Moving into a student apartment in Gainesville is an exciting step in your academic and personal life. Apartment living offers much more flexibility and convenience than dorm life, with perks like in-unit washers and dryers instead of the communal laundry room, furnished apartments so you can decorate your space to your taste, pet-friendly living so you can finally bring your fury friends along for your college experience, and much more.
However, moving into your very first apartment and settling into apartment life can feel overwhelming and unfamiliar. Here are 5 tips to make this transition smooth and comfortable.
Knock Out All Paperwork & Fees Prior To Move-In Day
Move-in day is a chaotic day of unloading and unpacking boxes and adjusting to your new space. Before moving into your apartment near UF, communicate with the apartment office team on your to-dos to pick up keys.
Make sure that all your paperwork is filled out, including little things like sending in your pets’ vaccinations or renter’s insurance information. Confirm that all your move-in fees have been paid, including leasing fees, deposits, pet deposits, and more. You’ll feel much more at ease when you arrive to the leasing office on move-in day with nothing left to sign or pay. Just pick up your keys and get moved in!
Set Your Roommate Relationship Up For Success
Lots of student apartments in Gainesville offer individual leases in bigger floor plans like 3-bedrooms or 4-bedrooms so you only have to worry about your portion of the monthly rent. Many communities also offer roommate matching and assign your roommates based on lifestyle habits like sleeping schedules, cleanliness, and more.
Roommate matching is an awesome way to make friends in college, but it also comes with some responsibility. Start a group chat ahead of move-in to clarify who’s bringing what apartment items and expectations for your living situation. It’s always easier to communicate concerns like hosting friends over too late or leaving the kitchen a mess if you establish expectations from the start.
Make A Checklist Of Must-Have Items
While most student apartments are furnished with all of the basics in your bedroom and living room, you’ll need to think through what additional items you need when settling into your new home. Start a checklist a few months out from move-in day of items you need to pack or purchase, thinking through spaces like your study desk, bathroom, and kitchen. Do you need a lamp for your desk for late night study sessions? Do you need an organizer for under your bathroom sink? Do you need to stock up on cleaning supplies? What appliances does your kitchen come with, do you need a microwave?
It’s inevitable to forget little items and it takes some time living in your apartment to realize everything you’ll need to be successful and comfortable, but it’s always best to be as prepared as possible ahead of time.
Familiarize yourself with the neighborhood.
Gainesville is a wonderful city full of culture and fun. It can sometimes feel like you’re living in a bubble when living in an on-campus dorm as you typically don’t need to leave campus. Don’t feel overwhelmed when transitioning to off-campus housing near UF.
Gainesville has a neighborhood for everyone – from Midtown right off the UF campus packed with restaurants and nightlife, to Archer Road featuring Butler Town Center and Celebration Pointe with tons of retail and entertainment, to the scenic Sorority Row & South area close to UF Health and the Sweetwater Wetlands park.
Plan a night with your roommates after class to drive around the neighborhood, noting restaurants or things you want to check out!
Find Community In Student Housing
If you’re feeling lonely, lean on your roommates, neighbors, and new-found community at your student apartment! Most apartments offer monthly or even weekly resident events, offering free food and fun activities for you to connect with your neighbors and the leasing team.
Everyone feels a little isolated transitioning from the constant hustle and bustle of on-campus living to off-campus living, so remind yourself that everyone is looking to make new friends and find new community!