Living in your first apartment is like being a real person without actually becoming a real person. An apartment means independence and a new set of responsibilities. It also stands for the perfect hangout/party spot that isn’t under the careful watchof RAs. It’s like being an adult, but better.
Firstly, roommates. I’m pretty sure that it’s actually impossible to act like a mature adult when you’re with your best friends all the time. You may be worrying about “adult things” like figuring out how to pay the rent and bills together, but chances are you’re spending even more time learning how to twerk on Youtube and accidentally burning countless batches of cookies.
You are not yet a “real” adult despite your apartment, as is made obvious by the actual adults living near you who wake up at 6 AM every weekday for work and go to bed early on the weekends. Shout out to the woman with the early morning job and a newborn baby who lives right below me (sorry that we woke you up last Tuesday at 2 AM). Leave it to getting yelled at by your neighbor to make you feel like a little kid again.
Being calm, cool and collected at all times probably won’t happen. A prime example: a few weeks ago, our roommate Nicole worriedly asked us if we thought our knives could cut through a snake if one were to get into our apartment after seeing a snake outside dangerously close to our abode. Also, my roommates and I freak out any time a bug gets into our apartment, regardless of whether it’s a cockroach or a fruit fly. I'm reminded then that I’m not quite there yet (and maybe won’t be. Ever.).
Any college student, on the other hand, can tell you that the nighttime is probably the least likely time for them to be relaxing. I seriously struggle to relax or get work done in my apartment, because something more interesting than homework or sleep is always going on. Productivity is at an all-time low when my roommates are getting ready to go out, watching the newest episode of Modern Family or just eating snacks and chatting about life. Many adults would have the self-control to avoid such distractions. College students? Not a chance.
While living in a dorm has its perks (proximity to campus, security, you can make friends with people in your hall, etc.), an apartment means you can live by your own rules. According to Kate Paulsen, a UCONN senior exaplains, “You have more freedom, plus it prepares you for the real world in terms of paying your own bills and cooking your own meals. Also, there’s no RA or anyone for you to answer to, so it’s a lot more fun.” All true.
And I can’t deny that I still secretly feel awesome when I whip out my key card to my apartment building and swipe in every day.