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What on Earth is a Model Apartment?

Model apartments are a very interesting experience. I’ve lived in three different ones just this year and each one was very unique. A model apartement is an apartment owned by an agency that they rent out to models when they are in town. It makes it easy for models to find a place to stay, and it’s pretty affordable compared to renting your own place. You will find people of all ages and cultures inside one house, and if that sounds like chaos, you would be correct.

I’ve definitely had my fair share of experiences in these apartments, some good, some not quite so good… In India, I lived in a villa with 9 other people. I had one roommate, which was the best experience ever, but it was quite a full house. We had lots of fun but it’s definitely weird to share a kitchen and home with that many people. In Malaysia my apartment itself was amazing but there were 7 of us girls at one point and that one was definitely… interesting. Especially when sharing a bathroom comes into play. Now I’m living with just 3 other girls and it's pretty chill, but there’s always going to be challenges. Overall every apartment will be different but also all a bit crazy.

One challenge that comes with model apartments is that most of the time the models are from multiple different countries. Sometimes it’s a house full of one group who can speak the same language, which usually makes me panic, because I have no idea what is going on, but mostly it’s a bit of a mix. Language barriers are a huge challenge in the modeling world, but you have to find ways to work around it for everyone’s sake. I sometimes feel like an English teacher because I know the other models love getting to learn with someone native, and I don’t really mind it, but it is a bit exhausting. You don’t realize what a privilege it is to get to speak your own language all the time until that is taken away.

As with any roommates, there is a certain etiquette to living with that many people that is kind of common knowledge for all models. (Although there are always exceptions…) For example, always clean your dishes after using them and generally just keep things tidy. Don’t take people's things without asking. Don’t invite strangers over, especially without asking. Try not to make too much noise in the middle of the night, etc. Yes these things are obvious but sometimes it’s not always that simple. I know I’m guilty of breaking some of these rules sometimes but honestly you just need to remind yourself that it’s not just your home, but everyone else’s. If you and your roommates can get along and talk about these things, it will be fine.

One thing you have to learn pretty quickly is boundaries. I am the queen of people so pleasing I have really had to learn that I don’t always have to say yes. While it is important to be helpful and kind, if it becomes something people will take advantage of then you have to practice setting those boundaries. If you want to live comfortably with people, you have to communicate with each other, because it is not your home only but everyone’s. This is always a bit of an adjustment but if you’re aware of your surroundings enough to understand other people, you can usually figure it out. I think that everyone should learn to empathize and compromise, it would make everyone’s lives a lot easier.

At the end of the day, I have gotten to meet some of my best friends through living in model apartments. Every time I go to a country for the first time, I think I will always stay in the apartment, but there are some countries that I know well enough that I would definitely just rent my own place when I return. Having your own space and privacy is a privilege I didn’t realize I would miss so much, but as an introvert, you start to go a little bit insane after a while of sharing every second of your day with other people, especially if you don’t know them very well. If it’s possible to live in your own place or with close friends, that is usually what we prefer, but it is not always possible, especially at the beginning of your career.

The point is, learn to understand other people, know it may not be easy, and you may not always like your roommates, but that it will be okay. Model apartments create a lot of great opportunities for work and relationships, so don’t write them off too quickly.

Until next time,

Sammie taylor

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