4. Learn some simple cleaning fixes
You may have been cleaning your room for your whole life, and maybe you even Swiffered your dorm room once or twice, but cleaning an entire apartment is a whole different story. Before you find yourself knee-deep in dust and dirty dishes, make sure you have a cleaning schedule for yourself. You can clean your bedroom on Saturdays and your bathroom on Tuesdays—it doesn’t matter, just make sure you know what needs to be done and when you need to do it.
It’ll also save time (and take some pressure off your wallet) to learn a few simple home-cleaning fixes—this is another area where asking for Mom’s know-how comes in handy. Instead of buying expensive cleaners, clean countertops, refrigerator shelves and other surfaces with white distilled vinegar. Dilute it with water, about one quarter cup of vinegar to every gallon of water. And instead of using up expensive paper towels to clean your windows, pick up a stack of free campus newspapers - the newsprint will remove smudges without leaving any streaks.
5. Stay plugged in to your campus
When you were living in the dorms, it probably wasn’t hard to feel like a part of the action on your campus. After all, it’s literally where you slept and worked and ate. After moving away and embracing the off-campus lifestyle, though, you may feel a little detached from the undergraduate community at your college or university. For Appalachian State University recent grad Jordyn Coats, whose studio apartment isn’t in her university town, keeping up with extracurricular activities has been the key to staying involved. “I play roller derby with some amazing women at least every other day,” she says, referencing the year-old competitive roller derby team she founded. Whatever your niche is, from intramural sports to knitting club, don’t drop it because the meetings are no longer quite as close by. If you’re only on campus when it’s time for class, you won’t feel as connected to or invested in it.
Even if all doesn’t go as planned, make every effort to get to know yourself better during your first off-campus experience. If you’re working too much to pay your rent and not using half of your apartment’s fancy features, find a less expensive place next time. If your roommates are always studying but you’d rather be loud, seek out friends and roommates who feel the same way. As a collegiette™, it’s the perfect time to learn what works for you. Soak up all the knowledge you can from your off campus living experience, and make the next one even better.