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Nov 06 2015
by Danielle Newman

10 Struggles of an Only Child in College

By Danielle Newman - Nov 06 2015

Being an only child in college has its perks. You are less dependent on other people and you don't miss your siblings (because you don't have any). However, there are also struggles we face too. Here are some of those struggles.

1. Overprotective parents

Sending their baby off to college must have been hard for them, but the constant worrying and expectations of your calls can seem like a bit much sometimes.

2. Missing your parents

Don’t lie to yourself though, you probably call them a few times a week anyways. I mean, you talked to them all the time before, didn’t you? Don’t worry, it’s okay.

3. Dealing with the “empty-nesters”

You definitely feel kind of bad about leaving, especially after move-in when your parents either cry or act like the whole thing doesn’t matter (when in reality their inside is breaking). It’s hard to know that you made them feel that way, but remember that they’re also very happy for you!

4. Having a roommate

It’s really weird at first! For 18 years, you never share a room with anyone, and then suddenly, COMPANY! Don’t worry though, it becomes really nice to have someone to talk to every night. It’s a super cool sleepover kind of thing.

5. Sharing a bathroom

At home, I had two sinks, a shower, and a toilet to myself. In college, I share one sink with my roommate and the toilet and shower with her and my two suitemates. It’s different. Counter space is a blessing, and one I truly miss.

6. The assumption that you can’t share

This is one that really annoys me. Just because I didn’t share a room or bathroom before college doesn’t mean I don’t know how to. They teach you that in school. I didn’t miss the lesson on sharing your toys with others. Be respectful!

7. The assumption that you’re spoiled

Admit it, we kind of are. But that doesn’t make it better when people just assume that you have all the world’s provisions at your feet. It’s not cute to be the people who say this. We get offended.

8. Not being the center of attention

We were used to always being the center of attention. I mean, our parents didn’t have anyone else to pay attention to. It’s weird not having your parents constantly asking you about your life. In college, when you start to over-explain these things, people just look at you funny, smile, and nod like they think what you’re saying is relevant.

9. Getting the “You’re an only child? That must have been so nice!” a million times


10. The looks you get when you eat alone in the dining hall

Yes I eat alone a lot. No it’s not because I don’t have friends. I just appreciate the peace and quiet and I didn’t grow up eating with anyone other than my parents. It’s okay. Just carry on.

Lead Image Credit: The WB

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Danielle Newman - University of Pittsburgh

Danielle Newman is a freshman at the University of Pittsburgh majoring in Bioengineering and plans on becoming certified in prosthetics and orthotics. Before college, she was the historian of her school’s student government. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram @daniii_newman!

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