to Target alone because everybody is busy.

Below are 4 ways you can become more independent in college:

Rely upon yourself.

It’s always a good idea to learn basic around-the-house jobs for yourself.  Whether it’s changing a tire, ironing your clothes, or cooking a real meal (no, Ramen doesn’t count,) it’s safe to say that you’ll have to do these things on your own at some point.  There won’t always be a man, woman, or parent there to do these things for you.   It may have been a good idea to learn these things before college, but if you still haven’t, it’s never too late!

Learn to accept yourself.

You might be asking, “What does this have to do with being independent?”  It has everything to do with being independent.  Only when you accept yourself and your flaws will you be truly confident with yourself.  And until you’re confident, it’s hard to be independent.

This may be easier said than done.  True, once we reach our late-teens/early 20’s, we’ve outgrown our “awkward teenage phase,” but most people our age aren’t all that much confident their junior year of college than they were their junior year of high school.

Pick up a hobby.

Learn an instrument.  Try your hand at knitting.  Figure out something you enjoy doing by yourself that doesn’t involve sitting on the couch watching TV or constantly checking your phone.  You could discover a new passion, or even just find something productive to do on those days that you just don’t feel like being around people.

Go on a date.

There was an episode of “Sex and the City” in which Carrie went to the movies and to a museum by herself, claiming that the city of New York was her date.  Her straight-laced friend Charlotte was outraged at the idea.  But the thing is, there’s no reason that we should be leery of going out by ourselves.

If there’s a movie out that none of your friends want to see, go see it yourself!  Get a popcorn and a coke, and enjoy a movie on your own.  The theater is dark, nobody will judge you.  And all of us girls know you get your best shopping done when you’re on your own.

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Carmen Bojanowski

Carmen Bojanowski

Carmen Bojanowski is a senior at Eastern Michigan University, double majoring in journalism and communications. She writes for her college newspaper, mostly covering local bands and interns at 89x, a metro-Detroit radio station. She frequents the movie theater and when she has free time, she likes spend it with her friends. Carmen hopes to one day be a music journalist.