Many students experience their first long-term separation from their family and friends when they choose to live on a university campus. Mom isn’t there to tell you when to eat dinner! Dad isn’t there to tell you when to go to bed! When you first arrive, nothing is more exciting than the sense of freedom and independence; however, you must remember to not get carried away with that independence! Although your family may have had a number of annoying rules you have had to follow, it’s important to also remember that universities also have rules which you’ll have to abide by, so you’re not completely free!
Of course this new sense of independence away from your family’s support system may leave you wondering who you can turn to when you are in trouble or when you need advice. All universities and colleges provide counselling support for their students, if you need that help. But if you’re living on campus, and you’ve got a good roommate, often it’s better to turn to them! An empathetic roommate will help you adjust to the new environment, feel comfortable, and start making a new support system. If you have had the experience of moving to a new school when you were a child, you probably remember how scary it was, how hard it was to make new friends, and how hard it was to feel comfortable there. In reality, things don’t really change that much when we are adults: it’s still really hard to adjust to a new place, especially a new school. Deciding to live on campus means that you are throwing yourself into a new place full of people you don’t know—it can be quite scary!
It’s easy to imagine how lonely you might become as a new student living alone on campus. Sure, you don’t have to worry about sharing your house with another person or cleaning up their messes but you’ve isolated yourself from other people. University is a time for making new connections and discovering new things about yourself, which is pretty hard to do if you’ve decided to live alone. When you have a roommate, you’re living with someone who has common experiences: a new student, ready to learn, ready to be more independent, and probably a little scared. Use those similarities to bond with one another: hopefully, together, you will be able to take on opportunities to make even more new friends!