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Living on your own 101: It’s okay to be overwhelmed while learning to manage life’s tasks

The prospect of moving out for the first time can be stressful for young adults, yet is a normal and healthy part of life.

“Feeling overwhelmed and feeling stressed is really, really normal,” explained Shelann McQuay, an educational counsellor at SAIT Student Development and Counselling.

There are many challenges that may be a part of adjusting to life on one’s own, including managing finances, working, using public transit, meal prepping and living with roommates, she explained. 

According to McQuay, things like sleep, physical activity and nutrition can suffer as a result of learning to manage life’s tasks. Building skills to manage one’s personal well-being supports one’s mindset and outlook.

“They support your resilience.” 

“When things kind of get tough, when things get stressful, they support your overall wellbeing, and that helps you get through those difficult periods.”

McQuay explained that focusing on life’s basic tasks can help one cope better.

Self-care is an important part of having a balanced life as a student, and McQuay recommends building a social network as a part of this.

Whether this is family, friends or faith, McQuay stated that it is valuable to have “someone who’s there for you, that you can bounce ideas off of, or you can go to for support – emotional support.”

Building connections might also include making new friends, connecting to the SAIT community or engaging in recreational activities.

“Physical activity can be really helpful in managing that stress – that sense of feeling overwhelmed.”

Student Development and Counselling at SAIT offers support to students through personal, academic and career counselling.

Counselling is included in student fees, and is available Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m..

Shennan and the other counsellors at SAIT offer support regarding academics, personal issues and life skills. They also connect students with the best resources and tools to support them during their time at SAIT. 

“There are supports out there for them, so they don’t have to go through it alone if they’re uncertain, or [if] they’re struggling in one area or another.”

Eunshil Yoon, who studies business administration at SAIT, stated that her friends are a major support for her, both in and out of school. 

Yoon moved from South Korea less than two years ago, and has found adjusting to Canada’s culture, language and weather to be a difficult task. 

“It’s really, really cold [in] the long winter, so I have to prepare how to survive in this weather,” stated Yoon.

She explained that studying, exercising and relaxing help balance life’s stress. 

“When I have stress I can figure it out by myself and I can think about me. I don’t have to worry about any other things.”

Yoon also finds time to meal prep rather than eating on campus. She does her grocery shopping on the weekends, because there is more time.

Her free time is spent preparing meals for the school days ahead.

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