A great apartment is not only defined by its floor space and south-facing windows. Besides the physical amenities available to you, social amenities that create a sense of community are also important. Usually, it falls on the apartment manager to organize various community projects that are meant to help you get to know your neighbors and feel safe in your apartment. While these are great to have, they can sometimes be formal and formulaic, which leads to little community investment. When looking for apartments for rent in your area of choice, you can take steps to ensure that your complex has a thriving community that meets the needs of you and the other tenants.
Understand the Needs Communities Fulfill
Creating a community is about more than knowing who lives in your building and having friends to meet up with on the weekends. Communities fulfill many basic human needs such as creating a sense of belonging, promoting security, sharing resources, promoting cooperation and allowing greater freedom for various kinds of meaningful labor. A well-functioning community can reduce your overall stress and encourage you to grow in various ways.
Unfortunately, not all apartment communities reduce stress. In fact, many of them are a cause for stress as you struggle to fit in and understand your neighbors' motivations and idiosyncrasies. You should understand that if community events and projects feel stressful and as if they are causing disharmony in your building, then you should scrap them and take a new approach that follows the rules below.
Be Open and Inclusive
Once you meet a few people in your complex that you enjoy spending time with, it can be difficult to find the motivation to keep meeting new people. However, whenever you create an apartment event or project, you should do your best to include everyone. This includes making events accessible for those who have differing abilities than you or might have a varying schedule due to childcare or work. If someone declines to attend one event, make sure they know about other things you are planning or ask them what their interests and needs are.
Grow Bonds Based On Common Interests
While potlucks and outings can be a good introduction to your neighbors, they fail to build lasting bonds. You should utilize social events to get to know what people in your apartment are interested in. It is much easier to bond over the daily activity of caring for a community garden or providing apartment-wide daycare than it is to bond over a potluck once a month. Any activity that has an achievable goal and will make you and your neighbors feel a sense of accomplishment together will increase your sense of community. A great choice may be to create a fundraiser for a charity that the majority of your complex supports.
Support Those In Need
The sense of security that many people feel when they are in a community comes through years of trust. You can start to build that trust by helping your neighbors to meet their basic needs. For example, if one of your neighbors is sick, pregnant, or with a new child, consider creating a rotating schedule for people to bring meals to them. This not only relieves pressure on the tenants who are currently in need, it also lets other tenants know that they will receive extra support when they are going through a difficult time.
You do not have to be the apartment manager or even a member of your Home Owners Association to make a positive change in your apartment's community. All you need is energy and creativity. You can start with the neighborly activity of bringing baked goods around your complex and introducing yourself and let your community grow organically from there.