Leases are a funny thing. They begin in September (normally), meaning that millions of college students every year scramble at the end of August to move into houses just off campus. It’s inevitably scorching hot during this time, which introduces you to levels of sweat you didn’t think were possible outside of an NBA locker room. It’s all worth it of course, because you are finally, truly, independent.
Sure, when you moved into the dorms you were no longer under your family’s supervision, but it’s not like you got to choose your roommate there. You also have the residential adviser poking around in your fun. Nope, dorms aren’t complete independence; they’re like Puerto Rico – you get to do your own thing, but ultimately, you don’t make the rules, you abide by them. Moving into your first house can be daunting though, and there are some things you need to keep in mind, like……
Food, Now You Have To Make It All:
At home, mom made sure you had a good meal on the table every night (hopefully). In the dorms, you had a meal plan for the cafeteria so all your meals were taken care of again. At your new residence, whether in an apartment or in a house, you have to start making meals for yourself. This isn’t a hard concept to understand, but when I’d spent the first 19 years of my life having never gone grocery shopping, it does feel a little odd walking around the produce section with a shopping cart. Suddenly, those tacos that my parents made so well seem like an awful lot of work. I mean I can just make shells and cheese in 10 minutes, so why not just eat that for the fifth time this week? Also, frozen pizza. Lots and lots of frozen pizza.
Sure your parents gave you a list of house chores that involved cleaning, but now you’ve got an entire house to maintain. The dorms were easy. It was just one room, which made cleaning a 20 minute process. My roommates and I learned the cleaning lesson the hard way when we spent the last two years living in filth, never cleaning anything, and then had to scramble to clean the house before moving into our new one. It took a full week to get that house in presentable shape, all because we neglected to establish a normal cleaning routine during the year. It wasn’t worth it. This past week sucked big time.
Also, even if you are of the cleaning type, you can bet that at least one of your roommates isn’t, meaning you’ll find yourself extremely frustrated at having to clean up their mess, which brings us to….
In the dorms, you didn’t have a choice who you lived with, so you tried extra hard to make it work. Now, presumably, you live in a house with all your friends. Should be buckets of fun right? In theory yes, and in my case I’d say yes as well. But living with your friends has a funny way of making you wonder why you’re friends with them. It’s simple: the more you’re around a certain person, the more likely it is that they will annoy the shit out of you. Plenty of great friendships have been ruined because the people just weren’t compatible as roommates. It’s sad, but it happens a lot.