Column: Apartment living requires new level of responsibility

By Eric Steckling

Congratulations! You’ve survived the rough and tough residence halls, overcoming the tight living space and communal bathrooms, and you’re now free from the eye of your watchful R.A. Everything is easier now, right?

Congratulations! You’ve survived the rough and tough residence halls, overcoming the tight living space and communal bathrooms, and you’re now free from the eye of your watchful R.A. Everything is easier now, right?

Well, you may be in for a bit of a surprise. While it’s true that having your own apartment generally means more freedom, there are more responsibilities that come with it and the convenience factor the residence halls provided is gone.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m as happy to be out of the dorms as anyone, but when you move into an apartment, you need to consider everything that goes into the process.

Want cable television, Internet access and water? Often, when you move in, you need to call to have those things set up. When my roommates and I moved in this year, we went basically the first week without Internet or TV because local companies and their services were in high demand.

Even something as simple as eating becomes a lot more tricky. You can’t just go down to the cafeteria and have choices ranging from waffles to grilled cheese to salad. Now you provide your own food, which means either eating out or going to the grocery store.

Eating out can get expensive, and shopping for the same dining-hall variety at the store can add up as well. Generally, I see others buying lots of frozen pizzas … probably somewhat of a compromise, although not very healthy.

Also, remember that friendly Building Service Worker that would come by and clean your hall, bathroom and lounge? Well, unless you hire a maid service, that’s not happening. While it does vary by leasing company, getting routine maintenance done can be a chore in itself.

My building had a … pest problem of sorts … earlier this year and we had to constantly call to keep having our problems addressed. So when you’re thinking of signing that lease for next year, consider everything involved in your decision.

A lot of people try to rush their signing to get the “best” apartments on campus without really thinking about the big picture. Living in an apartment is the next step in growing up, and your apartment search should reflect that.

Your own apartment means there are fewer people who will go out of their way to help you. Resourcefulness is key. If you want something done, you need to be persistent and proactive in getting answers.