Finding a place to live in your twenties is one of the most exciting and frustrating things about growing up.
You finally have a space to call your own -- until you realize it will be at least half a decade until you can afford it.
In your early twenties, you've accepted the fact that your lack of income and penchant for partying will be reflected in the place you choose to live (i.e. an overcrowded tenement that closely resembles something your ancestors dwelled in).
As you get older though, you realize living above that bar and overpaying for a trendy sh*thole isn't so much better.
As you grow up, your priorities change and your needs feel very far from those you had in your early 20s.
There will be a time when you hang up the glowsticks and trade it for real bricks, if you haven't already. And when it comes, you'll need an elevator and a fully functioning stove to match.
Here is how your apartment hunting changes from your early 20s to your late 20s.
Early 20s: You don't mind a sixth floor walkup
Now I don't need to buy a gym membership! My, how the subway stairs have gotten easier.
Late 20s: You couldn't "walk up" if you tried
I grocery shop now. There's no way those stairs are happening.
Early 20s: You live in a frat house
You don't mind the sticky floors and errant red cups littering the apartment because you have all your best buds under the same roof. It's like college 2.0.
Late 20s: You want an actual house
One word: space. Two words: without people. Three words: that is clean.
Early 20s: All you have in your communal fridge is ketchup
Maybe hot sauce if someone remembered to put it away.
Late 20s: All you have in your big-girl fridge is fancy ketchup
You've upgraded from Heinz to Hunts in an effort to eat "pure" vegetables. Tomatoes, however, are fruits. Baby steps.
Early 20s: You need a shelf for liquor
Displaying all your half-priced vodka bottles on top of the cabinets is sooo amateur. You want a real means of alcohol storage.
Late 20s: You need a bookshelf
Piling all of your books on empty surfaces is sooo amateur. A bookshelf is exactly what you need to take you from pseudo-intellectual to legitimate Socrates.
Early 20s: The kitchen is a place to pregame
You need a place with a kitchen big enough to host all your friends for a party with enough counter space for everyone's drink.
Late 20s: The kitchen is a place to preheat the oven
The only person you intend on cleaning up after is yourself, after you've cooked and prepped your entire week's worth of meals.
Early 20s: It's no question that you're living with your best friend
Yay! Sisters together at last! Every night will be a perpetual sleepover party.
Late 20s: You never want to talk to that person again
Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Again, that magical word comes into play: space. From roommates, from noise, from the distance between your bed and the fridge.
Early 20s: Your bedside table is a box of wine
Franzia makes a wonderfully decorative ottoman, and it's totally easy to move.
Late 20s: ...It's more like three
Have you tried affording your own apartment and furniture lately? Not easy. The stacks of empty wine boxes might be growing, but your salary sure isn't.
Early 20s: You want to live close to where you go out
Location, location, location -- more specifically, we're referring to proximity to the bars. It's easier to take guys and girls home when you're just a short walk around the corner.
Late 20s: You don't even know where the kids are going these days
You want to be as far away as possible from all of that. The site of drunken girls stumbling home upsets you now. That could be your daughter soon.
Early 20s: You're the sixth person on the Netflix account
Roommates are good for two things: blaming the mess on them and stealing their streaming passwords.
Late 20s: It's YOUR password
You'd rather not ruin your pristine queue with WWII documentaries and bad Kevin Hart specials.
Early 20s: One bathroom for four people is cool
You all can get ready together! Nothing bonds you closer than peeing while your roommate is in the shower.
Late 20s: One bathroom that flushes properly would be nice
You really just need a quiet place to cry in.
Early 20s: You need a drawer to stash all the plastic utensils from your Seamless orders
There will be a day when the threat of BPAs scares you enough to give up the plastic life.
Late 20s: You need a drawer to stash all that Ikea silverware
Ikea, wow. You're really growing up in this world.
Early 20s: Your broker screws you
He requests 15 percent of the full year's rent for two minutes of work, two weeks of aggravation and what's left of your soul.
Late 20s: You screw your broker for a better apartment
Except ugh, now he knows where you live.
Early 20s: You're putting your name on your food
It's a roommate situation for most of your twenties, or until you get your startup sold. It's a clown car, basically.
Late 20s: You're putting your foot down about living alone
You don't care if it doesn't have air conditioner and you have to sweat through paying rent each month. You will live alone and you will never have to hear anyone else having sex in your apartment (besides you) again.
Early 20s: You're looking for the cheapest place possible
As long as it has your three requirements: buddies, bed and booze, you will be happy.
Late 20s: You're looking for the cheapest space possible
As long as it's yours, you are happy.