From Dorm to Apartment Oct18

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From Dorm to Apartment

Moving my daughter into the dorm for her freshman year of college was relatively painless. We went over the shopping list, did the thing at Bed, Bath & Beyond, loaded up suitcases, dropped her off at school and went home. Of course, there was the worry over roommate issues, whether she had enough coats for the cold weather, and whether she would miss us as much as we would miss her. But the actual process of getting her settled in her dorm room was pretty easy. And since she would be eating in the dining hall, her meals were taken care of.

The next year, like many students, she moved into an apartment with her friends.

Here’s the thing – living in the dorm offers many benefits that students really do not appreciate:

(1) they typically are not tasked with cleaning the common bathrooms or any of the common areas,

(2) they can pick up a meal in the dining hall or other campus eatery that is made by someone else and ready when they are hungry,

(3) they don’t need to contact, sign up and pay for basic utilities, including Internet access, and

(4) they can generally use their school ID card (preloaded with money) to do laundry.

This does not apply when you live in your own apartment.

You actually need to clean the bathroom, the kitchen and other common rooms on a regular basis.

You need to prepare your own meals (unless you sign up for an on-campus meal plan), meaning going to the grocery store, having groceries on hand, and learning to cook. (Of course, as my daughter says, she is a student after all so “Cup ‘O Noodles” is considered a meal.)

You need to put your name on the utility bill and sign up with an Internet service provider.

And you need quarters, lots of quarters, to do laundry.

And what about furnishing the apartment? Who buys what? Do they need a couch? Table? What about kitchen utensils, pots and pans, and dishes? Even if the apartment comes furnished, as my daughter’s did, remember these are college kids who have lived with this furniture for who knows how long.

In our case, we did invest in a new bed (meaning new bedding, aka “hello again Bed, Bath & Beyond”), much needed couch covers, and a few kitchen items, while her roommates supplied dishes, other kitchen essentials, cleaning supplies, and some apartment decor. The process was much more involved and exhausting, and required much more coordination, than simply moving into the school dorm. In fact, once she was finally moved in, my daughter said she never wanted to move again! Amen!

My daughter recently sent me a photo that was taken in her apartment and I noticed something curious in the background. Her bed was made! When I mentioned it to her, said how nice it looked and asked what came over her (she NEVER made her bed at home), she replied, “I read somewhere that people who make their bed are happier.” Good to know.


Want to know more?

See Moving Off-Campus

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