Moving Into My First Apartment: The Struggles & My Triumph

Upon the beginning of January, I moved into UCLA for my junior year. I was studying abroad during fall quarter, so I had not been on campus since last June. Not only was I coming back to UCLA for the first time this school year, but I was moving into my first apartment! I was really excited to be living on the apartment side this year, so I was looking forward to getting back out to LA and making my new home my own.

Being from Pennsylvania, it is always a bit difficult moving in. I usually only have one parent come with me, and I ship boxes beforehand to make it easier. This year, I booked my flight kind of late and the airfare was expensive. My parents decided that they couldn’t come out to help me move in, so not to flex or anything, but I moved myself across the country and into a brand new apartment all alone. I was pretty proud of myself, but I was also overwhelmed. Anybody who does this on a more regular basis than I do, please know I have so much respect for you.

I did not have time to ship boxes, so I arrived to LA with three big suitcases. Luckily, I avoided the LAX madhouse that is the new Uber/Lyft shuttle situation and had a driver pick me up at baggage claim to help me with all of my bags. On the ride there I was feeling good. I was telling myself it would be easy, that I was going to be just fine. When I finally got to my apartment and walked into my bedroom (a triple, might I add) I started to freak out. Both of my roommates were completely moved in. Their beds were adorable, their dressers new and built and their closet perfectly organized. I started to panic. I didn’t even have a dresser. Before I could unpack anything, I had to go out, buy a dresser and build it myself. This is when I really started to miss my dad.

Luckily, I have the best roommates in the world. Before I could start to cry (I was tired after a long day of travel), they quickly stepped in. They drove me to Bed Bath and Beyond, helped me buy a dresser and some storage items, got me some food, brought me home and we spent the whole night with our tool box putting my shelves and dresser together. I did not even fully get to unpack until the next day because the whole process of moving in took so much longer than I expected. But, having my roommates by my side and totally there for me helped immensely.

What I learned most about moving myself in is that everything takes time. Even though I wanted to get everything set up right away, it wasn't possible and I had to learn to be okay with that. With classes starting the next day, of course it was normal to be stressed out, but the most important thing is learning to take a step back and try to relax. Everything will get done eventually, just don't stress yourself out over things you really can't control. 

I guess I underestimated the struggle that would ensue. I think I was too confident in my abilities, so of course a breakdown was coming. Moving is hard! Sometimes I forget that because I’m so used to doing it. But, moving is 100% easier and less stressful when you surround yourself with people who 1) are there to help and support you and 2) always stay calm under pressure. Shoutout Hannah and Schuyler for being my people.