Location: Back Bay, Boston
Size/Type: 2 Bedroom, 800 square feet
Length of Residence: One year
I moved into my first apartment with two of my best friends right after college graduation. Young, unemployed and maybe a bit crazy, I asked a college professor to write me a fake letter of employment for the management company. After move-in fees, I had just enough in savings for one additional month's rent. Call it beginner's luck, but I found a job a mere two blocks from my apartment, with just three days before rent was due.
What I loved about this home: It was not a dorm! After four years of cramped spaces, institutional furniture and a few less-than-stellar roommates, I finally had a "real" apartment. I can't believe I lived right in Back Bay, within walking distance to the entire city. Work was so close, I often went home for lunch and watched some TV. The grocery store was around the corner & the T was right across the street. The location was idyllic and made our place the place to meet and hang out. It's where my friends became my family and where I had my first "grown-up" Christmas with a little fake tree.
What changed when I moved on to my next home: I moved to my current apartment in Jamaica Plain (still quite an easy commute to Back Bay by T) and it's become my canvas for my ever-evolving personal style. This home has matured with me, but I'll always remember the excitement of that first apartment.
Best bit of advice for people moving into their first home: Take risks! If it works out, great; if it doesn't, you learn something. Pick one thing you won't sacrifice and make it happen. Whether it's location, light, or laundry, you probably won't get everything you want, but you can get one thing.
Images: Exterior & floor plan, Tent City; Christmas tree, Tara Bellucci.