Housing Woes

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Spring, I am currently reminded, means all kinds of new beginnings.  Grass is getting greener, weather is getting warmer, and I have a whole slew of stressful life decisions to make and update.


It is looking more and more likely that I will be living in the fabulous tent you see pictured above, if I don’t get my life in order. Just kidding. Sort of.

Anyway, here are the problems, as I see them, with figuring out where to live in college.

Where Do I Go From Here? Comprehensive Dorm or Apartment Guide for the BFA

Q1. Do you have any reticence about driving alone in a sketchy part of town after midnight? If the answer is yes, then you do NOT want to live off campus here.  My school sits in a bit of a dodgy neighborhood, and by the time I end a two-rehearsals-a-night night, it’s usually fairly close to 12:15.  I have some definite qualms about walking to my car and driving home, especially if it’s close by (see below). Winner: Dorm or Campus Apartment (CA).

Q2. Do you want to live close by? This one is also difficult.  On the one hand, yes.  I want to be close to my classes, able to basically roll out of bed and go.  There are some housing options within the five minute range of campus.  Unfortunately, a lot of them are in undesirable neighborhoods, or tucked away in hard-to-find little corners.  You need connections and time to figure that out.  Farther away equals safer, but less time to relax, and also poses an issue if I have awkward breaks in my day…who wants to chill out in the library for two hours when you could be napping or working out? Winner: Dorm or CA.

Q3. Do you want a kitchen? YES.  A THOUSAND TIMES, YES.  I have often bemoaned on this blog the fact that I do not have a kitchen.  It is killing me softly.  I would give almost anything to be able to cook my own food…but the expsense of it scares me a bit.  (This is possibly the biggest selling point for a CA).  Winner: Off Campus or CA

Q4. Do you value your privacy/right to choose a roommate? Again, a toughie.  I love being able to come home and just relax.  Most of my friends are choosing to move off campus this year, a choice I’ve yet to make, so I am severely limited in roomie options.  So: I could retain my lovely double in the dorm, and run the risk of having a scary roommate from hell. Or, I could get a single, pay more, but love the privacy. Sigh. Winner (but not for my pocketbook): Off Campus or CA

Q5: How much will you pay?  I don’t know how this works out at other schools, but you pay an arm and a leg to live on campus at mine.  When you factor in the housing cost and the meal plan with the relative amount of living space we get, it is ridiculous.  An off campus apartment would be far, far cheaper. Yeesh. Winner: Off Campus.

Q6: How will you pay? Throw everything I just said out the window.  This is one of those scary adult conundrums that make me want to run back to childhood kicking and screaming. See, by living on campus, I can pay for housing through my online account, and don’t have to pay rent monthly.  It comes in installments, and my scholarships and financial aids help pay for everything.  Now, contrast that to off campus.  In most housing options, you pay a monthly rent (sometimes difficult for my family to meet), and scholarships will not cover it.  Loans might, but that is a whole different level of adult that I won’t delve into right now.  What a quandary: pay more, but pay easier? Or pay less, and struggle to make it work? Winner: Nooooooo clue.

Q7: Do you like living life on the edge? I do…but not when it comes to housing.  There are two pluses for keeping my double in the dorm: 1) I do not have to participate in the housing lottery, a (in my opinion) time consuming and stressful concept that the university came up with so we could all know our housing situation before the summer.  I mean, I guess that was nice of them. But eek. 2) I would know it’s in good shape.  Some of the campus apartments are, to put it bluntly, crappy.  They haven’t been taken care of.  Rumour is they’re all getting remodeled, but I’m still a bit anxious. Winner: Dorm.

And the list goes on.  Currently, I’m making a pro/con list for both options.  Which looks a bit deadlocked at the moment.  I’ll let you know how it turns out…I mean, I have a whole week to decide.  No pressure.


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