international student life

international student

20 great tips about living away from home as a college freshman.

How to take care of yourself, your apartment, safety, finances and more.

If you are moving out of your parents house and heading to college, you will need some tips on how to live on your own. Specifically things that need to be done first, tips on living alone, tips for beginning to do adult things, and some advice on how to run a apartment/ house.

If like most people, your mom kept a nice clean house all the time without you taking much notice at how much work she was really doing, here are some things you need to know.

Clean things before they look dirty. Set yourself a schedule to do cleaning chores on a regular basis. If you wait until your toilet has a nasty ring at the water level, or your kitchen counter is all grungy, you're going to feel really gross when you notice and have to clean it all up, and it makes you look and feel like a slob.

Clean the kitchen every night. This is most people's least favorite job, but it's good to bite the bullet and do the last dishes before bed because they will be gross in the morning if left undone.

Wipe down the Counters and Stove. It's advisable to put on some music on while doing these chores so they feel less of a chore. Supplies for the kitchen include dish soap for the dishes and sink, a gentle cleaner like Windex Multi-surface for the counters, stove, fridge shelves, etc.

Clean the bathroom You should clean the bathroom at least once a week. The supplies you need for this include Bleach for the toilet, Scrubbing Bubbles foam for the shower and sink, Clorox wipes for the counter and Windex for the mirror.

Wash bedding once a week. A clean bed feels so nice, hang your sheets outside to dry in the summer and they'll smell spectacular.

Vacuum at least every four days unless you notice dirt on the carpet, and more often if you have a shedding pet.

Dust every other week, or even once a week. Use Swiffer magnetic dusters, works great to remove dust.

If something actually looks or smells dirty, it's really dirty by that point. If you let chores pile up, they will become overwhelming and you'll be frustrated with your environment. Coming home to a clean house just feels good at the end of the day.

Do Laundry every week or every other week depending on the amount of clothes you have. Go to the bank and get a bunch of rolls of quarters. Nothing is worse than having to scrounge up change when you really need to do laundry. Quarters were like gold in college.

Check the pockets of anything you're putting in the washing machine. If you have money in the pockets, it will be destroyed during the wash cycles. This is true for many other things too.

If you wear dark denim, turn your jeans inside out before putting them in the wash. This will reduce the chances of the dye running all over your other clothes, and reduce fading on your jeans.

Do not to use fabric softener on a load with towels. it makes them less absorbent and this is not a good thing for towels. You want them to be absorbent so they can dry things better.

Wash darks, brights and light colored clothing separately, just in case the dye runs in something dark. Red dye seems to run more often than a lot of other colors, and if it runs, you'll end up with a lot of pink stuff.

Don't put stretchy clothes like bras and woolly clothes in the dryer. The heat in the dryer will shrink wool fibers and your wool clothes will not fit you anymore. The stretchy clothes will stretch and become baggy.

Know how to Cook because you will need to eat every day.

Also make sure to keep tabs on your bills. This is very important. don't forget or mismanage your money that you are unable to pay your bills. Being responsible with money is part of growing up.

Check if you have any mild allergies or reactions to things like laundry detergent and other household chemicals. Know what to avoid so you don't get break outs and rashes that can leave you in the hospital Emergency Room.

Prepare an additional budget for things you will inevitably forget to buy in order to have a functional home. You may forget things like trashcans, can opener, cleaning supplies, power strips, light bulbs. Having a little extra cash set aside for those things will help a lot.

Don't sign any contract until you've reviewed with someone who knows the law concerning those things. These include bank loan, credit card application, lease for an apartment or car. Take pictures of said documents with your phone so you always have a record.

Have a file on your computer and a folder on your phone with all the numbers and account information to every company you do business with. Be they the electric company, cell service, gas, credit cards, etc. Not only will this make it easy for you to get in touch if something goes wrong, if for some reason you are hospitalized or gone for a few weeks it's easy to tell mom and dad or whoever where to find the information to take care of things while you're out of the house.

Have your local police, fire department, and closest hospital programmed into your phone. You may never have to dial 911, but you may have to report a stray dog, hazardous chemicals left on a sidewalk, or some other important but non-emergency information.

Also, it would probably be a good idea to drive to your local hospital at least once so you know the route. You should also find out where the low cost or free clinics are in your area for non-emergencies like colds and flu.

If you have pets, find the nearest pet clinic and emergency vet hospital.

Make a spare set of keys to your apartment/dorm room and make sure your parents have them. Again, you never know if something happens, they will have access to your personal items and your computer so they can bring you fresh clothes or get to your financial info and ensure your bills are paid.

Buy a fire extinguisher in case a small fire breaks out in the kitchen, you will be able to extinguish it before it becomes big.