Many students do not realize living alone for the first time comes with a long list of responsibilities.
Students do not have to worry about paying for the Internet, cable and groceries while living in the dorms or at home with parents, Stan Olin, director of Housing and Residential Life, said. Reality hits many students once they are on their own.
Chris Karmiris, a senior business management student, moved out of the dorms at the beginning of the summer but said his transition to living on his own went well and that it has been a good experience.
“I had everything planned with the people I moved in with, so it went smoothly,” Karmiris said.
Karmiris recommended for students to create a written agreement with their roommate, stating any payment arrangements and living expenses.
Olin also stressed the importance of documentation. “All arrangements should be made in writing,” Olin said.
Olin said students should have a rental agreement with the landlord. The landlord is responsible for providing a safe and secure apartment and repairing any damages not caused by the tenant.
Additionally, Olin said students should create a monthly budget and list everything they are going to buy.
Nathan Schirmacher, a junior transfer student and music major, recently moved from his parent’s house in the Fresno, Calif. area into an apartment in Long Beach to attend Cal State Long Beach. The transition, he said, has been a good one.
“I like being able to be free and independent and not having someone to tell me what to do,” said Schirmacher.
He said he advises students to “make sure you have good roommates and get along very well with them.”
Simon Barta, a junior English major, recently moved out of the dorms because he wanted more freedom, but he had a hard time adapting to living by himself.
He compared living on his own to going to a movie you really wanted to see. Barta said to imagine seeing the billboards for the movie, paying $10 to see it, sitting through the previews and finding out the movie is not what you expected.
“I was expecting a great thing, a utopia of college students,” Barta said. His was disappointed to find out that “you have to pay bills and do the dishes and it sucks.”
Barta said he wished he could have done things differently.
“I would have looked into it some more and ask myself, ‘Is this what I want? Do I understand I have to pay bills?’
He gave advice to students who are moving out of their parent’s home.
“You think you’re ready, you think you can handle it – seeing roaches like never before, doing dishes, laundry. It’s a marriage, a contract for 12 months. Look closely and if you’re a little scared, run back home and get out.”