Co-eds may find themselves moving from a dorm or parent’s home to their very own apartments. Upcoming apartment residents should be thrilled to have a place without the stresses of dormitory rules and with far less noise than hundreds of pounding feet from shrieking students. This is an exciting time for young adults, but it’s not without complications. College Lifestyles™ shares your enthusiasm, co-eds, and contacted several current apartment residents to share smart advice about preparing for apartment living.
Party of One
For co-eds living on their own, there is no need to fear that the solo life is a lonely one. In fact, there are many benefits to finally having a space all to oneself. Duquesne University senior Alexis Hallinin dishes on her experience of living alone for the first time: “It was difficult the first couple of weeks by myself, especially because none of my friends had moved into their dorms yet. But I discovered that my homework and papers got done faster, and I loved getting up in the morning without fear of waking my roommate.” As Alexis states, students living off-campus will still have opportunities to meet with campus-bound friends. Co-eds can meet with friends between classes, at organization meetings or go out to lunch or dinner in the area. Perhaps the greatest advantage to living in an apartment is the lack of dorm drama; living on your own means no tiptoeing around a roommate’s schedule. Independent co-eds can follow their own schedules without fear of bothering another person.
Keeping It Clean
Living in an apartment means there is no janitor or parent to clean up after your mess. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign senior Jennifer Crawford learned early about the responsibilities of having one’s own home: “There is a lot of cleaning to do! Apartments are small and they get messy fast. No one I’ve ever lived with has been the cleaner so I’ve had to take on that role. When you move out, make sure you’re prepared to mop the kitchen floor, do a sink full of dishes, clean the bathroom, shower, sink and more. It’s a lot of work!” This writer has to agree; maintaining a clean home is hard work for newly independent co-eds, but it is so rewarding to come home to a clean, fresh space ready for relaxation. When moving into an apartment, be prepared with surface and glass cleaners, a duster and vacuum, stain removers, disinfectants and any other cleaning supplies suitable for your space. If you have trouble staying motivated to clean—and we all do at times—set a routine. Break down the job of cleaning into light, manageable tasks. Dust on Mondays, vacuum on Tuesdays, whatever best fits your schedule. Be sure to do a full clean at least once a week, and always wash dishes, do laundry and clean the bathroom(s) as needed. Remember to stay updated on the building’s garbage disposal and recycling procedures.
Perhaps the greatest worry when moving into any apartment are the many new financial concerns. Most co-eds will have to pay rent and bills in addition to preexisting college costs, such as textbooks and tuition. Additionally, independent co-eds must now buy food, as meal plans are a thing of the past. How can new apartment residents stay financially afloat?
Alexis suggests using old furniture from family and relatives. This will cut the cost of moving in and allow you to begin furnishing right away. Don’t fret about having every single item on your wish list on move-in day. Says Ashford University senior Jessie Martin, “Extra furniture, kitchen gadgets, and especially décor, can all wait until you’re used to paying rent and budgeting all bills. It’s more important to be financially prepared than to have the ‘perfect’ apartment on the day you move in.” College Lifestyles™ Editor-in-Chief Shelly Marie Redmond agrees, advising, “It is okay to not have a completely ‘furnished’ apartment—get what you need, then after what you need is complete, look at your want list.” This writer agrees; a few U-Haul boxes made a suitable nightstand until time and funds allowed for the real thing. And all of the decorations and knick-knacks can wait until time and budget are settled. Allow yourself to settle in before diving into decorating.
Moving into an apartment for the first time is an exciting venture for young adults. You can do so in an intelligent manner with the tips provided by these savvy co-eds. Remember that having an apartment to yourself does not mean that you will be lonely, staying vigilant about cleaning your space is a must—the dust bunnies won’t pay rent—and don’t rush to have the perfect apartment right away or your budget may suffer some backlash. We couldn’t agree more with Jessie: “Good things take time!”
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