Graduating from Student Housing to Your First Apartment: What You Can Expect

Student Housing to Apartment Blog

Whether you’re actively searching for an apartment, or considering the alternative for a later time, it’s always good to stay informed and up-to-date on your housing options.

Sure, the dormitory has its advantages: downstairs 24-hour mess hall, close proximity to the campus library and classes, etc. However, there comes a point in time during your college career when you want to be on your own and in your own place.

If this sounds like you, here are some things you can expect to happen once the transition has been made.

You can double your space!

I would (and I’m sure you would, too) describe living in a dorm room as being tight and uncomfortable, due to the lack of space and privacy. The size of the room could be compared to a broom closet, and there was just never enough storage to accommodate my personal belongings and my roommate’s.

When you graduate to an apartment, you will easily obtain more space and possibly double (or triple!) your square footage. That additional space can open the door to endless decorating and storage possibilities in your home – are you ready for that much excitement? I know I was…

Pet adoption is an option!

Student housing’s strict no-pet policy aside, the lack of space alone couldn’t even accommodate for a pet rock. If you have always dreamed of giving a furry friend its forever home, then you’re in luck because many homes on are pet-friendly!

Many pet-friendly communities also include pet amenities, such as a dog washing station, pet play park, waste bags, and even pet-sitting services!

Hip, hip, hooray for privacy!

It’s the most wonderful feeling when you come home, kick off your shoes, and do not see your roommate sitting on their bed, jamming to music that’s audible through their headphones. There’s absolutely zero privacy in a dorm room – and in the off chance you do get a couple of minutes to yourself roommate-less, you take it and enjoy it for as long as you can.

Luckily, when you have your own place, you’re comforted in knowing that you have your own privacy. Even with a roommate, you can simply shut the bedroom door to be alone. 

Your own apartment means more amenities to enjoy!

Apartment communities have many more amenities to enjoy than what student housing offers. Here’s a list of some you may like while living off-campus:

  • Swimming Pool
  • Game Room
  • Resident Clubhouse
  • Pet Park
  • Hot Tub
  • Movie Theater
  • On-Site Computer and Printing Lab
  • Sports Courts
  • Private Study Rooms
  • BBQ Grills
  • Tanning Beds
  • On-Site Fitness Center
  • Modern Interior Finishes
  • In-Home Washer & Dryer

You’ll need to learn how to budget…

Unlike a dormitory where everything is paid up front, apartment utilities and personal expenses need to be budgeted out so you don’t overdraft your bank account.

If you’re in the process of researching apartments, run some numbers to see what you can realistically afford. Be sure to include a budget for food, school supplies, campus fees, transportation costs, and leisure activities.

You’ll have to take on more responsibilities…

The reason you’re creating a budget is because of the additional responsibilities acquired because of renting. Here are a few that may shock you at first, but will become second nature over time.

1. Paying the Bills On Time

Making sure that your bills are paid for on time will help keep a roof over your head, the power, gas, cable/Internet, and water on, plus the trash collected. There could be more expenses depending on your lease agreement, but these are some of the main ones you’ll want to keep on your radar.

2. Cooking for Yourself

In an apartment, there’s no more all-you-can-eat mess hall – you have to cook for yourself now. If you don’t know how to shop for groceries and prepare meals, now is the time to learn so you can be ready for the next semester!

3. Cleaning the Apartment

Unlike student housing, there’s no janitorial services to lean on. You’re on your own now for maintaining a clean apartment. Need help? Check out these tips.

You’ll have to set an earlier alarm...

An off-campus apartment is a little further away from school, which means you will need to set your alarm a couple minutes earlier to get to class on time. Fortunately, there are many ways you can travel so you’re not late, including biking, catching the bus, calling a rideshare service, or driving to campus.

Photo by Vadim Sherbakov on Unsplash

Looking for an Apartment? Start Here! is the leading online apartment listing website, offering access to information on nearly 1,000,000 available rental units and helping connect property managers and landlords to millions of qualified renters every day.

Search Rentals