Damn it feels good to be a senior
It’s right about this time of year when I’m very content with my status as a fourth-year student. Not because I love studying for the LSAT or worrying about jobs, or applying to med school. Not because my future, one filled with responsibilities and stuff, is hurtling toward me. No, I’m happy because I don’t have to move.
I’ve had the unusual opportunity to live in off-campus housing since I was a sophomore. And right around the start of October, for some sophomores, and most juniors, is when the housing panic begins. You have to decide where you want to live and whom you want to live with. That sounds simple. It’s not. Do you want a two- or three-person apartment? Who should live in my actual apartment as opposed to the apartment across the hall? Can we fill an entire building? What if we can’t and we get people we don’t know? Should we live on Kingsbury, Wash. Avenue or U. Drive? Forsyth or Pershing? Inevitably someone will get upset, you will have many housing meetings in which nothing is accomplished, but in the end, chances are you’ll end up OK.
Getting yourselves prepared is just the first step. Then you have to deal with the chaos of the realtors. First, you have Robert’s Realty. If you have been here for a while, you know students used to camp out outside of the realtor’s office all night just to get their choice of building. This is no longer the case. The process has changed slightly. Now you go to the office at your convenience when you have figured out your housing arrangements and put your names down on a list. The earlier you go, the higher you are on the list. Then, Robert’s Realty will call you to tell you that the leasing process is open, so you drag race to the office to beat out the other students. Much safer. If you’re not outdoorsy, this could be considered a plus.
Another option, and in my personal opinion, the most pleasant to deal with, is Quadrangle Housing. They are an independently run company that works in contract with the University. They have buildings on U. Drive, Kingsbury, Wash. Avenue, Pershing and several other locations. If you see off-campus apartments with green-and-red doors and a diamond-shaped plaque displaying the house’s address, it’s a Quadrangle building. Quadrangle provides complimentary basic cable and Internet, and the apartments are kept in very good condition. They’ll even allow you to send your packages to their office right off the loop on Wash. U.’s North Campus. Quadrangle operates on a lottery system, so if you are planning on living with a big group, or really care about your location or a specific building, it’s a gamble.
Then there is a smattering of individual property owners who rent out buildings to students. Some are pleasant. Some are not. It’s really just the luck of the draw. Regardless of who owns your building, or where you end up, living off campus is a big change, but it’s a nice one. You buy your own furniture, you cook your own food, or, if you don’t, you order a lot, and you generally have more freedom to do what you want with your living space. In the end, it’s also a generally less expensive endeavor, particularly if you avoid buying a meal plan.
So to those seeking off-campus housing, good luck. I’ll be chilling here smiling, knowing I’ll never have to hike a sofa up three flights of stairs again.