College is tough, living alone is tougher.

College Life Hacks 101: Living On Your Own (and Doing Laundry)

Laundry, cooking, cleaning... Just some problems college students in Singapore has.

It’s been tough, but now you’re finally there. Your dreams of having your place where your word is the law, and everything is at your pace is finally getting realized. Sure, moving out of your parents’ house was tough (no more of your mom’s mi goreng until the term holidays!), but at last, you’re free! Well, sort of. You’re still grinding to get your degree, but who cares, right? You are at your prime; you are becoming independent. But one week into “living the life,” you are struggling to balance the rigours of academic work, as well as having to take care of your flat and your self. Cleaning, cooking, doing laundry (maybe hire a laundry service in Singapore? *wink*). If you have a side job, well, you’ll need all the luck that you can get. Before you pull out your phone and have a good cry while asking your mom what to do, give these hacks a try.

1.) Keep Calm and List Down

Yes, calm down. You may be panicking and getting anxious over all that is happening, but it won’t help you. You need to focus on what needs to get done. Start by writing down what was the most significant damage you’ve done (e.g., a big stack of dirty dishes, junk food wrappers all over the place). Gradually wind down to the more manageable tasks such as sweeping the floors and dusting shelves. Once you have it all sorted out, assign a specific day and time when you could do your chores. You can set alarms and reminders to help you remember what you’re going to do. Remember to tackle things one at a time, and you will find your place habitable again.

2.) Rice Cooker Saves the Day

Pro tip: having a rice cooker and a small personal fridge you could store food is your salvation. It also helps avoid the worst horror your grandmother could ever think- a hungry grandchild. Be sure, though, to avoid stocking up on junk foods. They can increase your chances of getting health problems later in life. You can cook (almost) anything you want. Hainanese chicken? Sure! Dumplings? Why not? You could even bake if you’re feeling sweet! Want to save money? You can make pre-prepped weekly meals to take with you to university. Do check out Tasty Japan’s YouTube channel as it has an extensive repository of recipe videos to make your rice cooker your steamer, stew pot, and even an oven in one handy machine. Just don’t forget to unplug your appliance once done.

3.) Having Freshly Cleaned Clothes is Non-Negotiable

Doing your own laundry is hard, but when you are in Singapore, finding the right laundry service is easy.

Now, this is the problem of most college students (which is why we included It in the title). You can’t exactly go out of your flat smelling horrible and feeling uncomfortable in what you are wearing. Just imagine: you would be going around campus and meeting several people. You have to go to classes, and between intervals, you might end up in the library, a cafe, or maybe even a friend’s place to do some work or just to hang out. People might get the wrong idea if your fashion does not include hygiene. As much as you could, wash your underwear and maybe a couple of shirts before going to bath, preferably at night. Let them drip out their excess water overnight in the bathroom (to avoid angry downstairs neighbours). Come morning, set them outside the balcony or near the window to get some sun when you’re out. Clothes that don’t get to air out tend to smell bad because of the accumulation of bacteria. If you really can’t find the time to do this because of your schedule, try to find the best laundry shops that suit your needs. If you’re studying in Singapore, check out this website for laundry services you can avail. Consider too, how much you’re spending.

(Read: Island-wide Singapore Laundry Delivery & Collection and Eazihome Laundry Services Price List)

4.) Have Some Time to Yourself

With all the stresses that college life can offer, do not forget to take a day off. Have some time to rest and refresh yourself for the next set of challenges that you are going to take. You can set this on a Saturday evening until Sunday, mid-afternoon. That time will be enough for you to take your mind off your academics and other troubles. Get some sleep (no, do not use social media when you’re in bed), brush up on your old hobbies, do skincare or play some computer games, and of course, give your mom and dad a call. Reassure them that you’re doing fine, still having a bit of adjustment period, but certainly on track to make them proud.