The Girl’s Guide to Living Off Campus for the First Time!

Obviously COVID-19 entails numerous setbacks for our college housing plans, but I know a lot of students (including myself) that still kept their leases and are living in Amherst with their friends. For lots of people, this is a first time thing - living in a house! You may think it’s probably so similar to the dorms, but it really isn’t. There are so many different things you need to know, and I’m going to lay it all out for you to make it much easier for when you start house hunting in Amherst!

1. Start house searching EARLY!

One of the worst things is being late to finding a house and having the best options gone! A lot of students want houses closer to campus, especially if they are not bringing cars and will need to walk. Some people will want to be near a bus stop or near a place where they work. The options are endless, but you want to start emailing realtors the year before you’re looking to move in so you can get the best picks!

2. Move in throughout the summer if you can, but officially move in a week or so before classes start.

Moving in can be stressful! I liked making a few trips so I could view the house and really grasp what I needed. Sometimes the people who lived in your house previously will leave old furniture or extra plates and such, which is always super helpful. I gradually moved into my house so by the time classes started, I was stress free and ready to go.

3. Make sure communication with your roommates is always good.

I promise you, you won’t enjoy living in your house if you and your roommates do not get along. Whether you guys are close friends or not, being respectful is always a part of the deal. Have family dinners now and then - it’s a great way to take a break from the stress of homework.

food in containers Pexels

4. Do your part!

If you have dirty dishes, clean them. See that the trash is full? Empty it. If you do these things as you go, rather than waiting for someone else to do it, you will find yourselves all doing an equal amount of work. Make Sundays a clean the house day! 

5. Be excited, but don’t overdo it.

Going to college is an experience in itself. However, living on campus is SO different compared to living off campus. Living off campus, you really do feel like a true adult. You have to take care of yourself and your home. You have to buy your own food, keep track of your laundry, and pay your own bills. However, there is always excitement that comes with it. Celebrations for moving in are always fun, but remember to never overdo it. You are now part of a community, with neighbors that may be families rather than students. These neighbors will have no problem contacting the police if you are being disrespectful. 

Two Girls Sipping Tea Coffee Mugs Cozy Molly Longest / Her Campus

So, when you live off campus, I hope you use this to guide you to success. Happy house hunting!