Packing and leaving for college can be an exciting yet daunting task. For anyone who has not planned ahead, it can also be very stressful, since student housing can be difficult to come by when not secured months before arriving. Fortunately, there may still be some options available.
Staying on campus is a very convenient option, especially for those who enjoy meeting new people. Undergraduates tend to have access to two-person rooms or multi-person room suites that are shared. However, for those who are in a masters or PhD program, there may be options that include special accommodations for more mature individuals who are working toward an advanced degree. This is something to consider when searching for student housing.
Getting an apartment or house is another option to think about, but it should be considered carefully. First, research the rent cycle of the city by asking those who currently rent in the area. Some areas have high turnover, which can make it easier to get a place. Smaller areas can be more difficult.
Once an apartment or house has been secured, make sure to have roommates who understand the leasing process and are willing and able to pay rent, deposits, and utilities in full and on time each month so not to jeopardize the living situation.
In addition, pay attention to the terms of the lease. Leases are not typically based on semesters. For example, anyone who intends on graduating in December should not sign a lease that lasts until June or July of the following year, as that will leave the rest of the housemates with having to find a new tenant. Conversely, the student who leaves may be responsible for paying the remainder of the lease until it is up if the others on the lease cannot find a roommate.
For those moving into an area for the first time, it would be advisable to do some research to see what the cost of living will be. Different areas of the country can be vastly different with regard to student housing costs, utility expenses, and even groceries. When looking at advertisements, check for not only the rent each month, but also how many utilities are included and the remaining cost. Think about whether or not that is affordable.
Moving to college can be a fun and exciting time, but it is important to consider everything that comes along with it. Think about where the best place to live would be based on the budget available. For those interested in on-campus student housing, it is important to research that option, at least one semester in advance, to ensure there is a place available. For off-campus living, be sure to carefully consider cost of living expenses. Also, be sure to choose roommates wisely. Not enjoying the other housemates can lead to a very stressful year.