Tricks for living off campus as a freshman
When you start going to college, where you live can mean the difference between a good start of your future career and a disappointing few semesters. As a freshman, living off campus may involve renting your first apartment, and that’s a daunting task for any new student. There are a few tricks to make that living situation as pleasant as possible and below we outline a few.
Know your housemates.
Having other people live with you can cut down on expenses, but make sure you know them well. You won't have anyone to help you if there are conflicts, so it's up to you to choose wisely when picking housemates. Make sure they are financially responsible, so the rent won't be late. Ask if they are willing to live by house rules and help keep the place clean. You will eliminate a lot of headaches this way. Keep open and honest communication with them. Passive aggressive behavior only arises when you can’t confront issues head-on.
Assign chores. Yes.
Put up a list of tasks that must be done regularly and assign them to each person living with you. Hold a house meeting to go over the assignments and make sure everyone feels that the division of labour is fair. Also, talk about how cooking is going to work, so that you don't have two people at once wanting to use the kitchen.
Be a good neighbour. Always.
Encourage everyone living in your household to make friends with the people next door. If you can be friendly and get to know them well, you will head off problems in case you get too rowdy. People who know and like you are less likely to call the police if you have a party that is noisy. They will understand: you're a student, you breathe fun.
Think big: cars.
Depending on how far your place is from campus, you may want to use your car. Find out how much it costs to park the car on campus when you go to classes, and think about where you will park the car at night. Three or four people living in a house can run out of parking spaces on the street or in the drive. Look around and discuss where everyone can park.
Think bigger: home alarm systems.
A home security package can keep your place safe when you are gone, and can warn you of intruders when you are home. Some ADT Home Alarm System installation guides will also alert you to fires. The trick here is to make sure everyone knows how to handle and disarm the system.
Plan ahead to avoid conflicts and make your experience a positive one so you will remember your freshman year as super enjoyable. It's a good opportunity to prove you are mature enough to manage your own place.
Special thanks to Eileen O'Shanassy for providing us with this article. Eileen is a freelance writer and blogger based out of Flagstaff, AZ. She writes on a variety of topics and loves to research and write. She enjoys baking, biking, and kayaking, and you can find her on Twitter @eileenoshanassy.