Sunday, November 18, 2012

College living, pt III - off-campus housing

When I first went to study in the U.S, I was supposed to stay in there for one semester, which got extended to a full year. Eventually I ended up staying in this particular New England town for three years. After my first year living in the dorms, I decided off-campus living was probably the way to go. It was cheaper and freer, and I could choose my roommates. At this particular university, freshmen and sophomores were required to live on-campus, but if you were over 21 (which I was) you could move off-campus at anytime. Unfortunately most of my friends, who were looking for roommates, were not 21 yet, so they still had to live on-campus. My new roommate, whom I found on Craigslist, was S and we shared the duplex right off campus with another roommate A. Both of them were New Englanders, S was from NYC and A from Massachusetts.

Our apartment complex, we had the two top floors of half the building

Although S and I shared a room to split costs, off-campus living was still not that cheap, but it was cheaper than on-campus living and that's what counted. Our modern apartment had a living room, kitchen and dining area in one floor and two bedrooms and a bath upstairs. My roommate S had once again arrived before me and set up the room to her liking. I didn't mind, since I knew I'd probably spend half the time with my then-boyfriend anyways. We both had beds (she had a double, I had a twin), desks with chairs and we shared a closet. She also had a dresser and I had a small bookcase. Basically the room was set up so that she had 2/3 of it and I had the rest. Later on I made her reduce my part of the rent because of that, and other reasons.

I have very few photos from indoors, but this is my friend's brother goofing around in our dining area. That's my roommate A's bike in the background.

Roommate S and I got along just fine, although I knew we wouldn't be best friends. She was a homebody and way too into smoking weed, which I was just not. My other roommate, A, on the other hand, became a really good friend of mine, probably cause we didn't share a room. He got us HBO (and paid majority of it), so I watched a bunch of tv with him and we hung out at in general. Neither of my two roommates were really into going out, but that was okay, since I had other friends to go bar hopping with. We didn't really have parties at our place either, because my roommates were bit of a loners, they didn't really have friends over either. I ended up throwing a party for my friends only once at our place, and after cleaning up the post-party mess by myself, I gave up on the idea of organizing more :)

And our living room, we really didn't bother with the furnishings :)

While roommate S and I did get along the first semester, the second semester wasn't as rosy. S's boyfriend from New York had basically moved into our room, and he smoked a ton of weed as well, even in our shared bedroom. He had just graduated from high school and was moving into herb selling business. I told roommate S that I wasn't interested in paying half of the rent anymore, since we had a third person living there. She got a bit upset at first, but later confessed that she hadn't told her dad I was staying in the room and her dad was paying the rent for whole room, so she had just been keeping my money (!). So she just lost a little bit of money that wasn't really meant for her anyways. We reached an agreement and I started paying a lot less than I used to. 

After a year of living with S and A, S graduated and A and I decided we weren't going to keep the apartment, since our lease was up and the apartment itself was a bit pricey.  My then-boyfriend had just finished his second year in college, so he was by then finally free to move off-campus. We found a place on Craigslist and moved into a rather outdated 3 bedroom apartment with two girls, whom we didn't really know, but who turned out to be okay. The apartment was downtown, so easy walking distance to both bars and campus, pretty convenient ;) and the rent was very affordable. Also, roommate A moved within walking distance of us to a studio apartment, so I visited him a lot. S moved back to NYC and is getting married to that same boyfriend next summer. So things worked out well for all of us.

Our second off-campus apartment. Once again, the two top floors were ours.

Next week I'm moving to Nebraska! In this college-living "series" that is :)
Hope everyone is having a great week!


apartments in temple tx said...

It's really a problem when you share the same room and don't have common interests with your roommate. Still, it pays to be polite to each other regardless of how much you're feeling angry, irritated or hurt.

Sugar said...

While in general I do agree, that people should be polite to each other, I do believe there are things that don't need to be tolerated. Let's say, your roommate's interest is for example excessive drug use and that is something you don't have in common. In this case, the smoking roommate should be the one doing the polite thing by taking their hobby outside.