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Plan for the things your parents did for you.

April 5, 2016 by Olivia Kathleen Richards   

I can bet that most people aren’t like me. I am probably just weird but I would just prefer to call myself “unique.” I oddly starting saving money when I was little. I enjoyed cleaning my house and would voluntarily clean my friends rooms…I began cooking when I was nine. I folded my underwear, did my own laundry and went to bed without my parents telling me to do so. I did all of those things because I had so much satisfaction in knowing that I was somewhat self-sufficient. I loved and still do love not having to ask for money because I have saved for so long and feeling like I don’t have to depend on anyone at all.

Your parents/guardians did these things for you and now they are “shifting” the responsibility to you.

  1. Laundry
  2. Food
  3. Chores
  4. Sleep
  5. Money/Budgeting

1) First of all, laundry. laundry. laundry. At Penn State, you can either do your laundry like most humans do, or take the cop out option by paying for a service to pick up, wash, dry and fold your laundry. Lazy Lion is a laundry service that is available in State College. You will often see the van outside of East Halls, picking up the laundry of freshmen who are lazy, spoiled or just fortunate. But, since laundry only costs $1.50 per wash and $0.50 per dry, I feel as though you should do your own laundry to be economic, since you probably won’t be working and it is good practice for the rest of your life. Hopefully, you’ll be able to afford a laundry service once you graduate, but with the mounting costs of college, probably not.

2) Food. Enjoy your parents cooking until you come to Penn State or whatever other institution you plan to attend. Also, enjoy the food for the first few weeks of college when it’s “good.” Soon enough, it will get old, literally and physically, and you will be tired of eating the same thing every week.

3) You should probably clean your room. Otherwise, it will get to the point where your parents come for a surprise visit and you can’t let them into your room. Also, I got sick from dust in my room and mold that my roommate was growing under her wet shower caddy. Clean your room. You won’t regret it.

4) Sleep. If you are an over-achiever, you will probably fight every day to get six hours of sleep. But, in order to not be falling asleep in any of your classes, find your ideal amount of sleep. For me, it is seven to eight hours. During every semester, you begin by sleeping one to two hours extra per night but (if you are busy) by Spring Break, and post mid-terms, you’ll barely get five hours, if you’re lucky.

5) Last but certainly not least, budget your money. Tons of my friends feel guilty when they ask their parents for $100 every other week. Money doesn’t grow on trees. Try to work or save a lot before you come to college to avoid this and make up for not working here.

Remember to be your own parent once in a while. Until next time…


  1. Phillip R. Clauer says:

    As usual great advice. When I got to college and was left to my own devices, it was not difficult to remember to do everything (laundry, eating, etc), but I remember it required a surprising amount of time. I think telling college students to clean their room is a lost cause. By the time you are in college, you are either satisfied with a dirty room and will not clean it no matter what, or you are a very organized person and cannot stand a dirty room. It is very apparent who falls in each of those categories. I still struggle with sleep budgeting, but I never did well with that in high school either. Great advice!

  2. Talayah Johnson says:

    OMG, the mold thing totally grossed me out I cant believe that ! I also didn’t know that there was a laundry service ! I feel like that is just counterproductive because it takes more work for them to come get your laundry and you still would need to put it away for yourself. I think i took these little thins for granted that my parents did for me because I’ve never missed my moms cooking this much in my life.

  3. Sarah Magee says:

    I loved the first paragraph where you described how you were as a young child because you still are very self-sufficient today. These are great tips because some people rely to heavily on their parents while living at home so it comes as a shock to them when they come to college where they have to fend for themselves.

  4. Mary Ohara says:

    I honestly suck at doing my laundry. I wash my cloths once I run out of sweatpants and leggings. Then my clothes do not get folded and sit in my laundry bin until I have to do my next load. Also, sleep debt always wins! You can only run so long before passing out 12 pm at the HUB lol

  5. Ivan Yen says:

    I can definitely attest to the importance of cleaning your room, and doing your laundry (those two can go hand in hand). Alex is efficient in remembering to do his laundry, but he always drags it out until the end of the day when he folds his clothes at 10PM. Since we’re both allergic to dust, I’m very curious as to how you keep your room low on dust. I’m very glad you’re providing these tips to your readers. Although they’re rather trivial to me, they’re essential to enjoying freshmen year. Keep it up!

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