I've lived overseas for about a year now and I think many of you out there are about to/have embarked on this same journey. Over the past year, I've learnt a lot of things that I could have never imagine dealing with back when I was living with my Mom. You settle practically everything on your own. Your laundry, cooking, utilities... It gets lonely sometimes. And it gets hard.
So I'd like to give all you freshies out there some advice. I wasn't given much when I arrived but with the help of a few friendly faces, I've made it this far (and hopefully all the way till I'm done)
#1. You'll get frustrated when nothing goes your way
It's fine when you're trying to purchase your books in line with your group of friends, or lining up for a subway sandwich and laughing at what happened in class earlier on. But when you're new to a city and you've just settled in, little things will become big things. The books you needed for school are out of stock, you need to choose another sandwich cosy the meatballs have been sold out, and your grocery bag tears cos it's too heavy. We all have gone through something as shitty as this, but just take a small breather and laugh it off. At least there's something to tell your friends to make conversation.
#2. You will have to be responsible for just about... Everything
Bills, buying a clothing rack, lugging the clothing rack back, buying a printer, lugging the printer back, ensuring you don't spend a quarter of your monthly allowance on that one gorgeous coat from Zara, and even stinging on where you can find the cheapest groceries. In a nutshell - it does suck. But on the other hand, you learn to be more spendthrift and careful with where you spend your money. You count every penny and you learn to be more financially aware. This is something that I've learnt from my time here and I'm by no means a complete angel but I do take note on my spending every day. And I'm glad that I do now.
#3. You can't seem to understand anything that's going on in lectures
Just like how we find a doctor's handwriting illegible, we get lost in lectures. Hey, it happens. It helps to read up before the lecture itself so that if you have any questions, you're able to ask the lecturer immediately after the lecture or during a break. It sometimes gets a little crazy when you have so much reading to do, but always remember that consistent studying is better than panicking and cramming everything within 3 weeks.
#3 Sometimes, it gets lonely :(
I always tell people that I like being alone. But that doesn't mean I like being lonely. There's a huge difference. I live alone in my apartment and while it's great for when I study or just wanna chill in my animal PJ's, it gets kind of depressing when the music on your itunes stops playing and all you hear are the leaves rustling or your washing machine going. Sometimes you'll cry, sometimes you'll try to occupy yourself with 123456 episodes of the good wife. It's normal, we all face this.
#4 But you'll get by with a lil help from your friends
Friends are the backbone to our body.
#5 Food might just be your next best friend
How can one resist food? It's easy to cook a bowl of instant noodles (should I even say cook?) but spice things up a lil. Go grab some herbs, some protein and some good carbs and whip up something you'd be proud of instagramming. If you're finding for a way to kill time, this is the perfect antidote. Treat yourself to some homebaked cookies, or just spend time messing up in the kitchen with friends over and laughing over it at dinner outside:)
#6 So will the library
The library. The library here is open 24/7, every single day except Christmas. During finals, practically every living soul sees no daylight (fluorescent light more like) except to and from the library, redbull becomes your best friend and you feed your brain with so much information that's all you think about. But it's a good idea to get a headstart and keep track of what you're studying. Don't study blindly, study smart.
#7 Eventually, things always get better
And of course, things will get better. When finals are over and you can do almost NOTHING all day, it gets even better when you plan for your travels/go home. Whether it is a roadtrip with your friends or a flight back home to your loved ones, there's always something to do and look forward to. There's no benefit in cooping yourself up at home and binge watching The Big Bang Theory, go out and enjoy your freedom!
That's all the advice I've to give you guys, and I hope it helped some of you. Have a great semester ahead and drop a comment if you'd like to share how you cope being a uni student.