CollegeSurvivor: The Three Keys of Survival in College

Capture d’écran 2015-09-29 à 21.07.39

The three keys of survival in college

Moving away from home can be stressful. Believe me, I know what I am talking about. I just spent my first month as an adult; in another province, speaking another language, immersed in a whole new culture. Still the experiment can be quite enjoyable and there are sure advantages coming with this well-deserved independence. I should’ve prepared myself a little more, but that doesn’t keep me from helping you getting the tips you need as a college survivor. What should you steal from your parents’? What will you need to get and why? How will you manage to stay alive? Here are my three keys of survival in college.


  1. Make it YOUR place!


I learned the hard way that clothing maybe isn’t the most important thing to bring when leaving the familial nest. Having a long-term vision is crucial. How are you going to efficiently store what you brought with you? A little bit of thinking can keep you from using your suitcase as a wardrobe/pantry for days and even weeks. Spending to make your place more like home isn’t wasting money. One of the best items to get would definitely be door hangers. I use them for a variety of things. Hang my wet bath towel, keep one-wear shirts from wrinkling(which saves on laundry). They sure promise to be useful through Canadian seasons to hold the panoply of coats required. This kind of “gadget” can be hard to find, after a few sessions of shopping in Toronto I finally found some at Winners. To remain organized, basic wardrobe hangers are a must too! You can find them for pretty cheap at Ikea. Later in your process of becoming a fully-independent person you might discover that things(especially the bathroom) don’t clean themselves. You will need to get all the cleaning supplies to make your place shine! I recommend you get these products from the Dollar Store since you will need a lot of them. Stuff such as a toilet brush, bleach, dish soap and so on can be found there for almost a third of the price


2. Learn to cook with your microwave


Food can also become a real issue for many of us college students. Mom isn’t there anymore and for the first time in our lives we need to cook. Living in residence, my cooking options are limited. Fortunately, a microwave came with my room! I did not realize at the time the wonderful possibilities that came with this home appliance. I was looking for videos on YouTube when I found this particular one on how to cook with a microwave. Just by watching cooking tutorials on YouTube I quickly tamed the modern culinary art of “microwave-cooking”. Pretty much everything that isn’t too complicated can be made in there. In addition incorporating “microwave-cooking” to your daily routine can:


  • Help reduce the risks of fire.
  • Provide hot meals.
  • Adds variety to your meals


Here are some examples of tutorials you can watch to cook: Bacon, corn on the cobb, cakes and more.




Let’s face it, we are poor. There are several tips every college student should know that can help to save money and get the most out of your pay check. First, take with you what you are already using at your parents’ place. I don’t think that they will need the sheets you are sleeping in, neither will they notice that the shower gel you have taken with you is now missing. Since a lot of us will be restricted in the amount of stuff they can take from home, here are tips to save on your new furniture. First, use coupons! Web sites such as and are full of them. You can save a lot of money in a short period of time by printing and redeeming them in store. even offers to match your coupons with current stores’ flyers this way customers like you can get products for really cheap. When coupons aren’t available on items that you need there is as mentioned previously in number 1, THE DOLLAR STORE.


Becoming an adult requires a lot of responsibility but don’t forget to enjoy the benefits that come with it! I hope you now master the survival at college. Hopefully, adapting your new place to your needs, acquiring cooking skills and being economical will help you get that degree. Don’t hesitate to share your own survival tips on the comment section. What surprised you the most when moving away from home?


Tom Fortin is currently studying public relations at Humber College. This is where he grasped the expertise students need to live all by themselves at school. Monday Oct. 5, 2015

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