10 Things Your First College Apartment Teaches You That Are Almost As High In Value As Your Rent

10 Things Your First College Apartment Teaches You That Are Almost As High In Value As Your Rent

Yes, that is a picture of me with two of my roommates and our apartment dog, Plato.

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Since my freshman year at UCLA I've been practically dying to move into an apartment. Craving independence and a little personal space, which were being afforded to me at neither the dorms nor the sorority house, I welcomed an apartment my junior year with open arms.

I won't lie, moving into an apartment has genuinely been so much better (at least for me) than living in the dorms or in the sorority house.

That is not to say it hasn't come with its share of ups and downs. In the first month of living in my first apartment in Westwood, Los Angeles, I've learned the following:

1. Communicate with your roommates about supplies

This could go one of two ways. On one hand, no one buys anything expecting the others to buy pots, pans, trash cans, etc… and all six of you end up sharing one saucepan and a single spatula. On the other hand, every member buys one (or more) of everything and you end with seven pots, 25 plates, 16 spatulas, 300 forks, four toasters… you get the picture.

2. Gather your rent EARLY

The first of the month comes sooner than you'd expect. You feel like you just paid August rent and *BAM* your due for another payment for the month of September. I'd suggest getting your funds in order a week before it's due so you're not scrambling last second for the last hundred dollars.

3. Rules need to be established early on

The luxuries afforded in a dorm and a sorority house (food at the ready, trash taken out, bathrooms cleaned, etc…) really do make a difference in roommate relations. When you move into an apartment there are so many little things you may not have thought were important previously. Everyone grew up in different households and thus had different expectations placed on them regarding cleanliness, noise, taking out the trash, etc… I suggest sitting down with your roommates before moving in and compiling a solid list of rules. It may seem excessive at the time, but you'll be grateful when there's an argument about turning the tv by 3 am.

4. Compromise is key

Again, everyone grew up in a different household, and so everyone has different expectations. All eight, five, even two of you, are not going to see eye to eye on everything. It's important to keep this in mind as you come up with house rules and come into any conflicts. Keep an open mind to each others' perspectives.

5. Communication is an even bigger key

You can't compromise without communication. Communicate generally about apartment related topics. Even more importantly, if something is getting on your nerves you need to communicate this to your roommates before it becomes a bigger issue, continuous animosity create a heavy vibe in such a small space. Likewise, your roommates have the right to tell you if something you're doing is bothering them. It is so crucial not to get defensive in those situations. Everyone's ultimate goal should be to create a comfortable, safe environment for all members.

6. You have two relationships with your roommates: friends and business partners

This one of the harder realizations to come to terms with. Yes, your roommates should be your friends to a certain extent, whether you moved in with your absolute besties or random strangers. Having some sort of friendship or another makes living together much more pleasant. That said, when it comes to the finances, etc of your apartment, you are business partners and everyone should be holding up their end of the deal. Most likely, you've entered into a contractual relationship with your roommates, and such matters should be treated with a certain level of professionalism and respect.

7. You’re going to pay more than you’d like in rent

I'm living in a six girl apartment in a loft room with no door and a bunk bed and I'm still paying nearly a thousand dollars a month in rent (not to mention parking, utilities, and groceries adds another few hundred to that). Westwood was ranked one the most expensive college areas to live in nationwide, and one of the most expensive areas to live in LA. Renters know students practically have to live on/near campus so they jack up the rent even more so than the rent is already jacked up in Los Angeles. You have to go in knowing you're going to be paying excessive amounts for something that is absolutely not going to be worth what it's priced. It's just how it is unless you want to live a few miles off campus

8. You’ll need more storage than you think

Many apartments that are marketed to six people (or however many) people, really should only house 2 or 3. Storage gets filled up fast, invest in more drawers, shelves, a mini fridge, etc...

9. Clean up after yourself, otherwise it gets dirty in the blink of an eye

When your living with multiple people, filth adds up rapidly. If you want the place to be clean everyone has to clean up after themselves ASAP.

10. Cooking for yourself is a pain in the ass, but-oh-so worth it.

It's time consuming and takes thought. It's so much easier to order from postmates. When you cook though, you save money and it's better for your health. You'll be shocked about how much healthier you feel once you start truly cooking for yourself.

Your first apartment living experience has a huge learning curve, but it's totally worth it in the end.

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10 Things Someone Who Grew Up In A Private School Knows

The 10 things that every private school-goer knows all too well.

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1. Uniforms

Plaid. The one thing that every private school-goer knows all too well. It was made into jumpers, skirts, shorts, scouts, hair ties, basically anything you could imagine, the school plaid was made into. You had many different options on what to wear on a normal day, but you always dreaded dress uniform day because of skirts and ballet flats. But it made waking up late for school a whole lot easier.

2. New people were a big deal

New people weren't a big thing. Maybe one or two a year to a grade, but after freshman year no one new really showed up, making the new kid a big deal.

3. You've been to school with most of your class since Kindergarten


Most of your graduating class has been together since Kindergarten, maybe even preschool, if your school has it. They've become part of your family, and you can honestly say you've grown up with your best friends.

4. You've had the same teachers over and over

Having the same teacher two or three years in a row isn't a real surprise. They know what you are capable of and push you to do your best.

5. Everyone knows everybody. Especially everyone's business.

Your graduating class doesn't exceed 150. You know everyone in your grade and most likely everyone in the high school. Because of this, gossip spreads like wildfire. So everyone knows what's going on 10 minutes after it happens.

6. Your hair color was a big deal

If it's not a natural hair color, then forget about it. No dyeing your hair hot pink or blue or you could expect a phone call to your parents saying you have to get rid of it ASAP.

7. Your school isn't like "Gossip Girl"

There is no eating off campus for lunch or casually using your cell phone in class. Teachers are more strict and you can't skip class or just walk right off of campus.

8. Sports are a big deal

Your school is the best of the best at most sports. The teams normally go to the state championships. The rest of the school that doesn't play sports attends the games to cheer on the teams.

9. Boys had to be clean-shaven, and hair had to be cut

If you came to school and your hair was not cut or your beard was not shaved, you were written up and made to go in the bathroom and shave or have the head of discipline cut your hair. Basically, if you know you're getting written up for hair, it's best just to check out and go get a hair cut.

10. Free dress days were like a fashion show

Wearing a school uniform every day can really drive you mad. That free dress day once a month is what you lived for. It was basically a fashion show for everyone, except for those upperclassmen who were over everything and just wore sweat pants.

Cover Image Credit: Authors Photos

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Why You Should Attend The University of South Florida

Why The University of South Florida is the best school to go to.

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Now before anyone says anything, yes I know I am biased. That's the whole point! The University of South Florida is truly an amazing institution. The campus is big, but not overwhelming. Trees and plants cover the grounds and create a very peaceful feel as you walk around campus. The buildings are modern looking, our facilities are advanced, and there is a sense of openness to the layout of everything. there are no confined or small areas, the whole campus is an open floorplan.

Additionally, the diversity rate of USF is incredibly high. there are people from all areas of life that come here and join the herd. We are unique in the sense that you never truly know who you'll run into as you go around campus. I have not had one negative interaction with anyone on campus. People are open-minded and allow you to be yourself. There is a constant feeling of kindness in the air, and not just from students. The professors are caring, the staff members are kind, and the janitorial staff members are some of the sweetest individuals I have ever met. You are always met with a smile.

USF also is in a great city, Tampa! There is so much to do in close proximity to the school. It's really quite amazing everything you can do. Down the street is Busch Gardens, across the street is MOSI, and Universal and Disney are only an hour drive East! There are also multiple restaurants around and shopping centers as well. the campus is clean, safe, inviting, and so much more. And if that wasn't enough to convince you, we also have our very own Publix! You cannot get much better than that!

Overall, USF is an amazing school that has amazing opportunities. If you are unsure of where to go, I would recommend coming up and taking a tour here. I absolutely love this school. GO BULLS!

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