Prepare for off-campus living

Staff Editorial

After spending their first two years as an undergraduate in a residence hall enjoying the comforts of accessible laundry, nearby food and no utility bills to worry about paying, most students begin their off-campus housing experience.

And in the midst of all the excitement — which place to choose, how to decorate your bedroom, who your neighbors will be — it’s easy to forget about the more necessary, although decidedly less fun, tasks.

We all say that we’re ready to move downtown and ditch our extra-long twin beds and forced triples, but the reality is a lot of us are much less prepared than we realize.

From paying monthly rent and buying groceries to communicating with a landlord and signing a lease, moving off-campus can be overwhelming for those unfamiliar with the process.

Sophomores preparing to move off campus often turn to upperclassmen friends for advice, but when we only take advice from each other, we’re not always going to be fully informed.

Moving into your first apartment or house is serious.

So, it’s important to do research (and that doesn’t include just asking a senior which street is the most fun to live on) before beginning the process. Too many of us have stories of faulty security and homes being broken into, or not knowing enough about communicating with a landlord.

Had we spent a little more time looking into our leases and less time browsing Homeport for string lights, we would have been better prepared and more confident about living off campus. In your own home, there’s no RA on duty, no late night Grundle for when you’re craving a snack and nobody cleaning the bathrooms but yourself.

Being ready to move out of a res hall means being educated about what exactly you’re getting into when you scrawl your name on a lease and hand over a check.

The Office of Student and Community Relations at UVM is a great place to start.

They offer workshops to help better inform students about the rental process, what to look for and what to avoid.

Getting out of a res hall is a large, exciting step. But like all important moves, it’s necessary to be prepared and educated to make your experience the best it can be.