Housing: 3 Things to Consider

With housing deadlines approaching, there are several things to keep in mind, but they mostly fit into three categories: room type, roommates, and building. Here are just a few things to consider before you hit submit on that housing contract.

1. Room Type

There are many different room types to choose from, so it can be overwhelming to keep them all straight and decide which will be ideal for you.  University Housing has layouts and rough dimensions of room types in specific buildings on their website, so you can see what buildings offer your desired room type. There are singles, doubles (which are the most common option), triples, quads, and suites (which can accommodate for six or eight people). Some rooms have attached baths, while others have community bathrooms, which may be gender-specific or gender-inclusive.  Quads and suites may even have lounge and kitchen spaces, so it is imperative that you know which buildings offer these layouts if you want to live in them.

2. Roommate(s)

It is very common to have a random roommate, but many people (like myself) decide to room with friends from high school. Either way, it is important to discuss living habits with roommates ahead of time, so you know if you can live with them happily or not. For instance, if you are a neat-freak and your roommate is a Messy Marvin, you must either lay down ground rules for cleaning, or even consider living with someone who wants to live in an environment more similarly to you. Visitors are also something to consider discussing with roommates. If you want to have friends come visit, and even stay overnight, multiple times per week, but she prefers to keep visitation to a minimum, you will need to decide who can stay with you, how often, and for what length of time. If you find that you cannot reach a consensus when making decisions, you may find it best to search for a new roommate.

3. Building

"Location, location, location." This phrase may have once been about finding permanent living spaces, but it rings true for dorms, as well. If you are a law student who will have multiple classes on south campus, living on north and west campus will ensure a long walk, and in the winter, that will not encourage you to go to class. Likewise, theatre majors may want to live on west campus, as the Drake can be a long walk from the far edges of campus. You may also want to consider distance from your favorite dining locations. If your taste buds are only satisfied at the Union Market and Sloopy's Diner at the Ohio Union, you may not want to live on west campus. Parking can also be a hassle, depending on where you live. However, the CABS and COTA bus systems are always viable means of transportation, should you end up in a less-than-ideal location. The last thing to consider when choosing a building is the age of the residence hall. It has been my experience that older dorms tend to have slightly larger rooms with gender-specific bathrooms, while newer buildings tend to have slightly smaller rooms with either gender-inclusive or private baths.

No matter what you decide, you just need to be confident in your choices and their ability to foster an atmosphere of happiness. Remember, the dorm in which you end up will be your home for the next few months, so try to make the most of it.