The real deal: Finding someone to rely on

by Olivia Harvey / Beacon Advice Columnist • September 25, 2014

“Do adults have Harry Styles posters hanging in their living rooms?”

I asked myself this as I looked into a half-empty cabinet on the second day of apartment life. I had never had to answer questions like this and I found the problems continuing to pile up.

How do adults get internet? My job was to order Wi-Fi, but I messed up the installation by hanging up on Phil from Verizon twice by accident.

How do adults pay bills? My roommates had to sit down and decide how to effectively pay the rent by its due date. We still don’t have a final payment plan.

How do adults set up utilities? We had to make an account with the electric company and then decide if we actually needed air conditioning, or if we could sweat out the rest of summer.

And then there were the little things — amateur mistakes.

Like when I went grocery shopping with my roommates. We rode the T back during rush hour with our six giant paper bags while businesspeople shot us disapproving looks. As we climbed the apartment building stairs, heaving and sweating, I thought I hated adult life.

Or when I tried to put together an IKEA pot that came incomplete with a separate handle and multiple screws. Being the flustered human being I am, I could not for the life of me figure out how to assemble this pot. When a friend from the dorms came over that night and asked me about adult life, I could only told her it sucked. She ended up guiding me through the pot instructions while I frowned at her the entire time.

I’m not that much of an emotional nutcase, really, but all this unexpected responsibility — this overwhelming process of growing up — was enough to make me lie down on the floor and cry, which actually happened.

I called my mom the next day. It’s important to realize that you’re not actually alone in anything you do; you can find someone like your mom, dad, or best friend to guide you through your big life changes. It feels really good to know that someone has your back, especially in times when you think you’re failing. It makes growing up a lot easier.

My mom told me to take a few deep breaths and take a look at where I was. I live in Boston, a familiar city. I go to Emerson College, with the same faces from the past two years. I am living with my best friends from freshman year above a hella good restaurant.

This made me realize that getting your first apartment isn’t actually something to cry about. It’s the best way to figure yourself out. You have to manage your time, your funds, your classes, your homework, and the rest of your entire life.

Just think of the rewards. No more looking out for the RA. No more communal bathrooms where someone turns the lights out on you mid-pee. No more checking in your friends at the desk when they visit. You can put push pins in the walls and hang a flag on your ceiling if you want — seriously!

So to everyone who is overwhelmed with a first apartment — it’s OK. Cry if you need to. Call your mom, or whoever is there for you, and tell her that you’re scared. Have her remind you how good you have it right now.

Finally, enjoy it. Love everything about being in that apartment and about becoming an adult. This is the only time you’ll get to be in this situation, so make the best of it.