Moving into a dorm freshman year is a big transition for any teenager. It is the first time you are living on your own and fully responsible for your own decisions. For many college students, last year was definitely a transition coming back home in March. After six months of being home and no longer having to live on my own, I encountered an even more drastic change when I moved into an apartment with my two roommates.
This was different than living in a dorm because I no longer relied on a meal plan, I had to clean my own space and had to restock on items such as toilet paper and hand soap on my own. Here are my top four tips on living on your own and how they can make you a successful, independent student!
1. Never go to sleep with a sink full of dishes
Due to the small size of an apartment, the kitchen can up a lot of space. Having a clean sink and kitchen makes the apartment more open and easier to maintain. In addition, no one wants to wake up in the morning and smell food that’s been sitting in the sink. When I wake up and walk into a clean kitchen, it makes me feel so much more productive. Having a clean space can give you a better mindset to tackle the day.
2. Buy in bulk
Moving to Madison from across the country, it is hard to buy for an apartment without having a car. When my roommates and I were buying necessities for the apartment, we decided to shop at Costco. We chose Costco so we could buy our groceries and household items in bulk. This way, we don’t have to make a trip to the grocery store every week. A Costco membership is about $60, so it’s a very helpful move to split it with roommates.
3. Learn how to compromise with your roommates
Living with multiple people means sharing spaces, which also means that you share a lot of belongings. It can be hard agreeing on what items you all want in the apartment and who is paying for what. For example, many of the things in our apartment were split equally by all of us. However, if someone wanted to keep an item after college, they bought it and then will be able to keep it. Simple compromises like this can avoid awkward situations later on.
4. Invest in your own coffee machine/ espresso maker
My freshman year of college, I spent a lot of money on coffee. As someone who relies on caffeine multiple times a day (especially during midterms and finals), buying an espresso machine has been an amazing addition to my life.
There are many types of espressos machines with prices ranging from $30-$300. I purchased a $40 Mr. Coffee espresso machine from Walmart. Each coffee machine comes with instructions on how to create your perfect drink! Investing in one of these machines can save you a lot of money and give you energy to last throughout ALL of your online classes!