Tips for successfully living off campus, not dying

messy apartment
Jesse Menn/Creative Commons

Living off campus can be exciting and really one of the first stages of actually “adulting.” Far and away are the days of apathetic security monitors, the aptly named Late Nights at Crossroads and jeans lost in the laundry. You’re sort of on your own now, and we at the Clog can bet that your parents are nervous as hell. Here are some tips on how to stay alive during this whole living-on-your-own thing.

Meet the neighbors

This isn’t Unit 3 anymore. Your new neighbors probably aren’t too festive or into leaving their doors wide open like your floormates back at the residential halls. “Room parties” really aren’t a thing in the off-campus world. Thank goodness for that. Don’t annoy your neighbors like the people by the Units who yell “HUGO!” on a nightly basis or the house on Spruce Street that plays “Shabba” and “Trap Queen” on repeat — that’s not a good look. This isn’t a fraternity exchange so don’t treat your place as such or expect no consequences to come from doing so. The cops that tear your door down are not your resident assistants or that security monitor that FaceTimed on the job. Essentially, don’t be a jerk. Besides, you never know when you might need to rely on your neighbors, such as when you need to split an Uber or something.

Divide the chores

Nobody wants to be the same person cleaning the toilet every time a roommate dirties it up after a long night of fraternity-rowing. Set the responsibilities and standards from the beginning. It’s the middle of the semester, so perhaps you should have done this weeks ago, but it’s not too late to figure out who the crusty roommate is. Split up the housework so that nobody’s fighting over who’s leaving trash and moldy underwear all over the living room. Do your part so that your home doesn’t become a hellish, passive-aggressive cesspool.

Make sure you’re eating

This is perhaps the most basic item on your agenda, but it’s surprisingly difficult to keep up with in the middle of the semester and onward, especially when dining halls aren’t as accessible as they once were. Listen to your dad or whomever, maybe you really do need a meal plan. Fresh Top Ramen and Easy Mac are fun for the first few days until you get jaundice. Meal plans can be pretty convenient on days when you’re studying all night at Moffitt Library or you’ve been flyered enough. That type of trauma requires a good pick-me-up, like pancakes from Late Night, nice coffee from the Den or the bizarrely named dining hall concoction known as the “Oski’s Burger with Oski’s sauce.” Please don’t email us and tell us what’s in it.

We hope these tips help you guys navigate off-campus living for the first time. Roll on, you Bears.

Contact Karina Pauletti at [email protected].