Every young adult craves independence at one point in their lives. For me, that moment came when I signed the lease to my first apartment and moved in just a few weeks ago. My roommates and I had a specific vision for our apartment and just apartment living in general; waking up early, going to our apartment gym, grocery shopping together in Westwood, cooking together and hosting dinners and parties for our friends. Then the school year hit us all. As time went on, apartment living somehow became less fun and our responsibilities as students, roommates and tenants became more prevalent in our lives.
Freedom and independence are for sure the biggest advantages of living in an apartment. Waking up without anyone bothering you, eating whatever you please and just feeling more like an adult are all aspects of apartment living. Other benefits of an apartment include having a social environment and learning new skills such as cooking. My apartment always has people over and I enjoy coming home to people I love. During the week, however, my apartment is often quiet as we are all doing our homework and studying. Apartment living creates a perfect balance between the two worlds; you get the fun socializing aspect but also the serious environment of working hard. I have also recently learned how to cook (even though I am not very good at it). At times it can get frustrating, yet it is fun to make my own meals and mix different ingredients. Overall, my apartment does actually feel like a home away from home. It is decorated the way I love, I have my own area where I can be myself when I want to and I just feel extremely comfortable.
Living in an apartment does come with a lot of responsibility though. An apartment gets dirty so quickly and living with multiple people means you have to clean multiple times a day. Whether it be vacuuming up dust and hair on the floor, wiping down the dining table, cleaning the windows or washing all the dishes, the disadvantages are real. It can be tiresome, but it is doable. There is no way to escape the treacherous cleaning routines because it comes with adult life and adult living.
Also, cooking can sometimes be such a hassle. Groceries are very expensive and sometimes I run out of hours in a day to eat a proper meal because I am either too tired to eat or too hungry to wait to cook a meal. Therefore, I have to meal prep and look up quick and easy recipes online. After a while, I did get the hang of it, but it does become an annoyance at one point or another.
Lastly, paying bills is probably the most important aspect of living alone. Living in an apartment means you have to be on top of every bill possible - rent, water, gas, electricity and wifi. There are difficulties living in an apartment but it all comes with the independence we all crave at one point in our lives.
It is no lie that there are ups and downs to living in an apartment. In my opinion, it is all preparation for being an adult. After a while, it is easy to fall into a routine but at times it is hard to stick to it. I recommend setting boundaries with roommates, have a good idea of your school, work and social schedule of the week and plan accordingly. One of my best decisions in college was moving out of the dorms. I feel more self sufficient and productive as usual and overall happier.