Happy November! I hope you all had a fun and safe Halloween yesterday. First off, I would like to apologize for not having a post up last week. I was busy recovering from a cold and it was also midterm week. It’s crazy how being sick can stop you from being productive and motivated. I’ve written a post about how to deal with being sick in college if you want to check it out here!
Enough about being sick. As many of you may know, I moved off-campus for this school year. If you didn’t, check out this update I did back in the summer time! After two years of living in the dorms on-campus, I was not ready to be an adult and get my own apartment. It’s been almost 5 months since I moved in! Wow, time has flown!
Since I’m almost reaching the 6 months mark living at my apartment, I thought it would be fun to share some of the lessons I’ve learned. Many of these I considered “adulting” lessons because I honestly felt like an adult accomplishing these things. Haha. Without further ado, here are the lessons I have learned from living off-campus:
Overcoming “Adulting” Fears
Remember those days when something went wrong and you could have your parents handle it? Sadly, those days are over when you live off-campus. All those adult tasks that you have been hiding behind your parents come out and it’s time to deal with them.
When I first moved into my apartment, there was a lot of confusion about how my roommates and I paid rent. We all had received different answers from people. Eventually, I had to overcome my fear and go to the leasing office to clarify. When you live off-campus, you learn how to tackle a lot of the adulting tasks, like scheduling doctors appointments, calling maintenance, and tuning up your car.
My biggest regret when I moved off-campus was not creating a budget. Budgeting is extremely important because it helps you keep track of your finances and how much you spend. I did not give myself a budget on how much to spend on groceries, home- related stuff, bills, and entertainment. It can be easy to overspend and find out that you don’t have enough money leftover to pay for rent or other bills.
Even if you are not living off-campus, I highly recommend Googling worksheets and setting a monthly budget for yourself. Some banks actually have a website or app feature that helps create a budget based on your previous spending. Take some time and do your research. It will help you develop good money spending habits later on!
Eating In vs Eating Out
The perks of moving off-campus is my school no longer requires a meal plan. What I failed to realize was how my meal plan made life easier for me. With a meal plan, it was easy for me to stop by the cafeteria or cafe and pick up something that was ready to be ordered or already made. When you live off-campus, you have more steps: finding the recipe, buying the groceries needed, prepping the items, cooking the items, and then doing the dishes.
All these extra steps, which I took for granted, pushes me to eat out instead of making a home-cook meal. Eating out may be the easiest option because you don’t have do those steps above. Yet, it can drain your money fast!
The best way to stop yourself from spending all your money eating out is setting a weekly or even monthly limit of the number of time you can eat out. Another way is to start meal-prepping. This means taking time to create a menu of what you are going to eat for a week. You can prepare the ingredients in advanced, making cooking later on less of a hassle.
In the early months of settling into my apartment, Sarah from The Bella Insider had written a post about how apartment taught her that time is more limited. I could not agree more. Off-campus living take up more of your free time than you expected. When I lived back in the dorms, I spent my free time catching up with old friends over bubble tea or watching the latest episode of my favorite TV show. Now I have to account for tasks that I didn’t have to worry about when living in the dorm. As I mentioned above, eating is not as easy as swiping your card. It now means you have to set a part a time when you can go grocery shopping and cook yourself a meal. Additionally, I’ve had to spend time, which normally would be reserved for friends or napping, to handle calling the utilities company, meeting with the leasing office, or waiting for maintenance to fix a light bulb. Apartment living does teach you how to manage your time wisely so you can fit in all your “adulting” tasks while balancing your school, social, and work/ internship life.
I hope you enjoyed hearing about the things I learned from moving off-campus. There was quite a learning curve when I first moved in. Do you have any “adulting” tips you want to share? They don’t have to be off-campus related either. If not, do you have any fun plans for November? Leave a comment; I would love to hear about them!