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Top 5 Tips on Apartment Living

This has been my first summer living in an apartment, and I have learned many valuable things. So here are my top 5 points on apartment living:

  • Roommates: Having male roommates was just about the best choice I could have made for myself this summer. Not only were they great for killing bugs and teaching me about sports, they also were very resourceful and supportive. I learned how to cook this summer and found out how to work a record player!

**As clarification, the reason I had male roommates was because my friend Joe let me sublease from him while he was working on the Alaskan Railroad this summer. (I know, the Alaskan Railroad seems very strange and out there – but apparently it is a great job and you can make a lot of money!) Therefore, I lived with two grad students from Western either recently graduated or about to do so. See the photo below for a great capture of the two of them.**

My point? Live with people that you will enjoy living with who could possibly open your eyes to learn new things but who will respect your lifestyle too.

  • Food: Work out a system for food near the beginning of your time together. My roommates had already defined a system, which worked for the three guys, so I fell right into that. Our system just kept each person responsible for buying his/her own food with no community items except condiments, but if you needed something that you didn’t have, the other people would be willing to share.

Other apartments will do completely communal food, or have “community” milk and bread, and then buy everything else separately. You’ll have to recognize what each person’s eating habits are and go from there.

  • Heating & Cooling: In the same vein as the last point, figure out a plan for air conditioning and heating. We all come from different homes where our parents kept varying standards for heating and cooling. So it is important to sit down and find out maybe a definitive temperature to turn the air conditioning on at, or a solid number to keep the heating at during the winter.
  • Helping Hands: Something that I loved in my apartment this summer was that we knew how to remedy a bad day for each of us. Whenever I had a rough time at work or school – I came home and my roommate Rob would go through a list of “what do you need” options. From frozen yogurt to shopping or just driving around – he knew the things that would calm me down.

The thing to keep in mind is that roommates often act as the mom and dad you might not have while at school. This does not mean always saving the day, but it is nice to know how your roommates tick and what they need to feel better.

  • Life Balance: Lastly, it is important to realize that whatever your roommates are doing – you have a choice of whether or not to be a part of it. Rob and Derrick were really great at showing a balance between spending time together and spending time doing their own thing. We would have roommate dinner or TV show nights once or twice a week with other adventures sprinkled in (like our roommate night driving excursions or Fourth of July fireworks). However, it can be easy to get wrapped up in constantly doing all things together. Recognize that you need a balance and so do the people you are living with, and find the balance that works for you all.

Whether or not you are moving right into apartment living, staying on campus, or commuting from home – chances are you will live in an apartment at some time or another. I wish you luck, and hope your experience is as great as mine!

Rob, Me, & Derrick (Derrick is a GA at Western and apparently didn't want his students to see his face and think that he might have a life outside of teaching. HA, he still wanted to be in the photo, so he decided that reaching into the cupboard was a good alternative.)

Rob, Me, & Derrick (Derrick is a GA at Western and apparently didn’t want his students to see his face and think that he might have a life outside of teaching. HA, he still wanted to be in the photo, so he decided that reaching into the cupboard was a good alternative.)

With Bronco Love,

Jazz

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