It has only been three weeks since I’ve moved into my off-campus apartment in Allston, but I feel that I’ve learned enough in this short time to have lived there for months! Don’t get me wrong, though, I’m so glad I made the choice to move off-campus! It’s been so awesome having my own kitchen, my own room (with enough space for a bed bigger than a twin XL!!!), and a clear separation between school and home. But there are definitely some differences with living off-campus that can require more effort.
I’m sure I have plenty more lessons to learn on the way, but for now, here are the five things I’ve realized from ~~Allston livin’.
1. Be friendly with your neighbors!
You definitely don’t have to be BFFs, but it’s good to at least have a friendly relationship with your neighbors so that you can trust them, help each other out with favors, or just rant about your landlord together. There’s no RAs when you’re off-campus so if you get locked out of your apartment, it’s nice to be friendly enough with your neighbors that you can ask to wait at their apartment until your roommates get home.
2. The Semester T-Pass is a need, not a want.
Okay, so I’m probably exaggerating that it’s a need but the Semester T-Pass been my absolute saving grace in the short time I’ve been off campus. If I’m running a little bit late to class or if I’ve just had a long day and not feeling the 30-minute walk home, I can usually count on the T or the 57 bus to be there in five minutes or so. I also love using this pass on the way home from Trader Joe’s runs so that way I don’t have to feel guilty about being too lazy to lug my groceries home.
3. Set aside an hour each week (at least) for groceries
If you’re in a rush to buy your groceries, you’re more likely to spend unnecessary amounts and not really pay attention to what you’re buying. I’m a huge fan of Trader Joe’s because their food is so inexpensive but still good quality, but it can be a bit of a trek for some people. Take the time instead to look through the coupons for Star Market so that you can shop close by and still save a good amount of money!
4. Make sure you have your own checkbook.
I’ve had my own for years but only written three checks at most so I’m excited to finally make a dent in my checkbook. Rent might get a little bit more difficult to pay when you don’t have checks to write out to your landlord (and by difficult, I mean not possible). You can also print out online checks too if you’re able to pay your rent that way!
When your roommates tell you not to name the mouse living in your kitchen, listen to them. You will get attached.
Speaking from personal experience. RIP Tiger the Mouse <333