My best friend is my roommate. We’re studying in our dorm room. It’s a five-minute walk to class, maybe less. We live off of cafeteria dining, meal plan included.
Suddenly I’m driving ten minutes to class, add on three or more to find parking. Grocery shopping is expensive, how do I budget?
Oftentimes students think they can’t wait to live on their own and be independent, but transitioning from living in a residence hall to living in a house off-campus is almost as hard as going to college and leaving home in the first place.
Groceries, commuting and all things independence can be very hard and a huge adjustment to students who were previously checked on, provided with meals and had easy access to class.
The university might have a role in this; there should be a way to help students through this adjustment and provide a smooth transition to off-campus living. This could look like an added student club that helps students with figuring out the next steps or even an offered class students could take to feel more prepared.
Some students find themselves eating fast food and ordering take-out because it is easier than spending hundreds of dollars on groceries that won’t get used.
Bonnie Wilkinson, junior business marketing major from Sweetwater, said she didn’t feel prepared to provide groceries for herself and live on her own.
“I wouldn’t even know where to start with grocery shopping for a week or more,” Wilkinson said.
This is a common occurrence amongst upperclassmen, and maybe that stems from other things, but I would argue that there could be a smoother transition to off-campus living.
Nonetheless, my best friend is still my roommate, we still study in our rooms, and we are making the transition work for us.