What I wish I knew when I moved out of my first apartment

College was always easy for me because I had my best friend by my side. We agreed to go to the same university after we had both been accepted and it took us about thirty seconds to agree that yes, we both definitely wanted to live together in a tiny dorm room. We had a blast, at least I am pretty sure we both did. We holed up in our tiny dorm room for the majority of our freshman year of college, neither of us going to parties or really getting into any trouble at all. It didn’t take us long to decide that the dining room just really wasn’t the right place for us —too many people we wanted to avoid, not-so-delicious food, too many chocolate milk temptations —so we spent a great deal in our dorm room, eating cereal and toast (even though we weren’t supposed to have a toaster.) We loved that dorm room, good ol’ 644, and were really sad to leave it.

But our sophomore year in college, we moved into an apartment down the street from our campus. It was the perfect size, it was just the two of us, and we both loved it. We never argued about anything, my best friend and I. We had the same taste in decorations, meaning we both agreed to make the entire living room wall dedicated to our favorite attractive celebrities. Yes, the “hottie wall,” as we so lovingly called it, was just one of the many wonderful things about that apartment. We had Titanic posters scattered about the home, a cute little television in the corner, and a fridge full of groceries that we always purchased together. There were days when we got to walk to class together and days where one of us would drive Mercutio (my roommate’s car) to campus to drop the other person off. Life couldn’t have been any better.

I worked at a grocery store down the street in college and our apartment was the perfect distance from it. I walked most times, but my best friend would drive me other times. We spent summers apart because she had a job down south in our hometown, but other than that, we were inseparable. Until boys and arguments and growing up came into play.

The long story short is that my best friend got involved with one of my coworkers, someone I had little to absolutely no respect for. He treated everyone poorly and I knew she would be no exception. What I know now is that you never get involved in other people’s relationships, even if they are your best friend and it really is all out of love. People need to go through their lives learning things on their own and no one needs an overbearing best friend trying to tell them everything (even though I knew nothing about that kind of stuff at the time). Things got messy very, very quickly. I moved out of my beloved apartment very bitterly after the jerk broke up with my best friend and we still couldn’t see eye to eye on anything.

It was one of the hardest things I have ever done, but looking back now, I know it was best (albeit heartbreaking) for the both of us. I moved way, way across town with a coworker even though I had three months left of my senior year of college. I drove to my old apartment and parked nearby so I wouldn’t have to pay for campus parking. I saw my best friend sometimes, leaving our old apartment, and it always made me cry. I had been mad at her, but I had not dealt with it well. Moving out on someone you love is terrible, even if the circumstances seemed dire at the time.

I hated my apartment way, way across town. I didn’t love my new roommate like I loved my old one—in fact, I would never love anyone like I loved her.

We graduated a few months later and had sort of made up by then. We didn’t sit next to one another during the ceremony, but we got one good picture together. Things were rocky for a few years after that, but I am very happy to say that we are finally back on good terms. She’s married now and is having a baby at the beginning of the year. I am so happy I get to be a part of her life for all of that now. Though I often wish I would have stayed in our old apartment, I have nothing but fond memories when I jog by it these days. I still live down the street from our college, and though she hasn’t lived here in years, 22nd Street will always be ours.

There’s just nothing like your first apartment. There’s just nothing like your first best friend.

[Image via NBC]