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Taking the Next Step: What to Bring When you Move In to Your First College Apartment

Written by Brendan L on Monday, 24 August 2020. Posted in Student Life

Taking the Next Step: What to Bring When you Move In to Your First College Apartment

Moving out of the residence halls and going to the Villas apartments was a relatively smooth transition for me. Having a kitchen was definitely a plus. There were a few things that I learned along the way that I didn’t really expect from apartment life.

One of the things that saved me a lot of time and hassle was the fact that Villas was fully furnished when I moved in. The Villas living room comes with a sofa, a large chair, a coffee table, media table, end table, and a large screen TV. Every resident receives a bed frame & mattress, desk & desk chair, and dresser in their bedroom. The kitchen comes with a gas stove, microwave, a full sized refrigerator, as well as a dining room table with 4 chairs.

If you’re going to be moving in to an apartment or shared living situation, or if you’re living in one now, I have a few suggestions on how to make the most of your first time out on your own:

  • Cheaper by the Dozen Buying in bulk can help save you money if you’re your roommates work together and decide what to buy. Cleaning supplies, toilet paper, eggs, milk, etc., are great things that roommates can pitch in to purchase in bulk since you’ll all likely need them. Cooking meals together, or scheduling nights where roommates work together to make food for everyone else will not only help you save money, it’ll also bring you closer together.
  • This is College, not Buckingham Palace Chandeliers and crystal stemware might have to wait until after you graduate. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t live in complete comfort and style while going to school! Decorate your space with throw pillows, some artwork, and a lamp or two. Head to your local department store with your roomies and go in on a nice durable set of coffee mugs and dishes to share. Forks and spoons always disappearing? Load up at the thrift store, or buy a bunch from Bed, Bath & Beyond or Target! The goal to keep in mind when decorating or buying things for your apartment is that the castle you’re creating is short term. You don’t want to be terribly attached to a coffee mug, because likely that’ll be the one your roommate breaks by accident. Just think how you’d feel if it was a crystal wine glass from 1912! 
  • Share the Remote There are some living situations where one person plays video games 24/7, but their roommate really wants to watch the news and some Saturday morning cartoons. A good strategy is to talk with your roommates about their TV usage and decide as a group whether or not each of you needs to bring a TV, or just one to share. Same goes for other items like mini-fridges, game players, or other communal items. Who knows? One of your roommates may invite you to watch Netfilx with them and you can bond over a movie. 

Here’s a handy list of things to bring:


  • Sheets (extra-long twin)
  • Blankets
  • Pillows
  • Pillowcases
  • Bedspread


  • Towels
  • Washcloths
  • Beach Towel
  • Toilet Paper
  • Personal Toiletries


  • Pots & Pans
  • Dishes
  • Cups
  • Utensils
  • Sponges
  • Dish Soap


  • Alarm Clock
  • Computer
  • Bicycle
  • Bike lock
  • Iron
  • Non-halogen Study Lamp
  • Living Room Lamp
  • TV (for your Bedroom/TV in the living room is already included)
  • Laundry Hamper
  • Laundry Soap

About the Author


  • In addition to all the fun I had living at the Villas, something that I also think is important no matter where I live is customer service, and the relationship a tenant has with the property manager. Whenever I had a problem with anything, like the water not running right, or being locked out, there was always someone around or someone I could call to help me out, and they were always fast about it, which I really appreciated. Overall, living at the Villas was an awesome experience.

    - Annie J.

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  • We really had a welcoming, community feeling to our building which made it that much better to come back to every day after class or work. The Villas at Tropicana has really felt like a home to me and I can't wait to come back for another year.

    - Ashley J.

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  • I loved spending my senior year at UCSB in a nice apartment that was in Isla Vista but wasn't submersed in the party atmosphere.

    - Emeri K.

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