The freedom that comes with living off of campus isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. It also comes with plenty of new responsibilities and headaches.
Campus housing offers benefits such as close proximity to campus, encouraged engagement with peers through hall programs and acclimation to the college life, but it certainly doesn’t prepare you to live in an apartment.
Here are just a few things that I’ve been forced to adapt to since leasing my own place:
Budgeting for food and household supplies.
Get used to endless minor expenses now that you don’t hold a campus dining meal plan and can’t get free toilet paper in exchange for an empty roll at a residence hall’s front desk.
Kitchen sponges, paper towel, a wireless router, hand soap, condiments, produce and so much more are potentially unforeseen expenses that can gradually sap away your savings.
Getting along with roommates
There’s no resident adviser to sort out suitemate drama anymore.
Roommates in apartments either have to deal with their issues head on like adults, or passive aggressively try to stick it to one another through text or the refusal to do their share of the chores.
In either case, there’s a decent chance you’ll end up hating your cohabitants by the end of the year. Chalk it up as a win if you’re not fighting to evict each other or adding bleach to each other’s shampoo bottles within the first couple months.
Dealing with loud neighbors
The only entity enforcing quiet hours outside of residence halls is the police, so until they show up, an apartment complex can get noisy during peak partying hours.
Halls might shake with the rumblings of bass drops while partyers raise their voices to the sky with reckless abandon. At 1 a.m. on a Thursday. And 17 hours before my organic chemistry exam.
You know what’s great? Living with air conditioning. You know what sucks? Paying for air conditioning.
You’ll find yourself keeping a much closer eye on your use of heating and cooling, water, electricity and internet once you receive your first bill in the mail.
God forbid you put the utilities in your name. It’s no fun trying to pry everyone’s share of the utilities out of their hands when the due date rolls around.