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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCLA chapter.

I’ve learned my lesson: selecting college housing, even at a university that guarantees housing for four years, is not the time to embrace denial as a coping mechanism. I blissfully (albeit ignorantly) crafted a little list with my roommates featuring very idealistic picks of our top apartment choices for three roommates (i.e., with a double bedroom and a single). Despite numerous people telling us that apartments for four people (with two double bedrooms) would be gone by 9:00 AM on the first housing selection day, at the latest, we really optimistically thought our 11:15 AM slot would get us a double with a single. Wrong. So, so wrong. 

Pretty much everything was, according to multiple sources, gone by 9:00 AM. My boyfriend managed to grab an apartment with two triples, and another group of friends managed an eight-person apartment. Basically, six and eight-person rooms were pretty much all that was available, and even those went quickly. The whole ordeal caused outrage on Reddit and, supposedly, the UCLA parents’ Facebook page. Basically, you had to have priority sign-ups to get good apartments. Apparently, though, the housing sign-up system is new as of last year, so hopefully, the kinks will be worked out for future classes. Too late for me, though. 

That said, with all that pessimism worked out from my system, I do have some tips upon emerging from the fiasco. First, have a roommate group planned, but also have a second roommate group plan. What I mean by that is, if you want to prioritize getting apartments, then you can try to go for the smaller ones first (three or four people), but if those go and you have a second roommate group prepared, you can team up for a six or eight-person apartment as a backup plan. Accordingly, rank your options (and rank them well). Do not simply rank your top four ideal locations and call it a day, have layers of backups in place. Then, even if you are unhappy with your outcome, you at least have something in place while you transition to searching for non-university apartments. My last tip is to make sure that all your potential roommates are physically present during your signup window—that way, you can easily and immediately discuss your options and make important decisions without leaving anyone out (which may lead to later problems and disagreements). 

All in all, the situation is not ideal. But housing in LA is not ideal in general, so it’s to be expected. Planning and communicating (along with lowering your expectations) are the best things that you can do leading up to your room sign-up. And remember: there will always be an alternative, even if it is not ideal.

Kylee is a fourth-year at UCLA double-majoring in Communication and English with a concentration in Creative Writing. Her poems have been published in Train River Poetry, The Mandarin, Open Ceilings, and our very own Westwind (among others). She also writes feature articles for Her Campus at UCLA. In her free time, she acts, drinks way too much coffee, romanticizes everything, and buys more books than she can keep up with.