Coming to university is a landmark for many, where the a new stage of life begins. It’s also the time where many move away from home. For them, the transition into university is also where they gain greater independence of all kinds.

Woo yass! Independence is great right?

Well, yeah, sometimes. In the excitement of gaining this independence, the reality of greater responsibilities and ‘adulting’ may be overlooked. Sure, the rules of your childhood home may have diminished and the arbitrary rules of your high school gone out the window – but now the buffers that those systems provided are gone. And the consequences of your actions and every decision hits with a little less sympathy.

For some, coming to university means greater financial independence. Being smart with money before arriving at university a great skill to have. You may be having to fund your own studies and accommodation (and dealing with part-time jobs, banking, IRD and Studylink) or just having to manage a small amount of spending money weekly. Learning to budget and appreciating the value of money is an acquired skill that comes with the financial independence of university. The cost of a coffee from a cafe, a beer at the students’ bar or a trip to the movies always prompts a double take if it’s your money that’s being depleted (as opposed to your parents’).

Independence of time. You don’t have to attend lectures when they are scheduled. It’s not like school. It’s about finding the discipline to manage time wisely. Every decision has a consequence, and it’s a matter of tossing up whether the extra hour of sleep is worth skipping a lecture for, or if staying up until 2am for a DMC (Deep and Meaningful Conversation) is of greater importance that the 8am lecture the following morning.

A good use of time 😂

When you have essentially an entire day, everyday, to be used at your own discretion, this independence of time is something that needs to be managed smartly. Without mentioning any names, I know people who sleep the day away – having to catch up on a few weeks worth of lectures a couple of days before the test, people who play admirable amounts of Fortnite/FIFA, or individuals who work multiple days a week while enrolled full time at university. As with nearly anything, the finite resource of time is always hanging in a balance of what is necessary and what would be nice to have. Knowing what can and can’t be done with the limited amount of time you have everyday is important to thrive in university.

Independence is great! It’s an essential aspect of ‘adulting’ and becoming your own person. I can say with a decent amount of confidence that if you decide to come to university, by the end of your first year you will have gained some form of greater independence. Start early, set good habits and see you in the next blog 😀

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Daniel Chow

Taking on big bad Biomedical Science in my first year at the University of Auckland with hopes of getting into Medicine.

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