4 Steps to Scoring Your Perfect Pad
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Nothing is sweeter than finally leaving home to live on your own, but when you’re hunting for a place to live, you’ll have some important decisions to make before you can get to scoring your perfect pad.
Would you prefer to live on campus or off campus? Would you like to live with friends or with randomly assigned students? Do you need your apartment to be furnished, or would unfurnished be best for you? There are tons of choices to make once you’re on your own, but here’s some tools and tricks to help you get on your way.
Decide whether to live on campus or off campus.
Living on campus comes with some obvious benefits. You’ll be able to live in close proximity to your classrooms, dining halls, libraries and campus events. Most residence halls offer consistent maintenance and janitorial service so you’ll almost never have to worry about deep cleaning your room or having to hire someone to fix something in your living space. Also, living on campus allows you the opportunity to get to know your fellow college students. Communal living forces you to get out of your comfort zone and perhaps meet people that you wouldn’t normally talk to.
Unfortunately, living on campus tends to be pretty expensive on top of all the other costs of college, so it may not be realistic to consider with your budget. There are also harsh rules and stipulations that you need to follow, or risk having a mark on your student record. Some residence halls require you to have a meal plan, which will add more expenses than you might be ready for.
Living off campus allows you to have more freedom. If you don’t have a car, you would be able to walk, bike, or take a bus to campus. Apartment complexes typically come with fitness centers and pools that you can enjoy on your free time. You’ll be able to decorate your space however you’d like. Some apartments are even pet friendly, so you can bring Fido or Fluffy along with you!
However, there are some cons with off-campus living too. You will have rent, utility costs, and fees hanging over your head that you’ll need to pay every month. Once you sign your name on the lease, you’ll be responsible for whatever costs come with it, and if you should forget to pay, you will probably land yourself in trouble.
Find the best space that suits your needs.
If you should decide to live off campus, the next step is to figure out what would be the best spot to suit your needs. Some helpful resources to check out are Rent.com and Apartments.com. Both of these websites will allow you to track down apartments based on your individual needs. Ask yourself:
•Will you need to be close to campus, or will you be able to live further away?
•What rental prices will fit within your budget?
•Will you need an apartment that comes with Internet, cable, water, etc.?
•Do you need an apartment that’s furnished, or will an unfurnished apartment suffice?
Figure out who you’d like to live with.
Living with friends basically allows you to have a sleepover that never ends. The ice will already be broken between you, so there’s no need for that awkward small talk. You’ll always have your support system there with you so that you’ll never feel alone in your college experience. You’ll have the ability to divvy up responsibilities, like chores and grocery trips.
Living with a friend can make some complications for the both of you as well. College is a time to make new friends and expand your social circle. Living with a friend can make you keep that social circle extremely narrow. It can also be awkward to confront a friend on any issues you might be having (they take weeks to do their dishes, they never clean up their side of the room, they’ll have guests over while you’re trying to study, etc). Confronting a friend on issues could put a damper on the living situation, or worse, your friendship.
Your other option is to live with someone who has been randomly assigned to your room. This can be good because it’ll allow you to become close with someone who you might not have ever spoken with prior to becoming roommates. You’ll have a grand opportunity to expand your social circle. They might also make a really great roommate and in the end, a really great friend.
Living with a stranger could also make for an awkward situation if you’re shy, or fighting with social anxiety. While it’s fun to get to know someone new, they might not always be the most open to a new friendship, or anything for that matter. When this happens, it could make living with this stranger totally uncomfortable and could truly make the living situation an unhappy one.
Decorate your space
The most fun choice you’ll have to make is how you would like to decorate your space. Now that you’re on your own, you’ll have a ton of options of how you’d like to make your space yours. Make an account with Pinterest for some ideas on how to decorate your space, and even some suggestions for what your space could be should you run short on ideas. Once you have a plan, you’ll have everything you need to turn your dorm or apartment into your perfect pad.
Looking for an easy way to furnish your off-campus apartment? Renting furniture from CORT saves you time and money. See how easy it is to get great looking furniture without breaking the bank.
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