Five tips to survive student housing

Laura Figi

Living on your own for the first time can be overwhelming, especially if you did not have any older siblings to pave the way for you. Oftentimes, college students struggle unjustly with their situation.

The Texas State student experience has changed dramatically over the past decade. Each area of the city is different and has its own perks and detriments to living there.

Since college students generally have never lived alone, they are often most susceptible to being taken advantage of by student-marketed housing. Here are some tips and tricks to navigating through student housing.

1. Make a list of your needs, wants and expenses

Making a list and quantifying your lifestyle will help you narrow down the competition and save you time on research. Your needs may consist of location, size, price, pet policy, neighborhood, furnished options, bus route, laundry connections, etc. Your wants may include proximity, special features, amenities, private bedrooms or bathrooms, covered parking, etc. Getting a list of these things will allow you to narrow your search.

2. Do your research

When considering where you will live for a year or more, a little bit of research is ideal. It cannot be stressed enough that prior research might save you a year of your life. Start by reading reviews, bearing in mind that some places do not have honest reviews or will pay people to write positive reviews. Once you have narrowed down a list that you are interested in, ask friends about experiences and tour the complexes.

3. Don’t feed into promises about amenities

Do not let promises of amenities lead you astray—ask yourself if the amenities are just a distraction for any skeletons hiding in the closet. Think about whether or not they look as good in person as the website makes them look, if you are ever going to use more than half of them and if you will get your money’s worth. Having amenities doesn’t necessarily make it a good complex.

4. Always ask to see a real unit

Display units always look good because they are created to look good and they may not resemble the unit you move into at all. If the staff will not show you a real unit, consider not moving there. Take your time looking at the unit, take notes and pictures for later.

5. Be wary of incomplete information

This can also encapsulate complexes that do not open on time, something that has been known to happen. Ask plenty of questions and stay away from complexes that will not answer direct inquiries. Make sure the places you tour have accessible information and helpful management.

Use common sense when looking for housing and remember to take into account that you are entering a contract when you sign a lease. Be careful, ask for help and enjoy San Marvelous!

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