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Navigating Life in your First College Apartment

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at MSU chapter.

Living in a dorm is vastly different from living in an apartment. When I first moved in, I realized that there was always something that had to be done around the house, and the list of chores was never-ending. When I wasn’t cooking for myself, I was cleaning the kitchen, or making sure my appliances worked. It was my first step into proper adulting, and I was constantly stressed. After a long day of doing chores, I would have to muster the energy to finish my homework, and prepare for the next day.

All of this seems daunting, but with practice, you slowly adapt to a schedule, and things get done faster. Here is a list of 5 things that helped me streamline my tasks, and live my best college apartment life.


Meal prepping has made my life 100000% easier. Something as simple as overnight oats saves me the headache of rushing in the morning to make myself breakfast. I make food in bulk to stash it in the freezer for a week. It saves me a lot of time throughout the week and helps when I am too exhausted to cook.

  1. Know your lease like the back of your hand

Leases are long and arduous to read, but knowing your rights and limitations, as well as having up to date information on your amenities and necessities allows you to be a good tennant by taking care of your responsibilities. Knowing maintenance procedures, and your lease renewal/termination regulations will ensure that your rights as a tenant are not violated and that you are not held liable for something you didn’t do. 

  1. Learn basic life skills

Living in your first apartment comes with its own series of confusing problems. Learn how to do basic repairs! If possible, pay your rent before the due date to avoid last minute stress and confusion, like your payment portal crashing the day rent is due (this has happened way too many times for me to keep count).

  1. Create a chore schedule

Create a weekly chore schedule, and keep it somewhere easy to see (like your fridge). This will allow you to break away at household chores bit by bit, instead of having them pile up on you at the end of the week. If you’re living with roommates, divvy up the chores. This makes sure that everyone is contributing to the upkeep of your apartment, while also lessening the burden that comes with individual chores. 

  1. Chill

We often get caught up in trying to make sure that everything is working perfectly, and that every chore needs to be done immediately. Prioritize what is important for that day, and don’t forget to take breaks. It is easy to get overwhelmed with studying, working, and having to take care of your own living accommodations. Take things one day at a time and always remember that you can’t be perfect all the time. It’s okay to make small mistakes and set your own rules.

Everyone has different lifestyles, and finding yours, especially in a new place, will take time. If you keep doing what you enjoy then your schedule will fall into place.

Sanskriti is an undergraduate astrophysics major who loves to read and is very passionate about making and eating dumplings. She is the current Vice President of the Astronomy Club at Michigan State University, and can often be found hunting for new horror podcasts to listen to.