5 Important Qualities of a College Apartment

By Lorena Roberts on February 26, 2018

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After you’ve spent the first few years living on campus, you might start to feel independent enough to explore the option of having a college apartment – something you pay the rent on that’s really yours. Maybe by this time, you’ve met some really good friends that you know you’d enjoy living with. You might even know what area of town you most prefer. But regardless of where you end up planting your college roots, you’ll need to make sure your college apartment has these 10 qualities:

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1. Location, location, location.

You’re probably going to want your college apartment to be in a pretty convenient location. Whether you want to be close to campus so you can walk to class or close to downtown so you can be Johnny-on-the-spot when your pals plan to go out, the location of your college apartment can make or break your college experience.

Sure, finances are a big part of why college students choose certain parts of town to live in. It’s probably more expensive to live in the higher-demanded areas — like downtown or close to campus. The further you get from the university, the lower the rent is probably going to be. So maybe it’s worth it to you — save some money on a monthly basis. But do you want to be twenty minutes away from “Fun Central?” That’s up to you to decide.

2. Roommates.

A quality college apartment includes some high-quality roommates. You’ll probably want to put some feelers out early on so you know who you want to include in the invitation to live with you. Ideally, once you move off campus and get a place with roommates, you’ll stay in that same living situation until you graduate. Believe me (and I can tell you from experience) that moving every year sucks. It’s honestly not worth it at all. Unless you have crappy roommates. In which case, it might completely be worth it.

Remember that roommates have some of the greatest impacts on your quality of life. That being said, it can go two ways. Bad roommates can make your life much, much harder. Getting stuck in a bad roommate situation will quickly throw you into a hostile environment.

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3. It sets you up for success.

If your college apartment doesn’t set you up for success, you’ve lost out on one of the most important qualities your college apartment needs. For instance, if you don’t have anywhere to sit while you study in a quiet, non-distracting place in your apartment… it’s probably not setting you up to be successful in your schoolwork.

If your apartment is right next to (or over top of) one of the busiest bars downtown, you’re probably going to have a hard time concentrating on anything but partying Thursday night thru Saturday night… or Sunday night… or every night.

How impacted are you by your environment? Does the traffic noise bother you? Will you be able to sleep through constant college parties and raves? You’ll know what your college apartment needs to include (or not) depending on your answers.

4. A cozy nook.

You’re in college – you’re stressed. You get up and go to class (most of the time), listen to a professor who (probably) lectures too fast, head home to an (almost) empty refrigerator, pull out your (almost empty) gallon of ice cream, and settle into the couch you bought off the Facebook Marketplace for $20. And that’s when you can finally relax. Without your $20 sofa, you wouldn’t be able to make it through the day.

Having a place to crash when you’re done with the day’s classes is an important quality in a college apartment. You won’t be able to survive if you don’t feel like you can relax somewhere in your home.

Female college tenants usually have attractive decor, while male college tenants don’t seem to mind. Regardless of whether or not you have pictures on the wall and matching placemats, what you will absolutely need in your college apartment is a cozy nook, where you can unwind after a long day of classes.

5. You know it’s top-notch.

More than anything, what will make your college apartment seem like it’s of the highest quality is how proud you are that you found it. Feeling like you’ve found the perfect place is one of the biggest pieces to the puzzle of adjusting to life on your own. No longer do you have the support of your parents to ensure you have a safe, inviting, warm, welcoming environment.

No longer is the dining hall your option for dinner (unless you’re one of those weird upperclassmen who still eats in the dining hall and lives 10 minutes away?). Your apartment needs to be just that – yours. If it has (at least!) that going for it, then you know you’ve found your quality college apartment.

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Lorena graduated from The University of Tennessee in Knoxville last December with a BA in Honors Psychology. After some serious soul-searching, she's decided to pursue a Master's in teaching in order to teach middle school math! In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her Whippet mix, Gio, at the dog park and binge watching Netflix with endless cups of Hot Cocoa.

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