What’s a great way to celebrate 10 years of friendship? Jessica and Emily might say that the perfect answer to that question is to move into an apartment together.
The women first met as sophomores at Champlin Park High School when Emily moved to town. They enjoyed classes and adaptive sports together before graduating, and have maintained their strong bond over the years. This past spring, their relationship turned a new chapter when they secured an apartment in Brooklyn Park. “We packed up all of our stuff and out the door we went,” says Jessica. Despite that seemingly easy explanation, a good deal of coordination went into the process, including support for both Jessica and Emily from their Reach staff members, Isa and Thuy, respectively.
The transition has gone well, and Emily says of the new lifestyle, “If gives me freedom and independence.” Jessica expands on that thought, stating, “Our parents don’t have to tell us what we can and can’t do.” At this, the gals giggle—a seemingly common shared practice, especially when teasing each other good-naturedly. Yet along with their moments of admittedly “giving each other a hard time,” they also give each other a hand. Emily recalls how when she wasn’t feeling well one day, Jessica comforted her and brought her water. Emily looks out for Jessica too, making sure her roommate gets up when the alarm goes off in Jessica’s adjacent bedroom.
Just as in any successful living arrangement, the pair has learned to divide the household tasks. Emily typically washes the dishes, but when asked who cleans the bathroom, she quickly responds, “That one,” pointing to Jessica. Isa confirms that the women do an outstanding job of keeping their place neat and clean, with little help from their Reach workers. Emily says that Isa is particularly helpful in teaching budgeting and time management skills, and for Jessica, Thuy offers meal planning and shopping assistance. Both Emily and Jessica are fortunate to have family members nearby as well, when needed.
But perhaps what they are most grateful for these days is each other. Whether they are enjoying the occasional night of staying up until midnight chatting, or planning the best way to decorate a room, their new situation is filling an apartment with smiles.