The do-se-do begins here in Rochester. The semester begins to end and everyone realizes they need to figure out where they are living next year. Some students are deciding not to live in this or that house/apartment next year which puts the other roommates in a bind--Do we move, can we afford staying without them and can we find someone else, who should we ask? A series of questions run through our heads as the scrabble to live in the best place for you begins.
This will be my third year at UMR. My first year, I lived at 318. I would suggest any new incoming student to consider living here first. One really gets to develop a relationship with those in their class. During your first year at UMR, everyone has the same classes. So, just down the door is another student studying for the same organic chemistry test or if there is a paper due everyone has the paper due at the same time. It's a great environment with helpful RA's for any roommate conflicts. The amenities are wonderful and you don't have to worry about monthly bills and getting them paid on time. This is one thing I really miss. Early in the morning at 318 one can just walk downstairs in pajamas to attend class. Posters and RA's at 318 always keep you updated into what events are happening at UMR. The people that live at 318 are always first to know.
The downside is that on campus housing is expensive and at least in my case I was looking to become more independent. I found an apartment called Civic Square that has two bedrooms that worked perfect this year for my roommate and I. It has to be furnished which wasn't a problem for me with my family moving and downsizing. I looked forward to carpet, my own furniture, and a homey feel. The part one doesn't realize is how quiet it can be. My roommate and I have different schedules and work at different times. We stayed here in the summer to take CNA classes at RCTC. It was a great experience as well. The place was very often quiet though. We didn't have random visitors or students knocking on or door for help with homework or just to talk like we had often at 318. The quiet was a blessing, but also kind of lonely at times. It was really nice to get away and work on the hard projects that sophomore year provided. The quiet apartment, gave us a break from campus life. Coming into March though, we decided to pursue other options. With tons of furniture in my name, pots and pans galore, and a closets full of everything I own, I set out to find a different option for my housing for next year.
To begin looking is a little bit scary. At first I panicked thinking no one would take me. Then I realized that there were tons of people doing the same thing and trying to fill spots in their own housing situation. Everyone started asking everyone what their plans were. It is amazing to me how much is changing from 2nd to 3rd year in terms of who is living where. I began first by looking people to potentially live in the 2nd bedroom in my apartment. I was really fearful about the move with all the stuff I have. My family is really busy and will not be able to come down to help. But then I had offers to live at other apartments and other homes. A group of four of my friends have a roommate moving out of there five bedroom house. It looks like at this point I am going to go there.
Possible negative changes that I will have to face by moving into a new house include sharing a bathroom with two other girls. I also will have a lot longer walk to school and work. Over the summer I will have to help mow the lawn. In the winter, I will have to help clear the snow. There is storage space to myself, but tons that we can share. I may not be able to add my furniture into the house the way I want. There are a lot of opinions in the house that may override my own.
Bonuses include the house will not be as quiet and lonely. I will get to live with my friends and build closer friendships. It's cheaper about half the price that I pay to live in the apartment I have now! It's across the street and a block down from more of my friends. I will now have access to cable television. It will feel more homey then an apartment. It has a larger kitchen then I have now. There is a lot of communication between house members. This house in particular makes a point to hear everyone's opinion and talk through any conflicts. There is also one person that will collect and handle the bills which it won't be me anymore. I also will get an experience that I have always wanted. And besides college, when else can I live in one house with four friends?
So the adventure continues as people finalize their plans for next year. It is amazing to me how even through this process how much of a family UMR has really become for me. I have had many offers from many people to help me move. They don't care about how long or how much work it will take, they are willing to take a day off to help me get where I need to be. It isn't just a few friend, it includes a list of about 8-10 people that I know that I could possible contact to help me. Some of these people include past roommates, future roommates and good friends. Everyone has been very understanding and trying to help everyone find the best fit for them for next year. Whether it's 318, an apartment or a house, it will all work out and come fall we will be ready to learn.