Apartments IRL: Personal Reflections on Apartment Priorities

I’m going to offer a little glimpse into the recent adjustments in my existence as a renter. Circumstance had it that I moved into a subletting situation in a different part of town than I used to live in. With the move have come some interesting experiences and fresh realizations.

I now call an apartment home which is located near the local university. Believe me, it looks and feels like a college apartment and I’ve already been there, done that, gotten a t-shirt, but nonetheless here I am again. Having grown up in a quiet suburban neighborhood and gradually moved to more urban spaces, this one definitely is the most urban yet. I’m two blocks away from one of the main streets through town and there is a steady flow of foot traffic around the building. My parking space is in the alley directly behind the apartment building, next to a dumpster and an assortment of broken glass and garbage which didn’t quite make it into that dumpster. The back fence has the word, “camera” spraypainted on it with an arrow pointing up at an imaginary camera (there really is no camera), but perhaps it thwarts petty crime in some small and slightly humorous way. Thankfully the back gate has a number pad lock, but less fortunately the fence is not very high and is made of half-inch thick lumber from Lowe’s.

About a week after I began my sublet, I asked my new roommate if he had checked the mail that day, to which he replied, “No…” and gave me an odd look. So I responded with, “Well, I assumed you had the only mail key, so I thought I would ask.” He laughed and said, “You don’t need a key, the entire section of mailboxes opens without one.” This, I’m almost positive, is not intentional, but has morphed into a mailbox free-for-all over the years. Remind me not to have anything expensive delivered.

The floors are thin and creaky, some of the moulding is coming loose, one of the kitchen cabinet doors is missing a hinge, the eyes on the electric stove are warped so things only cook on one side of the frying pan…and so forth. At this point, you’re likely wondering why on earth I live there.

But it just so happens that I absolutely love this apartment. It has a washer and dryer in the unit and they BOTH work! It also has a full sized dishwasher, which ALSO WORKS and does not leak water all over the floor like at my last apartment. There are large windows which let in beautiful natural light all over the apartment and lovely high ceilings. I have a grade A view of the city from my third floor location. I’m located within walking distance to a whole new collection of local shops and restaurants which I’m finding are really fantastic.

This whole experience underscores the fact that nothing is ever perfect and circumstances can throw you into an adventure which you’re not completely comfortable with or at all prepared for. However, you may come out of it with a whole new perspective and see that no matter where you are, there are silver linings.