Graduating to off-campus housing seems to be a natural progression for college students. Living on your own is liberating, but it also comes with more responsibility than you may be used to. If moving off campus feels like the next step for you, there are quite a few things to consider before making the move. Here’s a brief guide to living in off-campus housing near NC State.
Finding off-campus housing requires a lot of effort, so you don’t want to wait until the last minute to start looking for a place to live. Start the process off right by asking yourself all the common housing-related questions. Are you going to be living with roommates? How close do you want to be to campus? How much are you willing to pay each month? Once you know the answers to all of these, you’ll have a better idea of what living arrangement is right for you.
Know Your Finances
Living on campus requires little financial finesse. But the minute you move off-campus, it’s a whole different ball game. You’ll quickly learn that monthly rent isn’t the only expense to worry about. Things like food, cleaning supplies, cable and internet bills, and transportation costs add up quickly, so budgeting your money is critical.
Determine your monthly budget by first identifying where you’re spending the most money and cutting back on anything that isn’t absolutely essential. Instead of splurging on coffee every day, brew your own at home. Make more of your meals instead of ordering takeout. If you have the time in your schedule, consider getting a job. You certainly don’t need to work full time, but logging a few hours a week at an on-campus job is better than not working at all. Check out openings on NC State’s Career Development Center website.
Find a Roommate
Depending on your past experiences, roommates might feel like a necessary evil. Sure, they make rent lower, but is it really worth it if you don’t get along? You and your roommate(s) need to be compatible. That’s it. Whether or not you’re best friends or even know each other before living together doesn’t matter. If you’re looking for a roommate or two, make your search known. Tell your professors, classmates and people who are involved in the same clubs and activities as you. Post a Facebook status or tweet about it, or take an old-school approach and hang flyers in high-traffic areas around campus.