Living off campus may seem frightening, but for many it is a wonderful experience. Off-campus housing provides the opportunity for students to get a taste for living on their own while earning more responsibility than the dorms offer.
So if you’re looking to venture into the world of off-campus housing, here are a few things you should consider.
When it comes to choosing a location, you should keep in mind what you pros you want out of it — like proximity to classes, whether or not you’ll need transportation and night life — and what cons are absolute deal-breakers.
Nikki McCoy — a senior college student who lives in a townhouse — says some of the downsides are “that the house being in a popular location is more expensive than some other locations. It is also on a busy road that gets a lot of traffic so it is louder and perhaps a bit more unsafe.”
Also, be mindful of who your future neighbors will be. While many of the people living around you will most likely be fellow students, some could also be families who live there year-round. “We have a neighbor who lives behind us who complains if we’re too noisy” says senior Matt Sciolaro. It is not always something that is avoidable, so bear that in mind.
2. RENT AND UTILITIES
One of the many new responsibilities that comes with living off campus is paying for rent and utlities. Whether you’re paying for it yourself or if your parents are, it is important for everyone involved to be communicating. Start an email thread that includes everyone who will be writing a check each month so everyone knows when to make sure money is in the account.
“We all split rent evenly” says Catie Wolff, who lives in a townhouse with six roommates. Wolff suggests creating a joint account with your roommates to make the often bumpy process a go a little more smoothly. “Having a house account helps us avoid confusing personal funds and ensures all bills are paid on time.”
As for utilities, most of their costs depend on how much you are using them. Some students prefer to each pay for one utility whereas others find it easier to have one pay for all utilities and have the rest of the roommates pay them back. Different strategies work for different people, just make sure to find one that works as quickly as possible.
3. WHEN TO APPLY
The golden rule to applying for off-campus housing? The earlier, the better. “I started looking the September of the year before I was going to be living in the house” says senior Pat Gianforte. “I signed my lease in October after looking at other houses.”
Looking for a place to live so far in advance may make you a little anxious or nervous, so pay attention to those feelings. You will know when you are ready to move off campus and if it doesn’t feel right, there’s no harm in waiting another year to take the plunge.
4. WHAT TYPE IS BEST FOR YOU
Throughout your search you should look at several different options such as apartments, townhouses, and houses. Apartments are more conducive for about 3 or 4 people whereas houses can hold nearly double that amount.
As with every other aspect of choosing a place to live, take into consideration the amount of responsibility that will come with it. College junior Chris Mule agrees that houses require more attention than an apartment would, but he says the good outweighs the bad. “I went with a house because it was less restrictive in general. Might involve a little more upkeep, but there’s also a lot more fun to be had, in my opinion” he says.
Living on your own is a bit of an undertaking and you will want to take on the task with people who are trustworthy and reliable. Senior Jackie Kanzler suggests finding roommates who have “similar interests and schedules, or else you will have a rough year ahead.”
Choose your roommates around your needs first and foremost, its okay if they aren’t your best friends. Living with roommates is all about finding a balance, so your friends aren’t always going to be the most compatible.
6. WHEN IS A GOOD TIME TO MOVE?
When the time comes to move in, many students suggest giving yourself enough time to take some of the stress out of the situation.
“A good tip is to move in a few days before the school year starts so you can get situated and comfortable with where you are living” says junior Zach Lebowitz. “Moving in and immediately having to accommodate yourself before school starts can be frustrating sometimes, so always make sure you have some time between move in day and the first day of classes”
7. LEASES & LANDLORDS
Leases can be tough, especially if you don’t understand what it says. Have a parent or even a lawyer look over your lease so you know exactly what your landlord wants and what you’re agreeing to. Communication is key, so ask as many questions as you need before signing.
Also, stick to the rules! Leases don’t bend and landlords don’t like having their words thrown back in their faces. “Just know what you’re getting into before you sign on the dotted line!” says Chris Mule. The sooner you put everything on the table with your landlord, the less room there is for any surprises later down the road.
The senior year is when organizing and conducting a job
search or graduate school search begins in earnest. It is also a time when students are heavily
involved in more advanced courses and often have more responsible roles in
campus and/or volunteer activities.
Balancing these important pursuits and setting priorities is a constant
challenge for seniors.
You are probably anxious for this young adult to make a
decision – and yet, he or she may be moving toward closure more slowly than you
What you can do to help -
·Suggest that he or she use the services
available through Career Services throughout their senior year. They can provide assistance in preparation
for the job search. Services they offer
oHelp with resume and cover letter writing,
interviewing, and other job search skills
oIndividual career advising
·Don’t nag your child about not having a job
yet. This will often have the reverse effect. Use positive reinforcement.
·Don’t call potential employers to intervene for
your child. Contact with potential
employers is the candidate’s responsibility.
·Be prepared to support your child through the
ups and downs of the job and graduate school search. It can be a bumpy road. Your student will need reassurance that for
every door that closes, another opens.
*Adapted for The College of St. Scholastica courtesy of the
national Association of Colleges and Employers.
Summer is right around the corner. Your student has many options to choose how to spend their summer.
Should you look for an internship, a job, take some time to travel? The possibilities are endless.
Thankfully our Career services can help your student make these tough decisions.
St. Scholastica's Career Services is committed to inspire and engage students in exploring, developing and pursuing individual career paths and meaningful work. Contact us for help and support.
Learning – What is it? Why is it important?
During their college experience, students are developing a “record
of achievement” that will be evaluated by employers and graduate schools as
they move beyond college. There are
several pieces of this record:
achievement.The grade point average
(GPA) is one factor considered by competitive employers and graduate schools.
work experience.In today’s
competitive employment market, many employers seek students who have related
internship, summer, part-time job, or volunteer experiences.These experiences are particularly critical
for liberal arts students whose majors may not appear to be directly related to
their areas of career interest.
involvement outside of the classroom.Extracurricular activities provide the opportunity for students to gain
many valuable and career-related skills, such as work effectively in a team
environment, leadership, planning and organizational skills, and
priority-setting and time management.These
are part of the package or skills employers seek in their new hires.
Most employers today put more emphasis on graduates’ skills
than on their academic majors and many rate leadership activities even more
highly than GPA. Encourage your son or
daughter to develop strengths and skills through participation in work,
extra-curricular activities, leadership positions in student clubs,
volunteering, service learning opportunities, internships, etc.
It may only be February but the time is now to think about where your student will be living over the summer and next Fall.
Our Residential Life Website has many helpful links to help you and your student make a plan! Check out the information below:
Welcome to Residential Life!
You should expect to have a rewarding, enjoyable educational experience living on campus. You will be meeting, living, and learning with a wide diversity of people, people from many cultures, faith backgrounds and personal experiences. Our efforts and programs are designed to provide students opportunities to further explore important questions that shape their general education experience:
Who are we as a College community?
Who am I? Who am I becoming?
How am I in community with my neighbors?
In keeping with the mission of the College and the Benedictine tradition, the Residential Life Team of the College of St. Scholastica is committed to providing a growth-oriented living situation for students choosing campus housing. Additionally, the Residential Life Team seeks to facilitate students' transitions to interdependent living away from home through the encouragement of owned, responsible decision-making while also functioning as a support network and as a resource base.
Make this year's spring break memorable by having fun and helping yourself, your friends, and others stay safe and healthy.
If drinking alcohol is part of your break, remember that it can impair your judgment and actions. Alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes kill someone every 31 minutes and nonfatally injure someone every two minutes. Don't drink and drive. There are plenty of non-alcoholic alternatives.
You've probably been sitting most of the year working at the computer, studying, or in class. During the break, take the opportunity to start a fitness program. Do a variety of fun activities like walking, dancing, playing volleyball, swimming, and more. It doesn't need to be hard to be beneficial. Avoid injury by starting any new activity slowly. Be active for at least 2½ hours a week. Include activities that raise your breathing and heart rates and that strengthen your muscles.
If you are going on a trip, be prepared. Are vaccinations required? Are there special food, destination, or other things you need to consider ahead of time? If you are taking medications, do you have enough for the trip? Know what's happening en route or at your travel destination.
Love is all around, and so are sexually transmitted diseases. The only 100% sure way to prevent sexually transmitted diseases and unintended pregnancy is by not having sex. If you choose to have sex, using latex condoms and having a monogamous, uninfected partner may help lower your risk.
Women are more likely to be victims of sexual violence than men. Women who experience both sexual and physical abuse are significantly more likely to have sexually transmitted diseases. Take precautions and avoid situations or persons that may place you at risk for harm.
There may be temptations on your break that involve different or high-risk activity. Think twice before putting yourself at risk for injury. Be sure to use appropriate safety gear before venturing out, such as seat belts, life vests, or knee pads. Remember that unintentional injuries kill more Americans in their first three decades of life than any other cause of death. In fact, injuries (both unintentional and those caused by acts of violence) are among the top ten killers for Americans of all ages.
If you wear contact lenses, practice healthy wear and care tips, even when you’re on vacation. Carry a spare pair of glasses and contact lens supplies with you so you can take out your contacts safely when you need to. Remove contacts before swimming, as exposing contact lenses to water can lead to painful, sometimes blinding eye infections. Always take your contacts out before bed, even if you’re up late or traveling. Sleeping in contact lenses has been linked to serious eye infections.
When swimming and boating, know what's expected and what you can do to prevent injury or death for yourself and others. Know how to swim. Wear your life jacket while boating. Avoid alcoholic beverages while boating. Complete a boating education course. Participate in the vessel safety check program.
After a cold winter, it's tempting to stay in the hot sun all day. Although getting a little sun can have some benefits, excessive and unprotected sun exposure can result in premature aging, changes in skin texture, and skin cancer. Always wear sunscreen with at least SPF 15. For eye protection, wear wraparound sunglasses that provide 100 percent UV ray protection.
Having fun takes energy and fuel. Be sure to eat a variety of foods, including plenty of vegetables, fruits, and whole grain products. Also include low-fat dairy products, lean meats, poultry, fish, and legumes. Drink lots of water and go easy on the salt, sugar, alcohol, and saturated fat. Good nutrition should be part of an overall healthy lifestyle, including regular physical activity, not smoking, and stress management.
Avoid smoking and secondhand smoke. Just 20 minutes after smoking that last cigarette, your body begins a series of positive changes that continue for years. Quitting is one of the best things you can do for yourself and others.
If you or a friend has an alcohol or drug problem, has thoughts of suicide, or is in crisis for any reason, get help. Call 911 for emergency services, 800-662-4357 for substance abuse help, and 800-273-TALK (8255) for the national suicide prevention lifeline.