Lessons You Learn in Your First Apartment

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Living in an apartment for the first time can cause a wide variety of emotions. Excitement about the freedom and decorating. Nervousness about not having your parents to immediately save you whenever something goes wrong. Confusion about the outlet placement. Regardless of how you’re feeling, living somewhere besides home or a dorm room teaches you countless lessons, especially if you’re by yourself.


1. How to deal with utility companies

(Photo via Tom Mossholder)

Prior to moving, I knew very little about dealing with utility companies. At my current apartment, I had to have the electric transferred into my name and turned on before I could move in. This also taught me the importance of having good credit early because utility companies can, and will, charge you a security deposit for lack of credit.


2. Separate leases = the only way to go

(Photo via RawPixel)

This is a lesson I had to learn the hard way. Even if the person is your best friend and you’ve known them your entire life, you need to sign separate leases. A separate lease means that even if they don’t pay, you still have a place to live. You have to look out for yourself first.


3. You want updated appliances

(Photo via Aaron Thomas)

Appliances in apartments usually raise your rent, but they’re worth it. They are even more worth it when they’re updated. They don’t have to be the most state-of-the-art, but it is nice for them be on the newer end of things. For example, you may not think you care about what kind of stove top you have, but if you’re a person who likes to cook—you should. Having coil burners makes cleaning them a hassle, especially if you’ve never done it before.


4. How to get over your fear of bugs

(Photo via Himanshu Gangwar)

I am terrified of all bugs, especially if they can fly. I had gotten used to always having someone within ear shot to kill them for me, but that’s not the case anymore. When a dragonfly flew into my apartment, I had to handle it on my own despite wanting to duck under my bed and phone a friend. I’ll still ask my friends when they’re around, but I know I can do it myself if necessary.


5. Enjoying your own company

(Photo via Nik MacMillan)

Most of us cannot wait to be on our own because we have this idea that having our own space will just be better. If you grew up with siblings, living alone for the first time can be a huge shock. There’s no one to immediately share your day with or to bicker with about the mess left in the kitchen. Living alone teaches you to enjoy being by yourself and makes you appreciate your friends even more.


Ultimately, living in an apartment is a step in the right direction when you’re in that middle zone between teenager and complete adult. It teaches you how to be more responsible and to not depend on others as much. You may still call your parents when you have absolutely no idea how to do something, but it enhances your problem-solving skills rather quickly. Whether you’re living alone in an apartment or have roommates, use this time to learn more about yourself and put your decorating skills to the test.