I Chose To Move Off Campus And Live Alone, Let Me Tell Ya, I Am THRIVING

I Chose To Move Off Campus And Live Alone, Let Me Tell Ya, I Am THRIVING

Living alone is not as lonely as you may think.
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When I first got accepted to USF, the first thing on my mind was how great it was going to be living on campus. Everything is right there, I'll be best friends with my roommate, and it'll be great. Turns out, college dorms aren't as great as they may seem on TV.

Yes, it was convenient to have everything right there, but the resources on campus aren't always that great. The dining halls are horrible, so I cooked my own food. Printers are available on campus, but they never work, so I bought my own printer. In the end, the only things that were really "right there" were my classes, and I don't really want to be reminded of Orgo everytime I look out my window and see the ISA building.

At least now that I live off campus, I know that all the stuff that I am paying money for are actually functional, and I know exactly what's in and where my food comes from. Yes, it is a little expensive to have to buy your own printer or to have to cook your own food, but in the end - the cost was worth not exposing me to the terrible food in the dining hall. Not to mention the cost of the dorms to begin with! I'm getting a lot more for my money living in my little one bedroom apartment.

I also thought that I would become best friends with my roommate, but that didn't happen at all. My freshman year, I had the worse roommate ever, and it is just more stress I did not need while trying to figure out my place here at USF. Fortunately, my second year I got a better roommate, but when you live alone- you're your only roommate. I can do whatever I want, when I want. I can walk around naked. I can bake a cake at 3 a.m.

This is my castle, and I'm the queen.

Now that I live on my own, I definitely don't regret my experience living on campus. It has its benefits - I really got to learn my way around USF, and really started to feel at home here. I think it's a great idea for freshmen to live on campus for a year or two. Living on campus provides a nice safety net before you get thrown into a life of bills. Still, living off campus, especially on your own, is a big step in becoming an adult. Just make sure your ready for the greater responsibility it requires.

Cover Image Credit: pexels.com

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30 First-Apartment Essentials College Kids Forget To Buy At Target And Later Order On Amazon

Don't wait until you need to take something out of the oven to realize that you don't have any oven mitts.

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If you're anything like I am, you're beyond excited to start planning and shopping for your first apartment. It's easy to get wrapped up in the fun stuff for your first apartment, trust me, as a former Bed Bath & Beyond employee I could spend hours wandering through shower curtains and bedding.

Before you get too carried away there are just some essential things that you'll need, but they aren't as much fun to pick out. Don't wait until you need to take something out of the oven to realize that you don't have any oven mitts, because I really don't see that ending well for you (I may or may not know that from personal experience).

1. Oven mitts

Gets those oven mitts because the sleeve of your sweater might seem like it will work, but I'm living proof that it won't, most sweaters have holes.

2. Trash bags

Don't wait until you need to throw something away to realize you don't have them.

3. Hand soap

It's not like a dorm bathroom where the maintenance staff refills a soap dispenser that's drilled into the wall. You're on your own kid.

4. Toilet paper

Again, no staff replacing it for you. Stay on top of it and make sure you always replace an empty roll, especially if you have roommates.

5. Water filter or pitcher

This one depends on whether your water is safe to drink or not, but be prepared. You don't want to move in under the summer sun only to realize you don't have any drinkable water at your snazzy new pad.

6. Tools

Hammers, screwdrivers, all that jazz. If you're moving in some furniture you're probably going to need tools to put it together.

7. Lighting

You don't want to be unpacking and stumbling around a new space in the dark your first night. Know what lighting is built in and where you might need to add some light.

8. Silverware organizer

Ok, so you probably remembered to pack the silverware, but do you really want to throw it all in a pile in a drawer? That's a good way to grab the wrong end of a knife by accident, maybe get some dividers to keep your silverware nice and sorted.

9. Dish towels

Most people think about bath towels, but if you're not used to having a kitchen you might not have thought of dish towels. You're going to need those when you're whipping up your favorite dinner.

10. Measuring cups

I'm a huge advocate for estimating and guessing in the kitchen, but if you're baking anything at all you should probably at least have some measuring utensils as a guide.

11. Bottle opener and corkscrew

You're going to want to crack open a drink and celebrate your first night in the new place. Wouldn't it be a buzzkill if you couldn't even get the drinks open?

12. Sponges

You have to be able to clean the counters and the dishes when you're done being an expert chef!

13. Paper towels

Spills happen, and you don't always want to clean them with your nice towels.

14. Toilet plunger

It's one of those things you never really think about... that is, until you need one.

15. Air freshner

You know, for after you use the toilet plunger.

16. Extension cords

You probably have a larger space than you're used to, sometimes those cords that come with all your new electronics just aren't quite long enough.

17. Utensil container

A little round pot or bucket is the perfect place to put all of your kitchen utensils. Things like spatulas and whisks will take up space in your drawers and create clutter. Plus, keeping them out makes them easier to grab when you're whipping up some food.

18. Batteries

There's nothing worse than getting your new TV all set up and realizing you can't use the remote.

19. Curtains

If you need darkness to sleep, you want to make sure you get those bedroom curtains up and ready to roll.

20. Toilet bowl brush

Sorry, but I'm certainly not reaching in there with my hands.

21. Ice cube trays

To keep you cool as a cucumber during this stressful time.

22. Can opener

Try prying a can open with your hands. I dare you.

23. Stain remover

For when you try to pry the can open with your hands and manage to spray tomato sauce all over yourself.

24. Carbon monoxide/Smoke detectors

Cause we don't want any tragedies here.

25. Collander

We both know you will be making pasta every night, so you're going to need to drain it.

26. Coasters

You definitely don't want to ruin your super fancy new Ikea table.

27. Dry erase board

No need to argue over who should take out the trash, just make sure to write down everyone's chores.

28. Underbed storage

On a college budget there's no way you can expect a walk-in closet, those clothes and shoes will have to go somewhere.

29. Drying rack

For when the dryer in your building inevitably stops working.

30. Step stool

If you're short, like me, you need a little help reaching that top shelf.

Hopefully this list has helped you feel a little more prepared to move into your first apartment. The decorating and planning is so much more enjoyable when you know you have all of your bases covered. I wish you the best of luck with your first major endeavor in the world of adulting!

Note: As an Amazon Associate, Odyssey may earn a portion of qualifying sales.

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My Favorite Teacher From Elementary Through High School

This teacher inspired me in way I could've never imagined at such a young.

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I've had some incredible teachers while growing up. Teachers are there to help students learn and grow into a mature and knowledgeable adult. When you're a kid, you don't acknowledge this.\

When I was a little girl, I came to school with the mindset of having fun. Of course, that's not what school is about, but in elementary school teachers try and mix studies and fun together so the kids don't lose interest. In the third grade, I can't recall a single day where I wasn't excited to come to school. A big reason for that is because of my teacher, Mr. Woods.

I remember how nervous I always got as a kid when I moved up a grade and was assigned a new teacher. I had no clue what to expect and if they would like me or not. When I got to know Mr. Woods and his teaching ethic, I grew more and more comfortable in his class. He helped me grow out of any shell I was hiding behind and show my true self. I can't even begin to count the number of times he let me come to the front of the class and read all the random stories I wrote any time I wanted.

His energy and passion for his job show through every lesson he taught us, kids. I don't think I would be writing this right now if it wasn't for his motivation. As a kid, I never fully processed all he did for me. He always managed to make sure my class and I were okay. He cared about us kids, and I could never repay him for all the things he taught me, academically and as a person.

I had the pleasure of going back to my elementary school the day before my graduation for a ceremony. Kids who were graduating this year were allowed to come back and we were honored. We were shown to the elementary kids, hoping to inspire them to further their academics. On the way to the school, I was joking with my mom saying, "I was Mr. Woods' favorite kid, of course, he will love to see me back!" to which then my mom would say, "Oh please I bet he doesn't even remember your name." So when I got to the school I was excited but nervous. When the lady at the mic told the current teachers to stand up, Mr. Woods yelled for me. It was a moment for the teachers to be acknowledged, but instead, he yelled, "Hi Paige!" I visited Mr. Woods every year I could at least once, but I never thought it meant anything. That day, I saw him crying,

I know he was proud of all of us. It's because he is someone who cares about his current and past students well being. He is the epitome of a great teacher.

He cheered for me once again when I was called up individually. When I got to walk the halls one final time, he gave me the biggest hug I've ever received. I got to visit him when everything was finished and give him a gift. He asked about me, let me talk to his students. If I could go back and relive through the third grade I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

Never in my life could I ever repay all that he's done for me. He helped me grow into the person I am today and pushed my passion for writing. He is absolutely incredible, and I always wish the best for him. I went through middle school and high school waiting for someone else to become my favorite teacher and while I had many good experiences, no one really compares to the impact Mr. Woods had on me. I'm forever grateful for him. I always will be.

Never take your teachers for granted, the giant majority of them just want what's best for you. Certain people touch people's hearts in different ways. Mr. Woods made an everlasting memorable impression in my life.

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