Small, Public, and Problematic: The Truth Behind Living in an Apartment


Alex Herbst

Senior Aida Kasetaite has lived in an apartment for five years and shares why it has been both a headache and a blessing.

As my sister and I are laughing at the television we suddenly hear a loud knocking on the door; it’s our neighbor from downstairs. My sister, being the older one, decided to open the door after the non-stop pounding. As soon as she opened the door our neighbor kept asking for our mom, who was at work, because she wanted my mom to pay her deductible for her insurance. She kept trying to shove her way past my sister to look inside our apartment, possibly looking for our mom. After about 15 minutes of insistently trying to get inside our apartment, my sister told her our mom wasn’t home and that she should come back later. That is only one of the few weird moments I’ve experienced while living in my current apartment complex. The other stories are not as school appropriate as this one.

Living in an apartment complex for around five years has been a struggle, but it has taught me to appreciate things that other people may not understand.

To begin with, the many dilemmas of apartment living include the desire for clean clothes. It takes a great deal to use the one laundry machine in my apartment building which is shared by ten people. In order to use the laundry machine I first have to constantly go downstairs every hour to check if it is in use and most of the time people will leave their finished laundry in the machine for hours without taking them out. Then when I finally have the chance to put the laundry in the machine one of my neighbors takes them out because he was too impatient to wait for mine to finish.

Tesa K., a local citizen of the Knolls Condominiums in Willowbrook for four years, has had the same problem.

“[I hate the] loud noises of the neighbors at midnight and the person that threw my wet laundry on the floor so he could put in his laundry,” Tesa said.

Many who live in Hinsdale, a town known to be affluent, do not know what it is like to do their own laundry or collect quarters to use the machines. Children are growing up without knowing the meaning of completing a chore by themselves and not having it handed down to them on a silver platter. Even though living in an apartment is stressful when it comes to doing laundry, it has helped me learn patience and responsibility throughout the years.

Besides the many issues with the laundry machines, there are also an abundance of problems associated with privacy in apartment complexes. The walls are so thin that I hear teens screaming at video game screens, loud movie sound effects underneath my room, and a violin playing throughout the day.

Erica Osei-Badu, a resident of Colonial Gardens Apartments in Hinsdale for six years, likes her apartment complex because it’s close to school, but dislikes it in the sense.

“The bathrooms are tiny and the walls are too thin so it’s hard to finish homework or sleep due to the loud neighbors next door,” Osei-Badu said.

Although everyone living in an apartment experiences privacy issues, it is nice to know that if something does go wrong that my neighbors will be there as witnesses and be able to help me in my time of need.

As for the apartment management, they can be very irritating when it comes to rules that other people do not follow. When my family first moved into our apartment complex we received a letter from the management every week because we broke one of their rules. We were never aware that we could not hang our towels on our balcony to dry them or have a satellite dish even though every other person had one on their balcony.

Some residents at the Oaks at Knollwood in Willowbrook complain that their management sometimes enters the unit without permission.

In today’s world, people always take everything for granted and do not take the time to appreciate the small things they have like their own room, clean laundry whenever they want it, and a garage especially in the winter months. Our society is becoming lazier and less appreciative of what they have and own. They would rather pay someone to wash their car or do their laundry than learn on their own. Living in an apartment has its problematic areas, but it can be beneficial in acquiring beneficial qualities.