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Hasta La Vista! Advice for the Newly Liberated


Now that the glamor of living on my own has worn off, I'm completely stressed out! I'm still juggling classes like before, but now I buy my own groceries, the bathroom doesn't get cleaned and the laundry doesn't get done and dinner isn't made unless I do these things myself. How can this be a fun time, rather than a stressful experience that makes me want to pull my hair out?

                     -Stressed in 3B

Dear Stressed,

                   Although these first few weeks have been crazy, things should be settling down now into some sort of routine. Build upon this and come up with a schedule. It doesn't have to be airtight-in fact, wiggle room is recommended.

When living at home, you (or perhaps your parent) might've done laundry on a Saturday, so stick with that. But now you're washing your towels as well, so why not tackle them on Wednesday? Balance it out.

If you're a neat freak, try to do one or two chores per day, so you're not spending weekends cleaning (or stressing about the fact that you're NOT cleaning). Others might decide on Saturday morning as their go-to time to do all household chores. To each his own.

Here's an important one: Set aside blocks of time each week for study hours. Adopting regular hours-knowing that these will be altered depending on exams, research papers, etc.-will keep you academically on track. Make sure to plan more time than usually needed. Bonus: many study sessions will feel like getting out of class early!

Last but not least, go ahead and start meal planning-a beneficial skill you'll use for the rest of your life. Check out the many web sites that have tips on meal planning (in other words, Pinterest), then take a few minutes before each shopping trip.

So take these three tips, stop wiggin' out and enjoy yourself. And stop pulling at your hair. Think you're stressed now? Wait 'til that first bald spot shows up.

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