College students may initially be required to live in dorms, but eventually most have the option of moving to an apartment. Moving into a first apartment is an exciting time, but apartment living is much different than dorm living. In order to make a smooth transition, consider these tips:
Outfit the Kitchen:
Most students living in a dorm do not need to supply or cook their own meals. In fact in many instances, no appliances are allowed in the dorms. When moving into an apartment, students need to plan on investing in some basics. Generally, the kitchen is the room that needs the most. Outfitting a kitchen means purchasing utensils, necessary appliances, dish towels, dinnerware and more. For the easiest transition, roommates should discuss what they each currently own, then divvy up the remaining necessities before shopping so that all contribute as equally as possible. When it comes to meal preparation, students can either decide to individually cook and shop for themselves, or work out a system to share the duties and costs.
Draw up a Budget
Depending on the lease agreement, students may also have to budget for utilities including water, trash, cable and electric. As mentioned above, food must be included in the budget. Roommates should discuss their budget goals well before the move in day.
In dorm living, students may have shared a common bathroom with many others. Don’t forget the basics like cleaning supplies, toilet paper and other necessities for the transition to apartment living.
Look for Bargains
If you’re investing in furniture pieces for the apartment, consider looking at second hand stores for inexpensive solutions. Check local garage sales or flea markets for other great finds. Most students will not need a full array of movers to move them from a dorm to an apartment, but some may find it worthwhile to rent a small truck. If possible, split the truck rental between all the roommates. If you’re getting a cable and internet set up, ask the companies if they have any special deals for students. Many have packages for students at great savings.
An apartment is a big step and an exciting time. Planning in advance for some of the differences between an apartment and a dorm will allow students to settle in quickly and get back to focusing on school.
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