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  • Student Blogger: Moving Off-campus, Taking on more responsibility

    By Qianyu (Margaret) Cheng

    Finally, at the moment when I signed my contract for the apartment, I was so excited and looking forward to the brank new life of living in apartment with three roommates. After tiring apartment hunting and roommates searching, we got to settle down and moved in.

    Before the life in apartment, I lived in resident hall for a whole year since freshman is required to live in dorm. I spent the first year of my UI life in Busey-Evan, one of the university resident halls. The dorm is comfortable and relaxing place for students to take a rest and it feels like my home, and I met lots of friends (actually most of my friends) there. The dining hall, computer lab and library are also provided in the dorm, which is convenient and easy to use. Doing homework in library is my favorite activity. In the dorm, the resident assistants and multicultural advocates are always there to help. What’s more, I love the grand piano in the lounge. Although I don’t play piano, it is always enjoyable to listen to it when others are playing that.

    In the second semester of my freshman year, as many other students, I was thinking about moving out to an apartment. The main reason is that I want to have my own kitchen. The dinning hall in the dorm is awesome, but since I enjoy cooking by myself, moving out sounds like a good choice for me. Also, I can save a lot by cooking my own meal. The dining hall provides cafeteria, but sometime I can’t eat that much. Once made the decision of moving out, I started my apartment hunting.

    The first step is to decide the location and the type of the apartment. The single bedroom is best for student who enjoys a quiet place. Because I would love to live with my friends and apartment with four bedrooms are easy to find, I decided to get an apartment with four bedrooms. I find three of my roommates in the same dorm and the other in my calculus lass. As for apartment hunting, Tenant Union is a good place to go since they can recommend apartment for you as well as providing tips of apartment hunting and things to notice when move in. We also asked several upper year students for their advice because they have done it before and they have more experience. In the end, we signed the contract and when we were unpacking the luggage in the new home, I was so happy that we finally make it.

    However, as time goes on I find that there are pros and cons of living in an apartment. First of all, living in apartment means more private space. I used to share a double room with my roommate in Busey, but now I can have a bedroom all by myself. Also, you can decorate the whole apartment and make it feels like home. However, for us there are some challenges too. The utility bills like Internet and electricity need to be taken care of. Cleaning up and grocery shopping is also something that we have to do regularly. Additionally, at first when we started to cook, we always found that we forgot to buy something. After we made a list and went shopping in the market for several times, we finally make the apartment equipped with all kinds of necessary commodities. Also we began to learn to cook all different kinds of dishes with ovens. For some of us it was the first time to cook by ourselves. We tried out all kinds of ingredients and recipes, and everything turned out to be as tasty as homemade. Well, it is homemade.

    Living in the apartment means you will take more responsibility. I cooperated with three other roommates to make our apartment feel like home. In the dorm, it seems like everything is being taken care of. The food is ready in dining hall, and the only thing we have to do is to vacuum the room weekly. However, when you live by yourself in the apartment, you have to spend time to cook and take care of your apartment. Another biggest pay off is that you get to meet lots of new people in the dorm, when you are in the dinning hall and even do the laundry. In the apartment you only get to see the faces you see everyday. Overall, I love my roommates and apartment but I also miss the old days when I was in the dorm.