Student Essentials: 5 Tips for Living in a Shared Student Apartment

It’s new, it’s exciting, and you are free to make (almost) all your own choices. But it’s a huge transition, too. Living on your own isn’t always easy, and living in a shared student apartment has its own set of rules you will be expected to follow. To make the most of your off-campus housing experience, keep these tips in mind.

1. Make an Effort to Be Friendly

Many people find it’s easier to make friends in high school than in college. For others, the reverse is true. Whatever your situation, it certainly never hurts to be friendly. Remember to smile, extend a greeting, and put yourself out there when it comes to social events. You don’t have to be best friends with your roommates, but it doesn’t hurt to try! You may even make a few friends outside your living space, too.

2. Decorate Your Space

Off-campus student housing generally offers more opportunities for expressing your personality than on-campus housing. Try to make the most of the more relaxed rules. Make sure to decorate your space, even if you’re only living there for a year or so. Rugs, pictures, plants, and throw pillows can make your new space feel like home. Don’t forget to discuss the decor in shared spaces with your roommates. You don’t want to end up with two of the same item.

3. Stock Up on Snacks

Most student apartments have a kitchen, so be sure to take advantage. Even if you’re not keen on preparing a full meal, you can always use the fridge and microwave for frozen dinners and snacks. Though it can be tempting to binge on cookies and chips, remember to keep healthier foods on hand, too. Fruits and vegetables are often in short supply at college, but you need your vitamins, too.

4. Discuss Expectations

To avoid roommate squabbles, it’s best to discuss your expectations right after you move into your apartment. Other students may not have the same standards when it comes to sharing a space. At this point, you can figure out chores and discuss your preferences about sharing food and other items.

5. Spend Time Together

Not all roommates are meant to be best friends, but you should always try to form strong relationships when you’re sharing a space with someone. Even if you feel like you’re not a good match, make some time for your roommate. It doesn’t have to a planned event either. Simple gestures count, too. For example, if your roommate is watching TV, feel free to join. Oftentimes, little moments like these create lasting friendships.

Moving into a student apartment is a huge step toward adulthood. If you make a strong effort to compromise with your roommate, make new friends, and make your off-campus housing space your own, you’ll be one step closer to the perfect college experience. Don’t forget to have fun!