Tips for Apartment Hunting While in College
Many college students enjoy their time living in a dorm, but they are also anxious to get out and truly live on their own for the first time. Apartment living in college can be tons of fun, but there are a few key things you need to consider before moving. To make your apartment living experience is the best it can be, keep these things in mind:
While most students have a roommate in their dorm, having a roommate in an apartment is slightly different. Now there’s the addition of cooking, eating, and hanging out with them all day, as dining halls and dorm common rooms are a thing of the past. Also, you’ll have to pay bills, so make sure your potential roommates are responsible as well as people you are ready to spend a lot of time with.
Many dorms have a communal bathroom which is a big perk of living in an apartment. However, cleaning the bathroom is a necessary task now. Make sure to talk to your roommates and create a schedule for who is going to clean the bathroom when. This will keep it from getting gross and prevent fighting over who’s turn it is to clean.
Moving out of the dorm usually means downgrading or getting rid of your meal plan. This means cooking (or at least microwaving) is going to become a big part of your life. Make sure your apartment has a fully functional kitchen and lots of refrigerator and cabinet space to avoid fights with your roommates over who’s stuff is hogging up all the room.
Keep in mind that apartment living requires bringing your own furniture. While furnishing your apartment can be fun, it can also get pricey. Consignment and thrift stores can be a great way to get affordable apartment furniture. Also, easy DIY decorations allow you to spruce up the apartment while saving money.
The view from an upper floor can be nice, but remember that you’re going to have to move all your stuff up there. Some smaller apartments don’t have elevators, and moving large furniture up steps is difficult. If you are going to live up stairs, consider IKEA furniture, which will be easier to transfer. Plus, assembling it can be a fun bonding experience for you and your roommates.
Apartments often seem cheaper than dorms on the surface, but remember they aren’t a one-time fee. You’ll have to make decisions about services like heat, air conditioning, water, electric, cable, and internet, and keep on top of paying the bills each month. Do research to find the best deals and discuss with your roommates which services are necessary.
If you keep these things in mind then your apartment living experience should be a blast!
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