10 Struggles You Face in Your First Place

After living with your parents or living in an on-campus dorm, most of us are itching to move into our own place. Just when you thought life was going to get so much easier on your own, here are some of the struggles you face in your first place.

1. Getting used to the “house noises”

Every house has unique creaking and cracking noises that take a lot of getting used to. In a historic city like Richmond, where the houses are at least 100 years old, it’s easy to be paranoid about what exactly those sounds that go bump in the night are. Once you realize that that constant tapping by your bed is actually just the rain hitting your window sill, you’ll be able to sleep better.  

2. Adjusting to how your roommates do things Everyone grows up doing things differently because every family is different. The way you do dishes, laundry or any other form of housework could be completely different from the way that your roommates do, and it takes some time to establish a happy medium for getting household maintenance done. In the process, you might acquire a new skill or a better way to accomplish household tasks.

3. Learning how to properly use all the appliances Living on your own often means that you’ll be using some appliances that you’ve never had to use before. Some things that your parents typically took care of are now your responsibility and it’s a learning process. You'll find yourself calling your parents for instructions on many occasions but when that gets old, you can always take to Google for the answers. Some of these appliances take some trial and error before you feel comfortable using them so be sure to stay patient. 

4. Making dinner (or forgetting to)Having classes all day on top of a job or extracurricular activities causes you to get home pretty late, sometimes way past dinner time. It’s easy to run out of time and energy to make a satisfying dinner and sometimes you simply just don’t have enough food in the house to do so. You’ll find that PB&Js and mac and cheese get old pretty quick. Pasta in general becomes burdensome to eat. 

5. Grocery shoppingOpening the fridge to discover you’ve run out of milk, butter or any other staple food product is very disappointing. Finding the time and money to go to the grocery store is a difficult task and one that requires a lot of effort to do successfully. The key is to make a list gradually during the week and dedicate your least busy day to a good trip to the store. Following your list and not going too crazy at the store will help you stay within your budget so you don't end up breaking your bank after one trip to Kroger. 

6. Figuring out what kind of landlord yours isEvery landlord is nice in the beginning. It’s similar to how all of your professors seem promising during syllabus week and then that feeling slowly fades as they show their true colors throughout the semester. Landlords are hard to read and one small mistake on your part could lead to a consistently bad relationship with them so make sure you play your cards right. Don't trash the place and stay on track with those bills. 

7. Meeting/encountering your neighborsMeeting your neighbors for the first time is kind of weird because you’re trying to pick up on each other’s vibes to determine what kind of relationship you all will have. If your neighbors are cool, life is great and you can knock on each other’s doors to borrow some sugar or just to hang out. However, if you don’t like them then it can make simply checking your mail a daunting task.

8. The walk to and from campusIt’s been unbearably hot so far this semester which makes this everyday task a million times worse. You could spend an hour out of your day just walking to and from campus and you have to be extra careful not to leave something at home because you’re not going to want to make that walk again. However, when the weather is nice you’ll find yourself happy to be getting fresh air before and after being stuck in classes all day.

9. Cleaning Cleaning no longer just means making your bed, picking up your things around the house and doing chores when your parents ask. It means full on disinfecting, organizing and maintaining the house on your own terms. Willingly cleaning the house is not easy but it’s one of those things that just must be done.

10. Sharing with your roommatesIt’s important to establish early on what belongs to you and what you’re all willing to share. Taking what isn’t yours can lead to disputes that are easily avoidable. Claim what’s yours and respect what isn’t.