The Daily Illini

Living in an apartment brings added responsibilities, conveniences

By Megan Jones

After two years of living in a dorm, I couldn’t go back. After feeling like the sophomore troll, angered by freshman squeals late at night, I left my dorm to live in a lonelier, less clean environment.

When I began living in an apartment, it seemed similar, but the differences slowly creep up on you. Here are some things you should consider before you make the switch.

No one is going to clean your bathroom.

There is a pro and a con here. Pro: You no longer have to deal with anyone else’s gross hair in the shower drain. Con: There is not a magical building services worker who is going to clean your bathroom each day. Wiping down common appliances should be done once a week, and remember to restock on toilet paper and soap.

Doing the dishes is another fun chore.

Say goodbye to the days of just putting your plate on a moving chain and watching it leave, because they are just going to pile up in your apartment. Depending on where you live, hopefully a laundry machine is near, ending the days of lugging the laundry down multiple flights of your dorm. That’s one chore that gets easier.

Nonetheless, these aren’t reasons not to live in an apartment ­­­­­­­­­— they just serve as a way of welcoming you into adulthood.

No one is going to have food magically prepared for you.

I’m hungry and it’s 5:30 p.m. and I’m going to walk downstairs and there will be a magical buffet of various different types of food.

Not anymore. In fact, do you even have any groceries at all, or did you forget to go shopping this week? Say goodbye to Late Night at PAR and Specialty Oodles (small sobs).

Shopping lists will become your best friend for planning ahead for what you need (or just continuously buy the same five items and have five boxes of Instant Rice in your apartment, like me.

Take advantage when you (or a friend) have a car on campus and stock up on basic cooking items you need that you wouldn’t necessarily think of, such as spices, butter or oil.

No one is going to bug you, but it can also be lonely.

When you live in a dorm, you can walk outside the hall and see a group of friends at any point of the day. Living in an apartment is much lonelier, unless you’re with a larger group of friends.

However, with this comes the advantage of no longer having to deal with a particularly loud kid who always blasts music and has parties in their room whenever you just want to go to bed.

And also, say goodbye to the days of having to share a room with a roommate. You have privacy now. And it rocks.

No one is going to charge you $10,000 a year for living, (depending on how crazy you get.)

A major advantage of living in an apartment is that the cost of living can be a lot cheaper. While you can opt for a fancy lifestyle and still pay $10,000 a year for board in a swanky apartment, I opted for the cheaper $400-a-month route.

While I miss the perks of having a computer lab and open study space, the ability to save money and avoid more student debt is important to me.

Utilities are not just magically included in your dorm fee. And they have to be paid every month. Welcome to the life of bills. If they aren’t paid on time, there will be a late fee and it’ll suck.

Also, make sure you are paying close attention to what utilities are included in your apartment before you sign. For example, some apartments include water, while others don’t.

There are fewer rules in an apartment.

No one is going to monitor what guests you have or make sure that your room is following the fire code (coming from a fireman’s daughter, though, you should really check that out).

With living in an apartment comes the freedom of not having an RA or quiet hours (despite maybe upsetting the people who live near you).

Megan is a junior in Media.

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