Who Am I? Whoever You Want to Be!

By Algonquin College Modified on May 01, 2020

Gaining true independence can be one of the best parts of college, so embrace the quest.

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An Algonquin College student learning the virtues of independence.

When was the moment you truly realized you were an adult? For some, maybe it's the first time you bought your own groceries. Or for others, arriving after curfew and realizing there is no curfew. It's mostly a good feeling (even though you do sometimes miss your mom — no one is judging) and the more you get, the more you want. So, what are some ways of finding even more independence as an adult? Here are a few ways to get there:

Do your own shopping

As you live on your own or with peers for the first time, you start to realize: there's a lot of planning required for this new "adulting" phase. The solution? Lean into it. Create a shopping list on your phone to help stay organized (try one that's comprehensive and one that's current where you put the week's list).

Become more financially independent

Maybe your parents are helping you with your education, or maybe you are taking out student loans. Either way, finding ways to live comfortably within your means while gaining transferrable skills can be a great way to gain financial control — and a part time job can be a great way to do that. This is also a great time to start keeping a budget and watching your spending habits. You can even investigate scholarships and bursaries available through your school to try to pay off your education even sooner.

Become more decisive

You're always going to value your parents' opinions on life's important decisions, but it's also important to start becoming decisive on your own. What program is right for you? What courses will you choose as electives? Decisions that you once outsourced to your parents are now in your court, so try doing your own research into what will be right for you. You might even start asking peers and experts for their opinions, which is another great way to make informed decisions.

Assess your values

Moving even deeper, now is the time to consider your own values. Your post-secondary studies are an exciting time because you start to develop your own circle of friends, your own habits and your own values. You might have conversations that challenge you in different ways or learn about new political viewpoints that you had not considered. All of these elements can add to a gradual shaping of your own mindset, independently from your family, friends or anyone else.

Figure out your own work-life balance

Your early adult years can be a great time for exploration, both in terms of what you want to do professionally but also how you want to live your life. Try joining clubs and figuring out your motivations in life, both career-wise and as a whole person. The whole "life is a journey" thing? Embrace it!

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