What I've Learned about the Apartment Life

At some point in your college career, you'll probably take that big adult step and rent an apartment. It's exciting, scary, and there's a lot to learn from it. Here are some of the things I've learned about the apartment life in La Crosse.

1. The responsibility is great...and terrifying

In my college experience, nothing has made me feel like more of an adult than signing a lease and NOT having an RA. It feels really good to be in charge of cleaning your own house and to not have someone telling you what to do down the hall. But being responsible for an apartment also means you're liable for damages and responsible for paying your bills on time...intimidating adult stuff.

2. Decorating is SO fun

Okay, okay, decorating my dorm was fun, but you can do so much more with an apartment. You have bathroom accessories to pick out, pictures to put on the fridge, and a whole living room to fill with lights and memorabilia. There are so many more ways to personalize an apartment than a dorm, and it's a lot of fun to make a new space your own.

3. Roommates don't always get along

Chances are, you'll have more roommates in your apartment than you did in your dorm. That means more opinions and more responsibilities. There will be times where your roommate doesn't feel the need to do dishes for a week (and that's fine), but you might disagree. Communication is key, folks.

4. Friendships are more important

Keeping your friendship with your roommates is more important than arguing over household responsibilities. If you're feeling annoyed, remember your friendship pre-moving in together, and communicate face to face.

5. I've taken a lot for granted

All those years of heat in the winter, AC in the summer, and a full fridge at home? Yeah, not as easy (or cheap) as it looks. Paying for my own bills and groceries has made me realize how much I've taken for granted. Thanks, mom and dad!

6. Apartments teach financial responsibility

Living on campus, you make one payment a semester and you're set. Living in an apartment means planning a grocery budget, being on top of bills, and limiting how much heat and electricity you use. 

7. You can't control everything that happens to your apartment

You can limit the damages on the inside, sure. But a storm might make your cable all whacky, your lights will burn out, and a drunk kid walking past might rip a pipe off of your building (it happens!) Things might not always go right, so it's good to remember you can't control everything.

8. Personal space is a good thing

I love my roommates, but I also love having time to myself. In a dorm, I didn't get that chance as much. In the apartment, it's nice to have the kitchen and living room as a place to socialize, and to have my bedroom to myself.

Overall, living in an apartment is worth it. It grants you freedom, teaches you responsibility, and is certainly a step into the adult world.