Though I've been 18 for going on 6 months, it has only been in the last day and a half that I have been forced to acknowledge my status as a legal adult.

Don't get me wrong, it wasn't like I was just thrown into the world of adulthood. I'm at a stepping stone right now. I'm living in off-campus student residence not far from my university where I don't have to cook for myself or pay for almost everything. But it has occurred to me that there are downsides to this 'stepping stone' part of life that I wasn't quite expecting.

Number 1: There is a difference between food and sustenance.
Cold macaroni and cheese, gelatinous cheese on the nachos from a Lunchmate pack (Lunchables if you're American), and Nestea that turns out to just be water– could it get much worse? If the meal plan wasn't mandatory and didn't cost thousands of dollars, I wouldn't be so concerned but because it does, I am. My plan for the rest of the year: Mini Wheats. Mini Wheats and coffee for every meal, every day.

Number 2: Technology is really not your friend.
The Wifi here is good. I'll give it that. For something that's provided for hundreds of residents without a password, it's pretty speedy and reliable. The keycards on the other hand... Let's just say I've never been so angry at a door in my life. I suppose someone at some point decided keycards would be better than regular old keys because people (apparently) lose cards less frequently than they lose keys. But it's not the fact that the keys are cards that bothers me. It's the fact that the keycards work only when they want to work. And that they're godawful ugly. I had to go to the front desk once to reconfigure my card. Apparently if you go down more than three times, you have to pay. Yes, you read that right, YOU have to pay for THEIR broken card. Luckily, mine appears to be working relatively well (so long as you keep it in a plastic casing at all times) so I won't be shelling out $30 any time soon. My plan for the rest of the year: keep my keycard in its plastic pocket and never put it anywhere near a magnet.

Number 3: Rationalizing my fear of elevators.
I have never been a huge fan of elevators. Put in a nutshell: if they don't have a window to the outside world, they make me nervous. It's not a debilitating fear but I don't take it lightly, either. I'm not sure if it's an extension of claustrophobia or not but I've always had this fear of getting stuck in an elevator. Two out of the four elevators here are more or less fine to me. They don't have windows but they do list the floor you're on and they seem to move pretty smoothly. The other two, however, are a much different story. I believe the other two are meant to be service elevators but because there are so many people living here, they can't justifiably use them solely for 'service'. But although the elevator does speak to you, the screen that should be displaying the number is blank. Not to mention how rickety they feel when you're in them. They make strange scraping noises at times and tend to bob up and down when they reach a floor. The doors also seem to bounce in and out of place before the elevator finally begins to move. So all in all, if these elevators never come crashing down to the basement of this building, it will be a miracle. My plan for the rest of the year: avoid the service elevators at all costs. Stairs are always an (exhausting) option.

To be fair to this place, though, the rooms are pretty decent. We have some pretty mighty stains on the carpet but they're pretty easily overlooked. I nearly spilled a full mug of coffee this morning so I can understand how it happens. The neighbours are only loud sometimes and though the water pressure isn't amazing, it does at least get warm fast. Heating for the most part works (although it does seem to turn to air conditioning a little more often than I would like) and there is lots and lots of storage. Overall, what isn't common area, I'm pretty pleased with. My view is amazing and it's within walking distance of my school. Plus, they have a lot of cool events that I could go to. So, I mean, if you're on the fence about whether or not you want to stay in an off-campus residence, I would certainly advise you, money permitting, to definitely stay on residence. The food may not be amazing and you might find flaws, but don't let that discourage you. The flaws are only small things and though I, myself, am a cynic at heart, I implore you to remain optimistic and positive as the things are nowhere near as important as the experience nor the friends you can make from being close to your school.