I wasn’t prepared
By that I mean: “how the hell does life work outside of the Village…” It very suddenly occurred to me, as I was lining up apartment inspections, that outside of the Village no one really cares if you’re feeling ready for the real world or not. Do you have money? Are you sane? Cool. You qualify for an apartment the size of a shoebox. Go off into the world and be a good little adult (real estate agent pats your head patronizingly). Here are five sobering realisations you will have when you finally move out of the Village.
Bills are split
No more all-in-one bills to pay – everything is divided and controlled by different companies. You might be lucky and get into a building that manages all of those expenses, but that’s not generally something you can rely on or expect. Get ready to budget the crap out of your life. Internet, gas and electricity bills might be deducted at different times. Set alarms on your phone so you don’t buy a $15 burrito and have your lights turned off.
You don’t get any control over your neighbours
At the Village you might have been able to deal with noisy neighbours by knowing that rules are in place to control the noise – this does not apply. Sure, there are stipulations within leases that require good behaviour from apartment tenants, but that doesn’t mean you’re not going to share a wall with a screaming newborn. If you’re living in the city it’s a matter of luck as to who your neighbours are. You might get some great neighbours! And if you do, let me know. I need a new apartment.
Staff aren’t there to turn on the power
If there’s a storm and your power goes out, sorry, ain’t no RA around to venture out into the dark for you. Either you are expected to do that yourself, or you'll have to wait for your property manager to organise someone to come out - which can take days. It all depends on what kind of place you’re living in. When something breaks, you can’t always pop down to reception and ask for a replacement.
It is frequent. And it never stops.
You have to make effort to be social
This one hit me the hardest. I was so close to all of my friends at the Village, we always saw each other because there was never any effort required to hang out. As soon as you move off campus you need to start putting in the effort to see these people. They aren’t ten metres away from your front door anymore, and they’re probably as busy as you are. You’ve really got to work at it if you want to keep up with your mates from your Village days.
Moving to a new apartment is actually awesome. I might make it sound scary or something you should dread, but it’s actually a great part of gaining your independence, and when everything is set up it feels awesome. You might just have a few months looking like this when people ask you how your new apartment is going.