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Staff Editorial: Last-minute tips on picking your housing for next year

As the Priority Housing Deadline quickly approaches (our greatest Valentines Day gift), the stress of picking your roommates, South 40 vs. Village, on-campus vs. off-campus, is building. As anxiety-inducing as it can be, the Student Life Editorial Board wants to assure you that housing isn’t the end-all be-all of your social life, your education, or your happiness. We wrote our top last-minute housing tips below, but make sure to read our 2024 Housing Guide if you need some extra help!

Plan Ahead

If you’re applying for WashU housing, the day of housing selection can often feel overwhelming, but it can be a smooth process if you’re prepared. Go in with an ordered list of preferences of which residential buildings you’d like to live in. Your top priority might not be available on the day of selection, so be sure to have a substantial list of options. To determine that list, research the building’s floor plan. Layouts vary across residential colleges as well as within each building in terms of common rooms, singles, doubles, triples, etc. If you are selecting housing with a group, determine who would prefer a single room and who would prefer a double. I promise that it will all work out! Whether you get your top pick or one further down your list, you can always find community within your residential buildings, and close friendships are not determined by the exact building in which you live. However, I still wish you all the luck with your housing selection — may the odds be ever in your favor!

— Reilly Brady, Managing Forum Editor

South 40 vs the Village

Picking between the South 40 and Village may seem daunting. Do not worry, the South 40 and Village are both great places to live, and if your best friend lives in the opposite place, the walk between them is not as long or brutal as it may seem. The primary difference between them is the location. The Village is closer to campus and classes, while the South 40 has a more “town-like” atmosphere, close to Habif, Bear Necessities, and the student shops. The Village has a more chill and relaxing atmosphere with fewer people, while the 40 is more bustling with people (which could be boring for some, or calming for others) and Bears Den is full of conversation (which could be stressful for some, or fun for others). The last important consideration is whether or not you want a common room. Most sophomore South 40 housing includes four singles and a common room, while the Village suite-style housing has four larger singles but no common room. 

— Sylvie Richards, Senior Forum Editor

Lifestyle Preferences

If you’re looking to live with someone new next year there are some important things to keep in mind. Roommates can be an easy way to broaden your social circle and make close connections, but it’s also important to ensure prospective roommates have similar in-home lifestyles to yours (or at least compatible ones) for a happy living experience. Different schedules and other seemingly minor preferences make it easy to fall out of synergy with housemates, so clearly define for yourself what your living preferences are beforehand: When am I ok with guests? When do I use which common spaces? How often do I cook, eat, clean, bathe, sleep — and when am I expecting them to? Knowing your answers before the selection process will help you choose roommates that can make your shared space feel like home.

— Jasmine Stone, Senior Forum Editor

Maintaining Relationships

Because of housing preferences, you won’t be able to live with all of your friends, and chances are, some of them will be unhappy with their situations. Even if you love your roommates, make sure to be considerate of your friends who didn’t end up in great housing situations. Invite them over for dinner, introduce them to your roommates, and make sure everyone feels included. Housing is definitely a roll of the dice, and some people are going to get luckier than others. It’s important to do what you can to maintain your relationships, whether or not you live with those people.

– Amelia Raden, Junior Forum Editor

On- vs. Off-Campus Living 

Similarly to the South 40 vs. Village debate, living on- or off-campus isn’t as big of a deal as it may seem. There’s quite a few factors that go into whether or not your or your group picks either one: cost, proximity to campus, financial aid plans, or whether or not you have a car. Even if most of your friends or grade picks one option, both on- and off-campus living have their perks! You’ll see your friends and have a good living experience either way — you should choose what’s best for you, not just what everyone else is doing. 

– Via Poolos, Editor-in-Chief 

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