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Moving from Dorm to Apartment: Find the Perks, Avoid the Problems

Mon, Apr 25, 2011

Off Campus Apartments

Coming into college, you know that the dorms are the places to be as freshmen on campus.  Here you will have the true college experience, as you meet new people, attempt to study, and develop a social life.  But during your times living in these residence halls, you probably found some things that you weren’t too crazy about.

Perhaps your roommate snores like a lawnmower and you don’t know him very well, so you’re not sure how to tell him you haven’t had a good night’s sleep in weeks.  Or how you have to leave your room, lock your door, and walk 20 feet down the hallway just to use the bathroom. You’ll also figure out that dorm food is not the most delicious or even nutritious food that you have ever eaten, and that a steady diet of pizza and hamburgers everyday leads to the infamous “freshman fifteen.”  By the end of the year, most freshman students are itching to break out of their 8’x10’ prison cell and get a “real” place of their own by moving into an apartment.

Making this move from a dorm to an apartment does come with a lot of perks, but it can also create a lot of new problems that you definitely need to watch out for. When you finally find that perfect apartment and you are all moved in a couple weeks before school starts, you’re excitement will build just like the beginning of freshman year all over again.  Most of the residents of apartments near campus are still students so the whole college life atmosphere is still there at your apartment.  Even better is that you now have a whole living room to party and have fun with your guests instead of a tiny room cluttered by beds, desks, and closets.  All of the nasty dorm food doesn’t exist and you have a whole kitchen to make the most exquisite meals, if you have the skills of course.

You should also embrace the fact that you will most likely have your own room, or a roommate that you are really good friends with and you will only have to share a bathroom with 2 or 3 other people.  By having all of this, and knowing that you are paying so much less than you paid for in a dorm, you know that living in an apartment will be the best time of your life.

There are, however, a lot of things that students take for granted when making their move to an apartment.  The first big thing is that you know have to write a check for rent at the beginning of every month.  That means making sure you have enough money in your checking account to pay off rent before you go on that shopping spree.  You also have to realize that as great as it is having all of this new space, you now are responsible for cleaning it up.  Washing dishes seems like a simple task until you’re doing it all the time, and if you get lazy your sink overflows with dirty dishes.

Another thing that is a huge unforeseen problem is how living with someone affects your relationship.  It is so much different being friends with someone and seeing them on a day to day basis than seeing someone all the time.  You will find out things about your roommates that will annoy you. Sometimes your friendship can lead to misconceptions of understanding because you thought your roommates were on the same page as you when you really weren’t. How you deal with these issues of living in an apartment can make or break your college experience.

As long as you are able to protect yourself against the problems and spend more time embracing the great aspects of living an apartment, you’re experience will be amazing. Enjoy having a better place to relax when you need to without people playing loud music all around you. Shower without having to listen to someone singing in the shower next to you, but don’t forget to turn off all of your lights to keep that energy bill low. Most importantly, don’t forget to throw a nice housewarming party to bring good fortune for the upcoming year in your much-improved living space!

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