Independence: A Blessing or a Curse?

When entering college for the next four or more years of your life, comes newly founded independence and freedom. While most students instantly think that they are “free from their parents” and believe they can do whatever they want, most fail to handle the responsibility of living on their own. No one is there to stop you when you skip classes, stay up all night, or go out drinking. No one is there to lecture you about the consequences and costs of these choices. Great right? In some ways, yes, as it is necessary to learn how to live independently, however most first-year college students struggle with their new freedom.

From living with mom and dad to living alone and having to make your own choices is a big transition, especially for those who are unprepared. Before moving into college, parents are there to tell you to do your homework, go to bed at a reasonable hour, help with financial choices, and make sure you stay healthy. When you enter college, you’re on your own and have no one to tell you what to do but yourself, something that some first-year students find hard to do.

While living independently, most students aren’t able to take care of their own health and body. College students don’t have anyone telling them to exercise, cooking them healthy meals, or telling them to keep good sleeping patterns. Having poor health choices can result in negative effects such as students seeing their grades plummet. Missing sleep can result in missing classes and in the end, key information for exams. Failing to get necessary sleep and as a result, missing a few classes will put you behind your peers and even in your social life. Not exercising or not eating healthy can result in constant sickness, and the same effects of no sleep.

Most students who are entering as freshmen, have trouble keeping up with their schedule and managing their time themselves. There is always a struggle in managing classes, study time, a possible part time job, and social time. With no one telling you to go study or to come home before a specific curfew, students believe they can do what they want and when they want to. Temptations of going out with friends instead of studying lure in any college student.

While living without parental vision watching you 24/7, students might even fall into money problems. When living without parents, students often spend with no thought about the amount of college debt they are already in. Going out to eat, buying tickets to games and shows, and going shopping with friends adds up, but with no parents to tell you to stop, students are oblivious.

Living independently is a major part of attending college as it helps you learn skills for later in life. Time management, keeping yourself healthy, and managing finances properly are all necessary to learn before entering the real world. As most students are living alone for the first time, they don’t understand the responsibilities they own and often end up hurting their health, social life, and academics as a result.

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