When you move into your first apartment, you have these romantic fantasies of what it will be like. No parents to tell you what to do or when to clean, you can have parties whenever you want, you will be friends with everyone in the building, you will make all the food you like becoming a master chef, basically it will be the best thing to happen in your life so far!

Here is the reality, all of those fantasies are WRONG! I just recently got my first apartment and yes, I did have some of these preconceived ideas as well. However, I quickly learned that not everything is what it seems to be. Let’s start with moving day. This is a combined happy and sad day. It is exciting to be out on your own with your first apartment but also sad to leave your family behind for the first time. On top of all theses feelings, you also have to move all of your stuff into your new place and unpack. Let me tell you that packing and unpacking is the bane of my existence. However, besides that, you will now realize how much stuff you actually have versus how much stuff you need! This is the time to really find out what is important and what needs to stay or go…. Or just live out of boxes and tripping over things all the time, your choice!

Once you have unpacked, you’re probably thinking you are ready to go. Naturally, you try to be organized and set up a schedule for when you need to clean and when to go grocery shopping. Unfortunately, you will not stick to that schedule. More often than not you will be cleaning every day (now I understand why I was made to do chores every day) and will always either forget something at the store or need something special to make dinner, either way by the end of the day you won’t have the energy to have a party because you realize you will just have to clean up after it and its not really worth it at that point.

So now you are on to making your own food for yourself. Let’s think about this, you have just cleaned, worked and run errands all do and are now dog tired, you really think you are going to make a gourmet meal? Nope! There goes that dream of being a master chef but hey you will become master of the microwave which is just as impressive in my opinion.

Finally, we get to your neighbors. To be honest, the movies and TV shows were wrong! There is no gathering for the neighbors and you really will rarely ever see or meet your neighbors unless there is a fire drill (yes, this happened to me). In reality, you will actually be really annoyed with some because there will always be that one neighbor who sounds like he is rearranging furniture at 2 AM. Dude, go to sleep!

Now that you know the realities of what it really means to own your first apartment, I would still stay spread your wings and go for it! It is a part of growing and will really make you into a more responsible adult… and you will get really good at keeping your mouth shut when you’re around that one neighbor.