Even though the summer is barely half over, for many college students, a new year is nearly here. For upperclassmen, this probably means moving into an apartment or home for the year that they’ve rented off-campus. While this opportunity provides extra freedom, it can also be laced with potential pitfalls. Not to worry, there are a few secrets we’re willing to share to help make students enjoy the experience to its fullest:
- Before signing the lease, be sure to do your homework. The language in a lease agreement can be difficult to understand, especially to a first-time renter. Have a friend or family member look it over as well so you’re sure to get the most out of the deal.
- Something very few people think about is how your roommates will affect the year you spend off-campus. Enjoying and respecting your own space and common space comes down to the people you live with. Choose wisely.
- If you find the idea of furnishing an apartment or house to be daunting, there are some tricks you can use to obtain furniture. Ask the previous residents if they will be leaving any items, or ask seniors or gradates who are moving away if you can take their belongings off their hands. Sometimes you can even get it for free.
- During move-in, the rush of excitement might distract you from the dings in the wall and broken coffee pot, but be sure to document any and all existing damage so at the end of the year, you don’t have to pay for someone else’s mistakes.
- After you’re settled, introduce yourself to your neighbors. Bring them an old-school basket of muffins or drop by with some wine. By getting off on the right foot, you establish a relationship that can be beneficial throughout the year.
- The most important tip to remember is that even though you live there, the space does not belong to you. Treat it as if you are sleeping over at a friend’s house for the year. Don’t trash the interior or break things without replacing them. Be responsible.
- The year ahead is bright with promise and we’re sure many returning students are elated about their new living space. If you remember the secrets we’ve detailed above, you should have an incredible, off-campus experience.