Column: Tips for getting the most out of your C-U housing

By Susan Kantor

I’m not good at living on my own.

I moved out of the residence halls and into my own apartment after my freshman year. I have learned that I’m simply not domestic during the past two years living without the guidance of my parents or the comfort of knowing I have someone to cook for me and clean the communal bathroom in the residence halls. I never have been and I never will be.

Finding a good apartment and paying my bills on time? No problem. I’m fully capable of acting like an adult in those situations.

Cooking meals that consist of more than a Hot Pocket and using my hand to fix a clog in the garbage disposal? That’s more of a problem. I revert back to my squeamish, 10-year-old self.

Stale bread, yogurt, Diet Coke and some cheese slices are all that I have in my refrigerator. My default meal? Coffee and a granola bar. Sure, cooking things like homemade soup is delicious and may remind you of Mom, but I will much sooner settle for a Styrofoam cup of Ramen Noodles in ninety seconds.

It’s not like I haven’t tried to cook. One day last year I attempted to make potatoes with olive oil in the oven. I ended up with the smoke detector blaring and my front door open to waft the smoke from my apartment. It’s times like these when I miss the cheeseburgers and mini pizzas from late night at Illinois Street Residence Halls.

I’m sure there are some of you out there that are kind of bad at living on your own too. So, we bring you the Spring Housing Guide. Maybe you’re good at cooking but are terrified about finding a summer sublease. Maybe the carpeting in your living room was eaten by your pet rabbit that your landlord doesn’t know you own. Maybe your apartment is devoid of decorations and you need a little help to make it feel like home. Maybe you are defunct at cooking like me and need tips on how to be healthier. Don’t fret – wehave you covered.

We hope that we give you a little bit more information about how to succeed in living on your own in Champaign-Urbana, whether it is a residence hall, Greek house, apartment or your very own house, one block from the Quad or a mile away from the edges of campus.