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Adulting 101: How you can crush that independent life

Monash College

Tue Sep 18 2018


“I can’t wait ’til I’m a grown-up!”

Oh, how wrong were we to think this…

There’s so much we take for granted as international students when we move overseas. Sure, living in a new country is exciting but the sheen eventually wears off and suddenly you’ll remember that being truly independent means providing for yourself.

It can be overwhelming for newcomers but luckily, we’ve devised a handy guide on what responsibilities to expect and how students overcome the biggest class of all: LIFE.

Washing dishes

We never knew that washing dishes would be THIS frustrating. We just don’t see how people have the time to do this! How do you manage to cook and still have the energy to clean up and wash everything?

Our pro-tip: Use. The. Dishwasher.

We know not everyone has access to a dishwasher, but a lot of student accommodations do provide one for you to use. If you do have access to one, don’t be afraid to use it! Even if you’re not fond of the idea of a machine doing your dishes, trust us – it will make your life much easier!


Honestly, what IS cooking? Most students are so unprepared for it and have no idea where to start, ourselves included. Back home, there was always someone to make the food for us — all we had to do was eat it!

So, when we moved and started living alone, we were completely lost. How do you know how much you should cook or how long you should cook it?

Worry not though, because you can always find easy recipes online. YouTube is a godsend and is full of video cooking tutorials for whatever meal you feel like making. Meanwhile, apps like Tasty are also handy as it has meals to make at the touch of your finger tips.

If you fail at your attempt to cook, don’t fret! Cooking is all about trial and error — even the best cooks experience cooking fails so, keep trying!


While we definitely haven’t mastered the art of budgeting just yet, we do recognise how important it is for all students to manage their expenses.

Recording everything from the groceries we buy to cook the meals we eat to what school supplies we spend our money definitely makes it easier to know where your money is going and how you can save it for coming weeks.

If you’re a little more old school, have a notebook and record everything you spend!

It’s a skill that takes time but in the long run will help you manage your finances better in the future. We’re happy to at least report that we both have made progress and are no longer impulsively ordering from UberEats at 3.00am in the morning. There is hope for you too!

Prioritise your chores

From cleaning your room to fetching groceries, we often neglect the smaller duties in life because they don’t seem as important. But there’s a reason our parents always insisted we get around to doing these chores.

No one wants to live in a messy home, nor do they want to go for days with an empty fridge. Make sure you have time for your chores!

The best advice we can give is to plan in advance. Need to do your laundry? Assign a day of the week and make that your laundry day. The same can apply when you’re running out for groceries as well — having a dedicated day of the week for some of your chores will help make life that much easier.

Keeping a checklist on your phone also helps to keep track of what you need to do.

Final tips

Speaking of checklists, here are some other things to keep in mind when you start living the independent adult life:

  • Do it with a friend: Everything’s better when you have someone else to do it with. Also, you probably will look and feel less silly when you’re stumped in aisle.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help: Whether it’s from your mum, friends or your neighbours, you can always ask for assistance!
  • Be responsible and don’t procrastinate: Yep. That’s right. We know that this one’s really hard but y’all gotta at least TRY.

What tips would you recommend to new students? Do you agree with our tips on how to crush that adult life? Let us know in the comments below.

This story was produced by Foundation Year students at Monash College as part of Meld’s community newsroom collaboration. Education institutions, student clubs/societies and community groups interested in being involved can get in touch with us via