Moving into your first apartment is a big step into adulthood. That step that comes with many harsh realities. Whether you’re moving from home or a dorm, here are the realizations you have with your first apartment that hit you like a ton of bricks.

Text by Jonathan Mendoza

Man looking at food label while shopping

Grocery Shopping

Getting out of the house is great, but that first grocery trip is when you realize that “adulting” isn’t everything it’s cracked up to be. You quickly take back everything you said about your mom’s cooking or the school’s cafeteria food. Life was so easy when the food was already made or when the groceries were stocked in the pantry.

Woman cleaning dishes

Cooking and Doing Dishes

Again, you’ll immediately take back everything you said about the school’s food or your mom’s home-cooked meals. Grocery shopping is rough, but then you have to do something with those groceries. And it just doesn’t end there. You want a clean apartment, so you have to then clean all your dishes. Now you’re really taking back everything you said.

Picture of energy usage history

Conserving Energy to Save Money

Living at home or in the dorms was all fun and games. You could leave your lights on and take long showers without worrying how much it’ll cost you. After that first utility bill, however, you quickly realize that you can’t leave every light on anymore. You can’t take those relaxing hour-long showers anymore — unless you want to pay the price for it.

Couch with pillows in apartment

Having Furniture/Décor

When you lived at home or in the dorm, you never had to worry about supplying a bed for your room or couches for your living space. Now that you’re in an apartment, you get an empty room with no bed or furniture supplied. And on top of that, you want to be the host with the most, so you have to find decorations as well.

Friends putting hands for a huddle

Staying Connected with the Community

When you move into an apartment, you have a place that’s your own hideaway. Staying on campus or at home made getting out a lot easier because the environment was so different. Moving into an apartment makes you realize that you have to reach out more to stay engaged with the community around you.

While it’s an exciting time, moving into your first apartment has its own struggles and realities. Being aware of these struggles will make your big move a lot less stressful.