Independence is a critical skill that college students develop. For many students, it is their first time being away from their families for extended periods. With this new change, many students experience freedom from others' control, influence or help for the first time. Here are some tips for stepping away from family's comfort and becoming more independent. 

1. Build your emotional resilience

Being independent means having enough trust in your skills and capabilities to handle any situation, which helps build self-esteem. While it is good to seek advice, it is beneficial to learn to make difficult decisions by yourself. Try to become more aware of your actions, consequences and how they affect your emotional state.

2. Reflect on yourself

Spending time alone with your thoughts can be intimidating, which is exactly why you should do it. Focusing on yourself is a form of self-care vital to prevent burnout and stress. It helps you reboot, figure out problems and practice gratitude. Learning to put yourself first and be content in your own company is a skill that will carry you through life.

3. Strengthen crucial skills

One of the primary new responsibilities is the ability to set agendas. Having a life separate from your family will force you to strengthen existing skills and learn new ones, such as time management and organization. A steep learning curve often accompanies this new freedom. To prevent yourself from getting overwhelmed, consider attending the workshops offered by the UCAE on topics such as conquering procrastination, study hacks and communication skills.

4. Pursue your interests

Independence paves the way toward accomplishing goals and finding your aspirations.

UNC Charlotte provides many ways to pursue your interests: register for a cooking class in the UREC Demo Kitchen, try a new sport by joining an intramural team or learn a language by enrolling in a foreign language class.

Remember that becoming independent is a process. It will take time, and there will likely be some setbacks. However, despite any challenges, try to see this journey as an exciting opportunity for self-discovery.