As a Freshman living in Redding Hall everything is new and exciting. You walk into this massive five-story, U-shaped building, overwhelmed, and not knowing where anything is, not even your room. Time goes on, and slowly you get familiar with how everything runs – what times the bathroom is packed, which shower is the grossest, what time it would be impossible to find an open washer and dryer. You begin to realize that just because people are always around to hangout in the lounge, doesn’t mean you always should. Then, in the blink of an eye, freshman year is gone, and unless you’re a Munson Fellow or Resident Assistant, so are the luxuries of living in Redding.
This year I opted to go for something different and get an apartment, and it definitely is different. Here are the top three things I realized moving from Redding into an apartment.
- The POD is a luxury. If you live on the Turf, GO TO THE POD RIGHT NOW!! Living off-campus there’s no convenient grocery store full of all the things you shouldn’t want, but do at 2:00 in the morning while cramming for that exam you completely forgot about. The POD is no longer a hop-skip-and-jump away from my bedroom. Yes, I do have the luxury of a kitchen, but there is something different about grabbing your friends from down the hall and taking a break to stock-up on Chex Mix, milkshakes, and Subway sandwiches.
- You miss the community. I was the person who would always dread my hall meetings because there were so many other things I could be doing, but now living in an apartment with two other girls who are on completely different schedules from me, you miss the community. There is no longer the luxury of being able to just go and procrastinate in your best friend’s room for fifteen minutes on your way back from the bathroom. On any given night of the week, there isn’t some event – probably with free food, that is happening only a floor down from you. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing to live off-campus, but living with two girls is different than living with hundreds of other students.
- Responsibilities. This sounds silly. Yes, as you grow up you get more and more responsibilities and those are things you just need to deal with as it’s a part of life. But I didn’t realize how easy I had it living in Redding until now being in my own place. First off, trash isn’t something you can just go and throw into the dumpster whenever it gets to the point where your RA comes in and says, “Wow, why do you have so much trash? You should probably do something about that.” Now trash day is something that happens once a week and if you miss it, you’re out of luck until next week.
Like I said, I’m not complaining about living off campus, I love it, but for anyone still living in Redding, or on-campus in general, don’t take it for granted!