The Stress of Finding Off-Campus Housing

Chances are, if you’ve been to Clemson, you’ve been subjected to hundreds of advertisements for off-campus housing in Clemson. The main housing complexes litter the campus with flyers, stickers, and tee-shirts. The strong presence of off-campus housing makes the whole process seem effortless. I mean, how could it be complicated when there are so many options to choose from?

I am a sophomore preparing to move off-campus for my junior year, and I can confirm that finding off-campus housing is stressful.

In Clemson, the problem isn’t a lack of housing. It’s everywhere. Every property in Clemson has unique appeal, and most complexes are designed with a student in mind. Luxurious amenities and affordability pull students in different directions, and it is up to you to establish priorities and find your best fit. But in the sea of apartments, your dream home may be obscured. Finding your perfect apartment requires a lot more than a casual glance. If you’re going to select the right place, you’re going to have to commit yourself to research. Research, however, takes time, and that’s what students lack the most. How are we supposed to squeeze housing research into our busy schedules?

Now, let’s say you’ve found your dream apartment, and you’re ready to sign a lease. But wait- who are you signing your lease with?

Roommates complicate your housing search because you’re now responsible for considering their wants and needs as well as your own, and your compromising skills will be put to the test. Sometimes, it works out perfectly, but if you’re anything like me, you’ll go through several potential roommate groups before striking out on your own. Freshman year, I met a fantastic friend, and for the last six months, I’ve been set on living with her Junior year. Through several ups and downs, our differing priorities sent us down different paths.

Now that we’re talking about priorities, let’s address the elephant in the room: budget.

College is expensive, especially if you’re out of state. If your textbook bill makes your eyes bug out, just wait until you see your first month’s rent. Clemson’s many housing developments offer a variety of prices with differing levels of amenities, but the sticker price isn’t always accurate. Look out for hidden fees and the price of utilities. Those charges can add up and increase your monthly bill. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about those costs, and make sure to factor it into your overall budget.

Timing is also a critical – yet often overlooked – factor. You’d be amazed by how fast housing decisions are made in Clemson. Leasing can begin as early as September, and popular communities like Earle can fill up before you realize it. If it isn’t hard enough to consider all housing includes, you’re now on a deadline.

But if you only get one thing out of this article, let it be this: You’ve got this.

I know you’re stressed. I am, too. But look at you. You’re kicking butt, and not even off-campus housing can get you down. Next year, you’ll be thankful for all the stress you went through because you have an amazing apartment.