Common things every Student living alone should be aware of
Basic tips and tricks for the students living alone in hostel and on rent
When you are living alone, you have to manage with limited money. Hence, it is vital to learn the ways of haggling with experienced shopkeepers and make them decrease the price even though it is fixed. You have seen our mothers do it. You probably were embarrassed by her antics. Now, you will learn the value of haggling. But how do you even do it? Fear not. We got you covered!
1. Do prior research of the product you wish to buy. If it is less offline, why would you even buy it offline? Until and unless you need it right now.
2. Act like the thing is not necessary for you, that you are doing the shopkeeper favour by buying it. Bargaining is like a poker game. So keep your poker face on. If anything, act as if you are starting to become unconvinced about the usability of the thing. Find the little problems with the stuff before pointing it out to the person.
3. Do not be afraid of annoying the shopkeeper. The latter has probably come across worse. Think of it as your consumer right.
4. Let the seller tell you his price even if it is written in the bright, neon font on the item. Now you should state a price far less than your budget. Be open to negotiations. And also be ready to walk out of the store.
5. Do not keep your options closed to that particular shop. There are probably more shops around the vicinity and online as well. Most of the time, the online stuff is cheaper, anyway.
6. Ask him to show various styles for the same thing. You have them invested now. There is a massive chance with the emotion, time and energy they invested, they most probably now feel motivated to sell you the item at any cost.
Everyone wishes to be King and Queen of their own lives. They wish to take control of their life and not live as someone’s puppet. Being independent not only means being able to live life the way you want, but it also comes to responsibility. While students know how to have fun, they often fail to be responsible.
Independence comes from being able to accept yourself, faults and everything. Start accepting your body, persona, opinions, choices, preferences and past. If you do anything, you only have yourself to blame. There is power in that. Do not put up with anyone bashing. If you do change, change for yourself and not because someone asked you to. If you are comfortable in skirt and crop tops, do not stop wearing them just because an aunty criticised you for it. Start learning from your past mistakes, start growing with each wrong step you too.
Start believing in yourself. Once you start to believe in yourself, everyone else will ultimately learn to, as well. Know that not everyone will agree with what you are saying and not everyone thinks the same way as you. But that does not mean you are wrong.
Independent people see the world for it is. They do not see the good or the bad. They see the neutrality in it. They see the grey between all the black and white. They see the muted tone between all the bright and dull colours. You are independent because you accept help as well as offer it. Independence does not mean you deny anyone helping you. It means that you know that there are things you can not do alone. After accepting yourself, it is crucial you accept others.
Being independent does not only mean having a job, a house, a car…it also refers to your emotions. Notice whether you are emotionally dependent on your family, significant other or friends. Realise that they will never always be there for you for whatever reason. Be it death, break up, falling out. The only one who will ever stand with you is you, yourself. It is okay to be dependent on yourself but not too much. Maybe just enough. Do not look at them for validation. The only one you need to validate is you, yourself. Do not give others the strength to crush you.
Start motivating yourself to succeed. When you start becoming motivated, you work to attain success until it is at your foot. Stop procrastinating, getting distracted and disorganised. It is time that you start to organise your life and keep a one track mind. Success is not just achieved by the most brilliant minds but to those who work hard for it. Stop whining or undermining yourself. That is not how you will achieve anything. Pity only takes you a short while.
Idolise but do not compare. Once you start comparing yourself to someone better, you will probably end up demotivated. Idolism does not work that way. The only failure does. Find the good in you and change the bad in you.
While you lived with your parents, you were sheltered from most harm. But now you are going to be up against everything they saved you from. It is time you accept that life is not fair to anyone. You will be mistreated on account of your gender, skin colour, intelligent, orientation, height, weight, caste, creed, religion, money, opinion, etc. You have to be happy despite that. If you want to get in the military despite being a female, who is anyone to stop you from doing it? If you want to get a gender transformation, who is anyone to tell you not to? Being independent means being your boss. And it starts with learning that life is not fair. So stop being a victim.
Okay, so you think you are independent? Can you show it? Start taking steps towards independent living. How?
Begin with finance. Read up on stocks and bonds, saving, banking, get a part-time or a full-time job.
Start prioritising your work. Is your education more essential or a date? If Saturday night is laundry night, then do it on Saturday until something with far more priority comes in the way. Refrain from SNS(Social Networking Site) until you have completed your study.
Stop settling. A firm ‘no’ can take you a long way in comparison to being beautiful. If you indeed do something for someone, make sure they know about it and that everyone does too.
And when you are indeed doing something, give it your everything. Do not work hard, but instead, work smart. Taking shortcuts is not bad if they prove to be more productive without harming someone.
Find a career path. It was alright to indecisive about it when you were a kid. No longer, though. It is time you decide whether you wish to become a doctor or a lawyer. In case you can not comprehend your ambition to be something, take career counselling.
Battle Loneliness and Scares
Living alone means adjusting to a new life. Usually, there are two things you might think about living alone: either, ‘it will rock’ or ‘it will suck’. It is okay to be anxious when you start living by yourself for the first time. It is, after all, not a smooth transition.
If you are someone who gets scared very easily (of ghosts or humans), make sure you check things twice. Checking could refer to the history of the building, history of your roommate, making sure the doors and windows are locked, looking under the bed and others. Keep something that comforts you with yourself while sleeping. If it is alright, ask your parents or whom so ever, to keep you company for a few days until you start to get used to your new environment. Invest in some extra security like camera, lock and key, deadbolt locks, door chain, intercom and alarm system. Ghosts and ghouls do not exist, but humans do. With these extra security items, you can be even a little bit secure. Have the police number(100) on your speed dial, fraternise with your neighbours and take a walk around to learn about every nook and cranny.
If you are unable to cope with the emotional side of living alone, consider getting a pet. If the place where you live does not allow pets, get a fish. If even that is not allowed, invest in plants. If even that is not allowed, stop living there, just kidding. You can bring your stuff toys along with you. You can bring along albums, videos, and with the advent of social media, you can video chat with them.
Start going out and talk to people. Make new friends around your vicinity. Do not curtain your windows during the day. Let the lights shine inside. Keep your balcony or windows neat and decorate it in such a way that you can sit there for a tea or coffee during the evening. Observe other people.
Since you are living alone now, you need to be embarrassed your little quirk. Jump on the bed and sing at the top of your voice. You can dance as weird as you want. Act like a rock star without any judgement. You can now walk around with a face mask, drink right out of the bottle, live like a slob, and there is no judgement. So, go on and list more advantages to living alone.
If you still feel lonely, talk to someone. Get your phone and call your mother. Get your friends to do a sleepover or stay over at their house. Play with kids or at some gaming emporium.
Let us face it. Someone of us does not enjoy cooking or cannot cook to save lives. But that does not mean we do not like to eat. Eating outside does get dull after some time. Not to forget the strain it puts on our pocket and how it is not healthy, at all. So here are some no-cook recipes to try before taking it a notch higher for the next time.
1. Take some curd in a bowl. Add chopped fruits (banana, apple, grapes, etc.) and mix. If the sweetness is not according to your taste, add sugar or more curd to make it just perfect. Here is your fruit salad!
2. Take two slices of bread. On one bread, add a coat of butter or jam or sauce. Do so with the other slice, as well. Slice up some vegetables you can eat raw like cucumber and tomato. Take two fresh leaves of lettuce and place it on the slice. Then add the sliced cucumber and tomato. Sprinkle spices to taste. Put the other slice on top of it.
3. In a bowl, mix olive oil, vinegar, garlic, salt and black pepper. In another bowl, add spinach, apple, feta cheese, onion and sliced almonds. Mix these. Add the dressing on top. Mix once again. You wish, add honey to the dressing. And there you have your spinach apple salad.
4. For one night, leave the chickpeas in water. The next day, mix it with olive, feta cheese, red onion, juice of one lemon, mustard, olive oil and salt in a bowl. Stir it well until everything is combined. Now chop some tomatoes and add to the mix. Add the mix in the centre of the lettuce. Fold the lettuce and lock it with a toothpick. If you wish, you can add raw tuna to the mix as well. There you go with your lettuce wrap.
5. Pluck some rose flowers and keep the petals for use. Take a jug of fresh water, let the petals in it for a few hours. Add some sugar. And you have a drink to keep you fresh. If you remove sugar from it, you can also use the water as a skin toner.
Although it is better than you do indeed learn how to cook, start with essential, simple dishes like boiled potato (which you can use in simple dishes) to learning how to prepare rich, dal and roti. It is alright if your roti mimics some country’s map. After all, the only one to impress around is you. After the wish, challenge yourself to make something more robust. If everything else fails, you can always rely back on Maggie and cornflakes. And if you feel especially grimy, invite yourself to other people’s house.
Doing Your Laundry
Doing laundry is not as simple as putting clothes into a machine and done. It takes a lot of care so as not to damage the fragile fabric and to prevent dye runoff. So what is the protocol to do it properly?
Grab your dirty clothes and detergent. Liquid detergent is better as it dissolves far more easily in water than any.
Start with separating the clothes into the light, dark and fragile. Fragile clothes usually refer to lingerie with wire or padding. You have to do this to prevent white clothes from turning red and so that the clothes do not get damaged.
Before putting the clothes into the machine, turn them inside out.
Use the heavy wash setting only for filthy clothes. For fragile clothes, you use a gentle setting.
Do not load the machine too slowly. Arrange the clothes evenly. Prevent any overloading. If the machines begin to grumble, stop immediately and rearrange.
Add detergent and start the machine.
Check your clothes beforehand for ways to wash them. Some need to washed in cold water only and get damaged when using hot water see, if you can tumble dry them or you have to air dry it. All this is very important to prevent from turning new clothes old and damaging the fabric, colour and design of the clothes.
Prioritising is a difficult task, especially with so many things going on at the same time. It is also essential, especially because so many things are going on at the same time. You need to know what to do first, what is more important, and what is not. It also prevents the chances of succumbing to procrastination, prevents distraction and promotes a healthy, stress-free life.
1. Make a list of all the things you need to do. Write the due dates. Arrange them by days or weeks or months and then by urgency and importance. Give the urgent ones more essential and the important ones the next importance.
2. Make a list of things you need to accomplish and give them a due date. Say, for example, studying a particular chapter in a day or two. Then state your plan on accomplishing the said thing and what you will get as a reward after you achieve it. What if you are not able to accomplish the said thing? What sort of penalty will you get then?
3. Delegate any other unnecessary task until later. If you can ask someone else to do it, then do it. Do not take up any other task until you have accomplished at least half of the already present task.
1. Get yourself an emergency fund. In case you do not know about emergency fun, it is a saving fund to which you would not have access. A low-income family with 20 rupees income is better off than an Upper-Class family with 100 rupee income if they have an emergency income. So when all money is lost, they can fall back on their emergency fund.
2. Give yourself a budget. Keep a certain amount of money for spending while the rest goes to your savings account and emergency fund. You shall only spend the amount you have kept, especially for spending. If you spent more than your budget can allow, start questioning yourself why. Was it insufficient, or did you spend too much? At the end of the month, go through all the receipts and track your spurge till the very last paisa.
3. Give yourself a goal. Why are you saving money? Saving money for the sake of saving it is not an achievable goal. A retro Bollywood hero saved money for the sake of his younger sister’s marriage. A heroine might save it from escaping her abusive father. Give yourself an achievable goal like maybe you are saving, so you could go to America or for old age.
4. Have a short term goal since that is more successful.
5. Twenty years is not too young to start saving up. You can start saving up as soon as you take birth and it would not be too early.
6. Take a jar and keep your loose changes in it. Once it has filled up, go to a bank. You can put it in your saving account or change it up for notes. Or even spend it upon yourself.
7. Question yourself on whether you should buy something. Do you need to subscribe to a magazine with articles you can probably read online? Rather than buying or subscribing to magazines, get yourself a Pinterest account. Rather than buying a book, get yourself an ebook. Stay away from videos promoting consumerism. Question yourself twice and thrice, four times, on whether there is any actual purpose to post its or tones of pens of the same colour. A pencil can do the same job as a highlighter.
Self-control is the ability to wake up early without someone having to turn off the fans, pull the curtain and scold you into it. Self-control is the ability to use your brain when someone is trying to aggravate you. Self-control is a rare phenomenon in today’s generation and also a much-needed one.
So how will you execute self-control?
By looking at the big picture. Start thinking at the global level. Do not live just in the present but also think of the future. What will happen if you complete your homework by today itself? You do not have to worry about it tomorrow and can attend the concert or binge watch F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Thinking beyond two people helps you achieve productivity and hence, success. By not hitting the other person, you can be perceived as the victim while the other would probably have to deal with all the blame himself. By forgiving him, you are giving him a chance to mend his ways. If he does, then he becomes an ally and maybe for hard days to come ends up being your solace. And if he does not, what is there to lose? So, look beyond the wave.
Be aware of the perils of not executing self-control. Question the advantage and disadvantage of your actions. By not waking up early, what are you putting at a disadvantage, and what are you putting an advantage? Is your calorie more important or your taste when it comes to a whole bucket of chicken wings?
It is alright to let go for a day. It is alright to bite not exercise a day, have a calorie festival or sleep in until very late. But at the same time, you should be aware of when it is too much and when to stop. The lines that you draw are crucial for better management. It makes living easier. A day or two should not increase to a whole month of binge-watching a show without any studies.
A useful way of executing self-control is through ‘no’. Learn how to say ‘no’ to things which you can not do or which might turn your routine imbalanced and your life chaotic. Do not put yourself till head into others’ problem. While controlling yourself, you should also warrant some control over others. It might be against your personality to say ‘no’ or someone might feel threatened by your denial. So be it. Learn that you can not always please everyone. It is, after all, a dog eats dog world. You might end up overstressing yourself, trying to complete your task as well as others. If they feel displeased by your ‘no’, it is their problem. Do not mind yourself over broken friendships.
Plan your day. The satisfaction of crossing away at things can energise anyone. It will promote you to be even more productive every day so that you can slice a particular word of your planner. It is a reward in itself. Do not get into decorating your planner as it might take away from the more important job at hand. Just buy or make a simple, small notebook where you jot down stuff to do and by when. Make a square by the side to act as a checkbox or really, drag a pen over the task to etch it out.
Waking Up Early
Waking up early can make you feel productive and happy from the very beginning. And to think the day has not even begun.
It is alright to start slowly. If you wake up at midnight, then the next day tries to wake up at say, 11:00 AM. Get used to it for a few days before increasing your goal fifteen minutes earlier.
It is also essential that you sleep early. It is not just crucial for your productive attitude but also for your body. Put away any gadgets you use like mobile, stay in bed and close your eyes. Do not open it until and unless an earthquake strikes. Before you know it, you with probably be asleep. Inhaling and exhaling profoundly or listening to binaural sounds can help, too.
Do not depend on your alarm clocks. Not just because they sometimes prove useless. It is also the wrong way to wake up. If you do have to use alarm clocks, then keep it away from your bed. This way, you have to get up in an attempt to snooze it. To stop yourself from hitting the bed again, rush away to the bathroom. During the process of taking a dump, peeing, brushing and bathing, you will not even realise when you woke up!
Try to not persuade yourself into slipping back under the covers. You might think that you will wake up at ten in the morning, but no, you will wake up at twelve. Ante Meridian.
All of the previous suggestion make waking up early seem like a punishment. Count the advantages to waking up early, find the pleasure of waking up early. How does it feel to be the only one in the world? There is something immensely pleasurable about having so much time before going to college or work. Or incredibly serene about waking up with the sun. Go out for a walk. Your mood and health will get all better. Listen to music on the radio or just the chirp of birds.
Think of the disadvantages of sleeping late. Sleeping too much makes your unproductive and sluggish. Contrary to how waking up early feels. Since you usually do not have much time left, you end up doing everything in a hurry. There is also the scorching hot, afternoon sun which has an annoying effect on your conscious.
Doing Common Repair by Yourself
DIY (do it yourself) projects are very much these days. But DIY projects does not mean wrapping mason jars with twin and creating a vase out of it. DIY also refers to doing plumbing, carpentry and drilling by your own. As you might be able to note, it is a very significant task which will save you a tremendous amount of money. Invest some time in learning how to do simple tasks for which you have to dial handyman’s number. If you think these jobs are disgusting, then you also need to learn how to get over your aristocracy.
- Learn how to unclog the toilet.
- Fix leaky pipes.
- Replace light bulbs and light switches.
- Cleaning fan.
- Simple carpentry jobs like fixing a creaky door, fixing holes in doors, getting dents out of wood, etc.
- Patching holes in walls.
- It is loosening up stuck windows.
- Replacing Exterior Door Knob and Exterior Door Lock.
- How to replace a toilet supply valve.
- Cleaning your vehicle.
- Check the circuit breaker.
- Unclog clogged drains.
- How to fix smelly washing machines and dishwasher.
- Lubricating a sticking lock.
And more. For most of them, you do not even need some very expensive or complicated tools.