Transitions can be rough. It’s like going from a cute kid to an awkward teen, or jumping from a hot tub to a freezing pool.
There are so many other hard transitions, including going from living in a dorm on campus to an apartment off-campus. There are many options to choose from when picking the perfect apartment, so here are some things to think about when going through the transition from dorm to apartment:
The social aspect of apartments is a complete 180 degree turn from that of dorms. In the dorms people are always out and about, talking with everyone and basically all living together in one huge building.
However, in an apartment one cannot just go down the hall to hang out in their best friend’s room anymore. Although, if someone dislikes being around certain people on their floor, apartment living is ideal because there is much more privacy and seclusion.
It could be a win or lose situation.
There are also no resident advisors anymore when living in apartments. This is also good and bad because fewer people get in trouble for minor infractions which is a plus, but that also means loud neighbors that may keep people awake until 3 o’clock in the morning.
There is no front desk to check people in and out at, but there can be a main office where mail is kept.
Another main difference is the food situation.
Very few people off campus have meal plans which is a game changer. People now have to go grocery shopping which means they need to have a form of transportation.
In addition, when a fridge is shared with multiple college students things can get intense, so just be prepared to not have any fridge space and tell other roommates not to go overboard. Dividing up fridge and cupboard space is really helpful.
Another exciting aspect of apartment kitchens is that everyone can legally own coffee makers and appliances, which is an upgrade from dorm life.
Then there is the cleanliness problem. There is no housekeeper who will clean up like there was in suite-style dorm living. Now everyone is in charge of not only their rooms, but the living room, kitchen and bathroom.
A cleaning schedule is helpful to divide up tasks for roommates and not let anyone slack in doing their fair share.
The little things count too.
Items like toilet paper, kitchen towels, paper towels, trash bags, dish soap and anything along those lines creates a gray area. Who pays for them?
If someone pays for one pack of paper towels, who buys the next one? It is just a confusing situation that people moving in with a group of people should be prepared for. Go into your living situation with a game plan or an idea that works for the group. Some ideas are to Venmo one person, split the payments or rotate who buys things.
Safety is also a main concern now that there is no official security off-campus. Personal items are stolen frequently and some apartment complexes do not have security cameras. Be aware of people taking advantage of college students.
It is a must to always lock the doors. Make it a habit for everyone in a home to carry their keys so no one is locked out, except for the thieves.
In addition to this, unlike when living in the dorms, there is no more Aztec Recreation Center membership included. People off-campus can get one, but they have to pay for it every month.
It’s also important to remember that air conditioning and other energy expenses are very costly. Fans are a better choice to use because they use less electricity. People have to separately pay for cable and electricity depending on the apartment complex, so be sure to keep these extra bills in mind when trying to budget.
There are many other transitions that people will need to make when moving from dorms to apartments.
If someone is really unsure about how to make a smooth change from one to the other, asking someone who currently lives in an apartment is a start to finding out the necessary steps for this process.