Featured Image

Embracing Your College Independence

Some essential tips, from one college student to another, for being more independent in college

Everyone has a different social experience when they’re in college. Some blossom into butterflies and make circles of friends right away. Others take time to warm up to form close bonds with people. The friendships in college are often said to follow you throughout your entire life. However, there’s no denying that there will be times in college when you’re on your own. And that’s totally okay. Despite what your social life is like in college, and despite the pressure to be social, it’s important to embrace your independence! Alone time may be beneficial in helping you enjoy your own company, ease off stress, and learn more about the world and yourself.

Here are some essential tips to being more independent in college.

Make time

College is a busy, busy time. Projects, essays, organizations, hangout sessions, jobs, internships, answering emails, the gym, parties, meetings, answering more emails...the list could go on. It’s easy to forget about something important: “me” time. (Or, you know, “you” time.) Personally, I sometimes become so occupied with college life to the point where it feels like I forget to breathe. It’s important to give yourself time to be on your own, relax, and live for you. This might mean unplugging from social media or declining the offer to play video games with a friend. In college, “me time” can be a true gift.

Explore the great outdoors (or outside the doors of your dorm)!

Wherever your college is located, there’s always more to your surroundings than the campus. Why not get some fresh air and walk to places near you school? Visit a museum and learn something that isn’t in your college textbook. Ask a local where their favorite hangout spot is. Go back in time and find out your town’s history. Or simply enjoy nature: smell the forest, hike a mountain, swim in the ocean, or if you’re in a city, walk on the grass. I recently plugged in my headphones, put on some Simon & Garfunkel, and roamed the streets of my college town. And let me tell you, it felt so refreshing to decompress.

Treat yourself

Treat yo self

Sometimes you just have to do what puts a smile on your face. Ask yourself what makes you happy—or find a new pastime that does—and do it. Grab a canvas, dab a brush, and paint. Go to a nearby coffeehouse, order your favorite drink, and cherish each sip. Stream a movie or TV show and delve into another world. But don’t go overboard on binge watching...you don’t want your dorm to become a dark, LCD-lit cave!

Remember it’s your experience, no one else’s

There’s often a misconception that being alone is the same as being lonely. Or that staying in on a Saturday night means you’re antisocial. College is a spectacular social experience, but it isn’t all about the parties, the chill sessions, and the friends. It’s mostly about you. Sometimes, being on our own is just what we need to find a sense of balance and peace in our daily lives. This is your time to do whatever you want, your time to celebrate who you are, and your time to seize the day. So carpe diem, fellow college kids.

Like what you’re reading?

Join the CollegeXpress community! Create a free account and we’ll notify you about new articles, scholarship deadlines, and more.

Join Now

campus campus life dorm life dorms independence living on campus student life

About Will D'Epagnier

Will D'Epagnier is a film student at Emerson College. He graduated San Juan Hills High School in June 2015. Having gone through a difficult yet rewarding college application experience, Will is able to lend an array of advice regarding essays, résumés, and more. He was able to build his college résumé by staying involved in high school clubs and creating award-winning films, including a suicide prevention PSA. He enjoys reading, writing, hosting movie nights, going to the beach, and making films.


Join our community of
over 5 million students!

CollegeXpress has everything you need to simplify your college search, get connected to schools, and find your perfect fit.

Join CollegeXpress
CollegeXpress Logo


Are you our next winner?

Register now for our scholarship giveaway

Kyla McClain

Kyla McClain

High School Class of 2024

I found CollegeXpress when you partnered with Bold.org for a scholarship. I found your website, put my information in, and got connected. I only wanted to stay in North Carolina [for college] and not move far from home, but you all opened a door up for me. I started researching colleges you suggested for me. On your social media platforms, you also give really good test-taking tips that I used and suggested others to do the same. It helped me a lot on my exams, so thank you.

Makiyah Murray

Makiyah Murray

High School Class of 2021

The college application process has been a stressful one, but CollegeXpress has eased some of that stress with its readily available college resources. At the beginning of the process, I frequently used the college search feature, and now that I’m almost done applying, I’ve started using the scholarship search. Both of these resources have made it easier to find relevant information.

Priscilla Yeboah

Priscilla Yeboah


Throughout my search for colleges I was afraid and timid, but I finally found the college that was fit for me, and luckily, I got accepted. One of the most influential things that’s helped me a lot was the articles and advice on CollegeXpress. It’s helped me a lot and benefited me as a senior to make the right choices in life. Thank you!

Victoria Fuss

Victoria Fuss

March Madness Scholarship Winner, Class of 2022

CollegeXpress has helped me dramatically. Moving on to the next level has been a dream of my mine since I was just a young kid, and the support and help CollegeXpress has given me will help me further my education. I couldn’t be more grateful to everyone at CollegeXpress!

Samantha Fils-Aime

Samantha Fils-Aime

High School Class of 2019

I love that CollegeXpress has helped me find some scholarships to apply for but also helped me succeed in school with lots of tips. I also really like how they consistently email me about webinars that teach me a lot of things from the comfort of my home!

College Matches