Unless you are going to community college or happen to be going to a college close to home, odds are that you will be living away from your parents and the rest of your family and friends. This means more independence for yourself, not only as a student, but as a person as well. Let’s discuss exactly what this means for you.

Long gone are the days where you have your parents helping you to wake you up for school (or at the very least are there as a last resort if you happen to sleep through your alarm on any given day). Not only do you have to make sure that you wake yourself up on your own, but you also bear all of the responsibility if you don’t manage to wake up in time for class. Or if you take an afternoon nap and miss dinner, that is also all on you as well. In other words, you need to be the master of your own schedule, right down to when you need to go to sleep and making sure you wake up.

When it comes to buying things, whether it be food or other necessities, you also cannot rely on your parents anymore. First off, you can’t rely on them to drive you to wherever you need to go, whether that be your local Walgreens or a fast food joint. If you don’t have a car, then you need to rely on catching the bus or other forms of public transportation, and perhaps more importantly, taking into account the added time required when traveling via public transportation.

You also can’t rely on your parents’ money anymore to make said purchases. For me at least, back in high school whenever I wanted to purchase something on my own, I really needed to convince my parents that such a purchase was necessary, and even then they would more often than not simply deny my request. The only time I could really count on my parents to buy me things were when it came to food, and on rare occasion, clothing. In college, especially when you live in a dorm with pre-paid meal plans, for a lot of students, their parents will simply not allow frivolous spending, which totally makes sense considering the sheer amount of money they are probably paying already to allow you to get your expensive degree.

I’m not disagreeing with that line of reasoning. All I am saying though is that in college, more than in high school, you need to really have a good reason to be making a purchase with your parent’s money, and if you have these sorts of parents, you should actually expect not being able to make any sort of purchase with their money. So if you want to get a late night snack, or want to go to a concert in the city on the weekend, you’ll need to really suck up to your parents (seriously, it works sometimes) or pay with whatever money you do have.

If you really don’t have any cash on you, a good idea to help build up some cash is to simply ask your parents to do chores or other housework while you are still living at home. In fact, you can even tell them that you want to “earn” some money that you can potentially spend while you are at college. In most cases, parents will be more than willing to let you earn your money to have fun. Although it is not the most compelling option, it is a reasonable option that you can at least use as a last resort.

In short, the independence that comes with going to college can seemingly make life more difficult for you compared to when you were living with your parents. However, living away from home more importantly has the added benefit of instilling in you not only responsibility, but potentially even a bit of general work ethnic and drive as well.