If you come into my apartment and touch my thermostat, you might as well be stealing money straight out of my wallet.

But for those students who haven't lived outside of the Alafaya Trail student-housing bubble, you probably don't have a metaphorical land mine set up in front of your thermostat like I do.

You see, after you've moved beyond the "all utilities included with no cap" life, you'll come to realize that enjoying a little air conditioning can come with a hefty bill from your friendly neighborhood Duke Energy.

This is just one of the many differences between student housing and "real world" housing. In addition to saying goodbye to your free utilities, add all of the free furniture to the list. Yeah, most apartments don't come furnished, and just a little hint — your mattress is going to cost a few hundred bucks alone.

After that, tack on another bill for cable and Internet. Oh and if you want Wi-Fi, that's an extra charge.

Don't get me wrong. Student housing is great. This is coming from someone who genuinely loved living in Apollo and thought she was moving on up when she made the switch to Knights Circle sophomore year. Student housing is a wonderful thing to take advantage of while you can because, let's face it, unless you want to live behind a Twistee Treat, $600 apartments don't come around often.

At the end of July, I moved into my first non-student apartment. It would have been nice to continue to save money at Knights Circle, but when all of my roommates graduated, I decided to skip the random roommate horror stories and take the plunge — an $895-per-month plunge.

I live by myself — and my cat Tom Bosley — and let's just say he doesn't contribute much financially, so we try to save as much money as possible. So please, don't touch my thermostat. If you do, you'll be blown to smithereens by the metaphorical land mine.

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