Tips for Anyone Struggling with Their Housing Plans

I think I speak for the majority of college students when I say that figuring out living arrangements rarely ever goes smoothly. Determining where to live and who to live with can prove problematic; though, it is a situation most college students are faced with at one point or another. As a sophomore here at Sacred Heart University, I had to make big decisions regarding my future living arrangements this semester. I currently live with eleven other girls, and we knew going into sophomore year that we would have to split up for junior year; however, knowing we would have to separate did not make decisions any easier. While it was tough, I learned a lot from this process and I am ultimately happy with the choices I made. I just signed a lease for a house for next year and I am looking forward to experiencing everything that living off campus has to offer; though, there are some things I wish I had known prior to starting this journey. 

1) Do what is best for yourself

Above all, you have to do what is best for yourself. Determining where you are going to live is a big decision that should be thought long and hard about, particularly if you are debating between staying on campus or going off campus. Before you make any big decisions and before you get other people involved you have to decide what housing option seems to be the best fit for you. In addition, you should not worry about pleasing other people over yourself. Accept early on that someone’s feelings are likely going to be hurt, but do not let other people hold you back from doing what feels best for you. In my situation I knew very early on that I wanted to live off campus and I was able to find other girls within my suite that were also certain they wanted to live off campus. It ended up working out, but it did take a lot of time and a lot of thought. 

2) Be honest with your friends

Be honest. It is the most important piece of advice I can give to anyone who is in the process of figuring out their living arrangements. If you know, or you think you may know what your living arrangements are going to be, just be upfront about it. You will only hurt those not included in your plans more if you are not straightforward. Do not put off having a conversation about it with your friends/roommates. Like I mentioned earlier, people’s feelings are going to get hurt regardless of what you decide. Know and accept that you cannot possibly please everybody; though, do what you can to minimize their unhappiness. Like I mentioned, my suitemates and I knew we would have to separate, but that did not prevent feelings from getting hurt. While it was uncomfortable for a period of time, we were able to all move past it. If someone is truly your friend, they will learn to forgive you, so be honest.  

3) Don’t wait

While you should take some time to really think about your options, don’t wait forever. You should make your plans fairly early on, especially if you are planning to live off campus. Keep in mind there are only a certain number of houses close enough to campus that meet all your needs, so don’t wait until May because your options will be very limited. During my freshman year I did not really think about housing until the beginning of the Spring semester; so, I was shocked this year when other sophomores knew what they were doing so early on. Searching for a house was beyond stressful but I am very glad I moved quickly. We found a house we love and we can enjoy for the rest of our sophomore year without that stress weighing us down.   

While I can’t say that figuring out your living arrangements will be easy, I can say you will get through it. Remember to stay true to yourself and your wants before you start to worry about what other people want. Ultimately you have to do what is best for you because where you live will greatly impact your college experience. In addition, be honest and upfront about your plans, it only hurts people not included in your plans more to not tell them (trust me). Like I said, I learned a lot this year while I was going through this process, but I wish I had known some of these tips beforehand. If you are currently trying to figure out who you are living with or where you are living next year, remember these tips!