5 Surprising Lessons I Learned from Apartment Living

Four weeks ago, I mentioned in this Instagram picture that I’d be living in Austin this summer on my own for the first time. Big girl moves here! Since I’ve lived in a dorm for the last two years of college, I thought it would be a great idea to try living in an apartment while I wasn’t in school, so I could see if I liked it at all. It’s baffling to think I’m moving out today, since the time here flew by so fast! I romanticized a lot about what apartment living would be like in my head before I got here: getting more freedom, trying new recipes, having friends over!

5 Surprising Lessons I Learned from Apartment Living | The Bella Insider

While I am moving back into a dorm next fall, I’m happy to now have some solo living experience under my belt, as I’ve learned a whole lot about myself these last few weeks. Here are some personal reflections that I wanted to share with y’all from my time of living in my own space this summer:

1. Keep drinks in the fridge for guests.
I had such a blast if friends ever came over to visit, but I almost always felt like a bad host, since I never had drinks in the fridge to offer when they came in. It gets hot in Austin. Like blazing hot! Since I’m a pretty basic water + lemon gal, I didn’t have much besides that. The few times that friends came over and requested something I didn’t have, I thought it was time to get a few more drink options when I hit the grocery store. Even though friends probably didn’t care too much, having things such as lemonade and iced tea made me feel more prepared if people came in dripping in sweat from walking outside.

2. More space = more to clean. 
Living in an apartment is so nice for the fact you have more space to yourself, but I found that everything gets dirty so fast! The floors, counters, toilet, basically everything you see…and can’t! Note to future apartment-living self: keep cleaning products within easy reach. Tip I learned a few years ago: keep your space 15 minutes away from being guest-ready, so if a friend decides to stop in, things can be tidied up quickly!

3. Easy food will become your regular staples.  
When I first had the idea of living on my own, I thought I would use my love for cooking towards trying out new recipes, but I basically made the same foods over and over again. I became too lazy to find different groceries, and I had limited time to cook. I was constantly searching for quick meal prep inspiration through YouTube videos or my Pinterest. Besides the pizza in my “What I Eat in a Day“, the meals I made took 25 minutes or less.

4. It can get lonely.
As a single dweller in a one-bedroom/one-bathroom apartment, it’s easy to get cooped up inside the place without speaking to anyone. As a dorm roomer during the year, I was forced to be out of my room to study, eat, and even use the restroom, so I was constantly with people, even if it was just for a few minutes at a time. In an apartment, it’s easy to keep to yourself, which might be good for some and not for others. I’m in the latter group on that one!

5. Time is more limited. 
For a lot of college campuses, apartment living can be cheaper money-wise, but in actuality, apartment living is more costly time-wise, because I spent more time doing things I didn’t have to do before. For example, eating isn’t as simple as swiping a card and going to the dining hall. It requires writing a list of food to buy/recipes to make, getting gas to go to the grocery store, transportation time to the grocery store, buying the groceries, cooking the food, washing the dishes, etc. It’s a lot of time that I could have used studying. If I were to do this during the year, I know I’d have to be extra cautious about my time by planning my days well in advance.

5 Surprising Lessons I Learned from Apartment Living | The Bella Insider

Well, my time in Austin has come to an end…for now! I’m currently on the road back to Houston, and I’m stoked to see my family! Summertime here sure did not disappoint, but more on that later during my Monthly Favorites! Until next time, friends! Be sure to follow along on Instagram @sarah_thebella for the latest updates. Thanks so much for reading, and have a wonderful weekend!

Welcome to The Bella Insider! Here you'll find free online resources so you can feel less stressed about adulting in college and beyond. Click here to learn more!


Leave a Comment


  1. 6.26.16
    Carrie C said:

    I'm so glad you enjoyed your apartment time in Austin!


  2. 6.27.16
    Sarah said:

    Thanks so much, Carrie. I really enjoyed having my own space! XO, Sarah

  3. 6.27.16
    Ileana said:

    These are such great tips! I never lived alone… but travelled alone for some months…:D


    Novelstyle Blog

  4. 6.29.16
    Sarah said:

    Thanks so much, Ileana. Glad you think so! I hope to do that some day! XO, Sarah