Transitioning from being a college student to being a real, functioning adult is hard for a million reasons — three hours of class a day are swapped with a full-time job, and late nights out are traded for making up the hours of sleep you missed during the work week. The change definitely requires reinventing yourself a bit, and with that, comes reinventing the space you live in.
Nobody wants to shell out any serious cash in things going into a college apartment — let’s be real, if they’re not broken or spilled on by the time your year-long lease is up, it’s a small miracle. But when you get your first “adult” apartment, you can actually put some thought into the design and the things you’re buying (because there’s actually a possibility you could have them for years to come).
We’ve rounded up things to invest in for your first real, adult apartment, (so when a new work friend comes by for a wine night, you don’t have to drink it out of red solo cups).
Gone are the days of posters of drink deals stolen from campus bars covering every inch of your living room (was that just me and my roommates?). We’re trying to be grown-ups here, and picking out some framed wall art is one of the best ways to make any space feel like your own. A gallery wall of some of your favorite pictures and prints gives you the opportunity to show off your personality in your new space.
In college I literally had two towels and two sets of sheets that I alternated between every week. If I was using one, the other was in the laundry. There was no preparation for guests of any sort, but in a real apartment, you’ll want to change that. Being prepared with extra clean towels and sheets for a guest staying with you is adulting 101 (this one will make your mom really proud, too).
Plants and Flowers
If you’re looking to bring life to a room, plants are your go-to. Buying a few universal, artificial plants and flower arrangements will help bring your new place together. They’re an inexpensive way to give a room a completely different feel and make it feel like home — and you’ll definitely be able to make use of them in your next apartment, too.
Every year of college, I had a different area rug that was inevitably thrown out the day we moved out due to questionable stains and a year’s worth of dust bunnies. Now, you have the opportunity to buy one that you can actually keep using (and that’s actually nice to look at).
Another easy way to make a room feel put-together — throw pillows. They’re inexpensive and can completely change how your room looks and feels. And since they’re low-commitment, it’s easy to have fun with them!
Per my above statement, it’s inevitable that at some point during your time in your new digs, a wine night (or 500) will take place. In college, “wine night” loosely translates to drinking Barefoot out of mason jars and washed solo cups from last night’s party while scarfing down a pizza; in the real world, people actually care about their means of drinking wine (not quite to Dorit from Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’ level, but higher standards than college are definitely set). This absolutely does not mean spending a ton on fancy wine glasses, but picking some glasses that are in fact meant for the consumption of wine is definitely worth your while.