After freshman year, you can choose to live on campus again or move somewhere off campus. I chose the latter!

 

Photo by Amy Nelson ’20

 

My friend and I were planning on living together, but once we found out that one of her classmates and her friend were also looking for a place to live next year, we then decided to join forces.

We knew we could have pets because the other friend already had a dog. We thought it’d be great! Well, June 1 came and we all moved into our new place. She was working in her hometown for the summer, so she dropped her stuff off and left to go back home.

I got a cat, and when my friend came back she discovered she was unfortunately allergic to cats.

Things didn’t work out as far as living together, so here’s my first bit of advice: If you don’t know every quirk about your roommate(s) and can’t see yourself dealing with him or her, don’t live with them. Sometimes people don’t mesh well and that’s perfectly normal.

Now, my new roommate and I get along great! She deals with my quirks as do I with hers. We had to look for housing next year since we don’t want to live with the dog again. (Spoiler: it was not fun.)

We decided to go through the same landlord we had this year because she said she would give us a pet deal, as we both have cats.

While deciding on a place was not easy or fun, the actual process was rather easy. We called our landlord and said we were looking for two-bedroom places. She gave us some properties to look at on her website so we would have a better idea of the ones we like. We set up a time and place to meet and then took a tour of the places.

(If you have never been on a house tour, they can sometimes be awkward. You walk into places where people are still living, and they’re sometimes even home at the time of your tour.)

We looked at a total of three places, all on the same property.

The total time we spent looking at the places was probably around 15 minutes. After we were done, the landlord asked us if we had decided on what we wanted to do. And we had.

We chose a cute little place just big enough for the cats and us. Our landlord gave us time to think some more and we met at a neutral location: Hardee’s.

We sat down, signed leases and talked things over. Boom! Housing for next year, all set up.

 

Photo by Amy Nelson ’20

 

So when looking for housing off campus, here are some tips:

1.  Know the people you are going to live with. Friendships can be ruined when you live with your best friend, so make sure you can handle each other’s personalities and quirks.

2.  If you have family that is willing to come and help look at places with you, have them come! They have likely been in your position and have gone house hunting before. They know what to look for in a house, and they know what could potentially give you problems in the future.

3.  Know your price point. I probably would have preferred to pay less than what I do now, but who wouldn’t? Besides, I have a cat. I can’t be too picky with my standards.

4.  Know your limits. Do you have a car? Are you willing to walk and bike in the rain or snow?

5.  Finally, pick a place you won’t hate once you move in. Make sure it has enough room for what you want there and what you want to do. Want to host get-togethers? Pick a bigger place. Want to embrace your inner introvert? Get a smaller place.

 

Happy hunting!

 

Photo by Amy Nelson ’20

 

Updated by Hailey Seipel (01/06/2020)

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Rachel Adam

Rachel graduated in 2019 with a BA in Graphic Design and Dance minor. She is from Danbury, CT and her hobbies include reading, dance, art, movies, superheroes, Pinterest, and her kitten named Westley.

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