When you are heading off to college, it’s easy to get swept up in all the excitement about the start of your new life. There are classes to select, new bedding and furniture to pack and travel plans that have to be made. After high school graduation, you’ll want to spend time with your friends because it’s going to hard when you can’t see them for a while. It’s also likely that you’ll be working a summer job and trying to save up money for your first year away at school.
There is big transition from living at home and going to high school to living with lots of friends your age and attending college classes only 15 hours a week. It’s quite the change. And now, with the pandemic, you have to consider a whole new set of complications and things you have to sort out. You’ll need to look at health protocols, see how your university is handling in-person vs. remote learning and try to figure out the best way to stay safe.
Residence Halls vs. Off-Campus Apartments
For many years students who were just heading off to university lived in the dorms for their first few college years. Now, with the pandemic, that’s not such a wise choice. Dorms are typically far more crowded than off-campus living arrangements and it’s impossible to socially distance in the small space of a residence hall room. Many schools, in fact, are de-densifying their dorms in an effort to stop the spread of the virus.
In today’s day and age, it makes much more sense to choose off-campus housing when you go off to college. When you rent a student apartment each resident gets their own private room and private bathroom. You’ll have a safe space where you can isolate, if desired, to study or chill out after a busy day.
Carefully Evaluate Your Options
When you are looking at off-campus housing options, it pays to work with a company that has a lot of great offerings in their student housing catalog. You can then get pre-qualified and be able to look at their complexes and find the apartment that works best for you and your roommates. It’s also helpful to read the online reviews so you can get an idea of what it is like to live there.
Some of the complexes will offer more diverse amenities, so it’s important to check out the entire place and see if it meets your needs. Another factor to take a look at is the distance from your school. Being able to walk to your college classes or other events on campus really helps if you don’t happen to own a car.
Walk the Neighborhood Before Making a Decision
It’s easy to get excited and want to hurry and sign a lease when you see the first apartment you like. Before you apply your signature on the dotted line, though, you should also take the time to explore the neighborhood. First, you’ll want to evaluate how safe it feels. To do this, spend some time on foot in the area during the day and also at night. If it doesn’t feel safe after dark, you may want to choose another place.
You’ll also want to make sure that you have some great coffee shops close by where you can study, write your papers or just hang out. It’s also helpful to have grocery stores and other shopping nearby so you don’t have to get in the car or call a ride share whenever you need to pick up a few things at the store.
When you are in the midst of all the excitement of heading off to college, take the time to carefully evaluate your housing options. Having a great place to live in a safe area will mean a lot when you are spending your first years away from home.