By Alysha Gomes, Toppel Peer Advisor

It’s hard to believe that college kids do not rely on themselves, but, the truth is, most of the time they do not. Some live at home with their parents, who cook their meals, clean their rooms, and make sure they’re always on time for everything. Some live in the dorms where their parents call every day to check up on them, know all the due dates of their homework and make sure they meet them, and add money to their bank account whenever they spend too much shopping.
Now I am not saying any of this is wrong because it absolutely is not. I wish I were one of those college students; however, one day even those students will have to move out and start their own lives. They will have to learn how to rely on themselves and not ring their mom’s phone every time something goes wrong.

Here are just a few tips I have picked up along my journey that I wish someone had told me ahead of time.

You or your parents pay a very large sum for you to be taking the class so you need to be there. As tempting as it might be to skip because you’re tired or think you have more important things to do, DON’T.

2. Wake up to your alarm.
I couldn’t tell you how many times I have shut off my alarm in my sleep and missed some event I wish I had not. Whether you miss a class, club meeting, or even a get together with friends, it will still take a toll on you. You said you would be there, so be there. 

3. Always have a back up plan!
You never know when something will go wrong. Your friends might bail; you might miss your transportation method, or even unexpectedly become ill. If you have a plan A, B, and C, you are most likely going to accomplish the task, regardless of what life throws at you.   

4. Get a job!
You are not always going to have access to your parent’s bank account. You might as well start early so you don’t have to worry about getting a job that will pay all your bills. Start with a job you like, regardless of the pay, and learn good employee habits. Be on time, polite, and hardworking. Soon that job will lead to one in which you can actually support yourself. 

5. Learn your cities public transportation systems!
You never know when you’re going to need to get somewhere and you have no means to get there. Your car might break down or you might not even have a car to begin with. It is always a safe bet to know how to get around publicly. You never know, it might even be faster then driving.

There is so much you can accomplish on the weekends! If you succumb to the party scene the whole time or decide to catch up on sleep, you will never get to do that thing you really wanted or see those people who are only here for a little while. Technically, you can never biologically catch up on sleep and planning one weekend day to go out is more fun then just doing whatever everyday.

You will learn your personal self-reliance tools as you grow older and experience more; however, when your parents give you advice- LISTEN! Contrary to your belief, your parents or even older peers have been though exactly the same situations you are going through and can save you the mistakes they made. Every situation is different; however, think about how much time and money you would save if you already knew how to handle general situations!