Are you sick of eating food from dining halls? Are you tired of using a community bathroom? What about sharing a tiny room with someone? What about having to carry your laundry all the way to the laundry room unit just to wash your clothes? If you answered yes to any of these questions then living off campus might be just for you! I live in a 4 bedroom/ 4 bathroom apartment with my favorite people and couldn’t be happier!
Leaving the dorms means a lot more responsibility. You definitely will make a few mistakes along the way but everyone does, so it’s okay! From having to submit your very first maintenance request to realizing that half of the stuff you bought at the grocery store was impulse buys and snacks, you begin to find that there is a lot to learn!
Keep reading to find some tips that I’d tell anyone who was moving off-campus!
KNOW HOW TO SUBMIT MAINTENANCE REQUESTS THROUGH YOUR RESIDENT PORTAL
Many college apartments have cheap appliances and you’ll soon find out that stuff breaks a lot more often than you would have thought. Is your dishwasher not unlocking? Your fan making an incredibly loud humming noise? Is your lightbulb out? These are just a few things that I’ve had to put requests in for!
Knowing how to submit these requests when the time comes will save you a lot of stress!
It is so easy to forget to pay your monthly rent fee if you don’t set up automatic monthly payments from the beginning. My rent for my apartment gets taken out every first of the month and I never have to worry about missing a payment and getting charged a late fee! The apartment complex that I live in gives us until the 4th of every month to pay before we are charged an absurd late fee. Don’t be that person who has to be emailed and called over and over because you accidentally forgot because it can happen!
Remember to set up these payments so you will be stress free when the time of monthly rent fees come! Also if you can, I suggest linking your electricity and any other bills to your monthly rent so it all gets taken out at once!
HAVE A GROCERY LIST
Going from living in dorms where you would only need to go out and occasionally buy snacks to an apartment where you are having to cook your own meals can be a bit challenging at first! I recommend writing out a grocery list or even typing it onto your phone. List every ingredient needed for the meals you cook, a few snacks, and then any other thing you need for that week.
By going into the store with a list you are more likely to follow that list and less likely to stroll through the isles aimlessly looking and throwing all the extras into your cart. You will definitely save money by shopping with a list!
PSA (NEVER grocery shop hungry!) I’m sure we all know why!
LEARN TO COOK
You now have your own kitchen and get to use your own appliances! Not knowing how to cook is very common for college students but becomes very tricky when you no longer have a meal plan you can rely on to go get CFA. Ramen, pizza rolls, and mac n cheese is only good for so many lunches/dinners so I recommend learning how to make a few great meals early on! I can’t tell you the amount of times I went to PB&J sandwiches before I finally decided to cook a few meals!
Prepping meals will save you money by keeping you from eating out too often!
CREATE A WHO IS BRINGING WHAT
This is really important if you are moving in with roommates. Like I said earlier there are 4 of us living together and we created a google doc that we shared that had everything that everyone was bringing. We were fortunate enough that we ended up not having to buy anything new because family members were giving us things we could take to the apartment. I highly recommend doing this and sticking to it otherwise you might have doubles and triples of things and there is not enough kitchen storage for it!
Also speak with your roommates before buying anything kitchen/common area related to be sure you are not spending money where it isn’t needed.