Your Guide to Living Off Campus
Many students get anxious about living off campus because of the independence and the joy of being an “adult”. Here are a few tips that I learned early in the game about living off campus as an undergrad.
1.) Make sure that you do LOTS of research before signing a lease or a binding contract: A lot of properties are only looking for money. You want to find a staff that will accommodate your needs and actually help you instead of solely taking your money.
2.) Have a plan and save money up: Don’t depend solely on your refund check to get you through. Whether you stay during the summer or not, that monthly rent is still due to. I would suggest paying your rent up as much as possible so that you have one less headache each semester.
3.) Respect your space and make others respect it as well: One of the biggest mistakes that I made while living off campus was allowing my friends to stay at my apartment whenever they wanted to. There were no rules.
4.) Be responsible: Pay your bills and be mindful of the people who live below and above you. Noise complaints can be placed on your record after a certain number of times. You are a young adult and this is to prepare you for the real world.
5.) Remember that school is your #1 responsibility: It’s nice to have a place of your own and on those rainy days and winter days your bed will seem like it’s impossible to get out of. Don’t allow the liberty of having your own place throw you off with your grades. This is why you’re here!
6.) You will have roommates and you may not get along with them right away: Everyone’s personality is different and everyone is not meant to be friends. This is your chance to step up, be cordial, and don’t let ANYONE or ANYTHING deter you from being happy and comfortable in your own living environment.
7.) Try your best to keep your living space clean: Cleanliness helps you get your best work done and get a good night’s sleep… Do I have scientific evidence to prove this? No… I have real life experience. 🙂
8.) If you don’t have a vehicle, get to know the bus routes and don’t travel by yourself… Even in the daytime if possible.
9.) If you don’t have furniture or all the pieces that you need, try to ask around campus. A lot of students sell their furniture which is usually decent. Always clean it before you use it!
Make this an enjoyable experience! This is more than likely your first apartment. Experiment, gain your independence, decorate, make the place your own, and don’t turn into a homebody. Stay focused on your goal of graduating and let this apartment experience enhance your academic life… Not stunt it.