This apartment in The Place at Alafaya showcases some great decorating options.
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Whether you're going back to the University of Central Florida after a summer away or it's your first time there, it can be hard to settle into a new apartment, especially if you're new to Orlando. New classes, new roommates and new routines can create brand new stresses, so you'll want to make your new home feel, well, like home as soon as possible.
Quick Tips to Make Your UCF Apartment Feel More Like Home
Get to know(and maybe even love) your roommate.
There are several UCF apartments that offer roommate matching to make this easier, but even if you've ended up with a random roommate, you likely have more in common than you think. Chances are, they're feeling just as stressed by these changes as you are, and you two have the opportunity to bond over shared interests, whether those include late-night video game sessions, poetry slams or both. Plus, when you and your roomie are on the same page, you'll have even more fun with #2.
Just putting up some framed photos or posters can make your apartment feel so much more like your space. You can work with your roommate(s) on communal purchases, like couches or TVs, if you didn't choose an already furnished apartment. I recommend scoping out deal sites, like Dealnews, to find the best deals on products and/or the right time to buy them. I'd also suggest sourcing inspiration for the "vibe" you're looking for - this article from Living Spaces offers some great ideas for decorating an apartment on a budget.
Meet your neighbors.
These folks may not become your lifelong friends, but hey, at least you'll have someone to ride the UCF shuttle with you! (Side note: it's free with a UCF student ID, so take advantage.) Your neighbors are what will take a handful of apartments near UCF and turn them into a community. There will always be someone who's down to play a game of tennis or just hang out and watch TV with you, but you'll never know it unless you meet them first. I'd recommend hanging out in shared spaces, like the pool or gym, to help you easily "bump" into your neighbors and introduce yourself.
Discover your neighborhood.
Maybe there's a dog park right around the corner, or Gelato-go Orlando is a five minute walk away. Whatever it might be, knowing what's nearby, from your closest gas station to best grocery store, will help you feel more at home. You could even scope out nearby UCF apartments to get a better lay of the land. Then when someone in your Psych class says they live somewhere, you'll know it's just down the street from you. Feeling at home relies heavily on being comfortable, a feeling which often can come from just knowing your neighborhood.
Your time at the University of Central Florida will go by quicker than you think - I know everyone says this, but that's because it's true. That's why it's so important that you put in the effort to make your new apartment feel like home, and I am confident that if you take the initiative, it'll feel like your own space in no time. Good luck, and have a great semester!