It’s been two weeks too long my friends, but let me tell you, they’ve been a crazy and very busy two weeks. I moved into my apartment last Saturday and after spending a week settling in and visiting family and friends in Ohio, I finally found the time to sit down and write this blog. So as promised, let’s talk about some of the do’s and don’ts of move-in day.
Do: Take your time
After the initial hour or so of unloading your car, truck, or move-in van, things start to slow down as unpacking begins. I think it’s important not to rush the unpacking, especially if you’re arriving early to campus like me. Obviously take care of the essentials like clothes, toiletries, cookware, plates, food, etc. However, when it comes to decorating your room or arranging furniture you might want to take it slow and really look at the spaces you’re moving your things into.
Most of the decorating I did in my room didn’t happen until the day or two after I had moved everything in, so even though my walls were a little sad my first night in the apartment, the next day I was able to make decisions about exactly how I wanted my room to look without feeling rushed or tired. My roommates and I also moved furniture around a little the first week and are still putting up decorations here and there as we find the time and space for them. I think it’s important to remember that you’re building your little home away from home and you should take your time doing it so it’s just the way you want it.
Don’t: Expect to have remembered everything
Whether you’re living on campus or off it’s almost inevitable that you’ll have to make a few trips to Walmart on move-in day and the days that come after that, even if you think you’re prepared. As someone that lives six hours away from college, I was super worried about forgetting one or multiple things at home because it’s not easy for me to just go back and get them.
I did forget my Keurig which was a bummer, but my roommate brought a regular coffee maker with her and I’ve been able to use that which is awesome (thanks Leah, you da bomb). I also forgot a few little things like extension cords, plug-in air fresheners, and ibuprofen, but I remedied that within the first two days I was here. I’m sure once classes start I’ll discover a few more things I’ve forgotten, but thankfully I have a car and a little cash to take care of that.
Do: Ask questions (even the little ones)
This year, I’m living in a large apartment complex in Athens called Riverpark and I’m already loving it for the amenities and community atmosphere. However, with a large apartment complex comes a very busy leasing office, especially on move-in day and it can be a little overwhelming. Because of this, it can be very easy to forget to ask important questions, which is what happened to me.
For the first several days we had no idea where to get our mail, I had forgotten to ask how to sign up for online rent payment and didn’t get my laundry card; those are some very important pieces of info to be without. Eventually I found all the answers to those questions, but I wish I would’ve asked them on day one because it was not fun worrying about them my first weekend here. So, take my advice and take your time in the leasing office. They might be busy, but you’re the resident, so make them slow down and answer your questions because you’re probably paying them a good chunk of change anyway.
Don’t: Fight your feelings
So, it was the Monday night after the Saturday that I moved in and things were great. I was hanging out with my mom, watching the season finale of the Bachelorette (*SPOILER*: can you believe that she ended up with smooth-talking Bryan? Personally I liked Peter more, but the dude just wasn’t ready to commit) and then suddenly I just got really sad really fast. I couldn’t figure out what exactly it was, but I just felt weird and off. After talking with my mom for a while, I realized that it was just “first apartment jitters.”
Now, I realize that isn’t a real thing, but basically what it came down to was that I was adjusting to the simple fact that I was going to be living on my own for the first time. Of course I had roommates, but I was still on my own to an extent. When you’re in a dorm, there is still someone “in charge,” someone to go to when your neighbors are being crazy loud and obnoxious, and someone who has a lot of the answers to your questions. However, when you live off-campus, you’re in charge, you get to politely try to deal with your neighbors, and the leasing office can answer most of your questions, but a lot of times, you’re on your own. It’s a huge adjustment, but it was hard for me to accept that it made me a little sad and overwhelmed. However, once I figured out that’s what was bothering me and just accepted it, the feeling passed and I got back to being happy and excited to live in my first apartment.
Hopefully you’ll find some of this advice helpful if you too, are moving into your first apartment. But I’m definitely not the first person to have done this, so if you’ve got any tips or tricks of your own when it comes to moving in, let me know down below!