College Apartment Living

Diane Oh/New University

An integral part of the college experience is living on your own. Moving out after nearly a decade under your parents’ convenient roof is a change that takes at least a little adjusting to, even with the many  distractions.

A highlight of your first year is living in the residence halls. Come second year, students typically move into guaranteed on-campus apartments such as Campus Village, Vista del Campo, Vista del Campo Norte and even possibly Camino del Sol or Puerta del Sol.

One of the things I definitely miss the most about the residence halls is the lively environment and the close-knit feeling — apartment life is great, but the downside is that you’re not living in close proximity with people you know.

One of the biggest differences of moving out of on-campus halls and away from having your own private cooking staff is the new need to cook. Having the patience to find recipes will enable you to prepare a meal without spending too much time or money. Or, if you just don’t care or lack the time, you’ll end up thriving on some combination of peanut butter and jelly, cereal and milk, ramen, frozen meals and coffee. Hopefully you’ll have friends who feed you. Or, you can work together to prepare a delicious entrée that you can share!

Living in harmonious and sanitary conditions means establishing shared-space guidelines and dividing chores.

My roommates and I are all heavily involved with academics, extracurricular activities, jobs and are hardly in the apartment at the same time. Being busy is a good thing, but it also means we barely see each other, let alone get to spare time to really sit and talk. But after a long day, my roommates and I still manage to squeeze in updates and gossip before cracking down on work.

Noise issues are also a given. I’ve heard parties downstairs and what sounds like gymnastics upstairs, as well as other more intimate activities.

This year, I’ve also heard the aftermath of a party, which entailed several people running from UCI police after starting to fight. They pushed and shoved, started running, and were subsequently chased. I don’t remember if they were caught or not, but I know my concentration at 3 in the morning was broken because of yelling, running, lingering cops and flashlight beams darting around outside of my window. Indeed, living right next to the stairs and hallway isn’t that great.

Freshman and apartment first-timers, you’re going to have a great experience living in an apartment. This new housing lifestyle will come with minor hassles such as cooking, cleaning your own bathroom and having to actually furniture shop (if you’re not living in one of the university communities).

There will be so many more perks though, even more than what I’ve already mentioned. Apartment life will be a step toward growing up, and it will be fun with a few quirks, I promise.