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Joe Hendrix

Freshman Year Housing

Choosing where to live can be a surprisingly difficult part of freshmen year of college. Who you live next door to can affect so many things; such as who you become friends with, who you don’t like, who you never want to see again, if you’ll ever get a noise complaint, or whether you will ever have to file a noise complaint. This train of thinking can lead to a lot of spiraling thoughts. Don’t worry, I’m here to let you know that none of that matters. What you should care about most is what you think is going to be best for you. The things I’ve listed already are factors you cannot predict and are out of your control, so focus on what you can control.

I would suggest all freshmen live on campus​ (if possible of course) because that is the best way to really get a feel for campus life and how things work at DePaul. Living on campus gives you the opportunity to meet people not only from your dorm but other living areas as well. Being on campus also gives you the option to go to a campus event at the drop of a dime. That being said, you might need to research the prices of certain dorms to make it work with your financial situation. Some dorms are more expensive than others and have different types of amenities. However, wherever you decide to live just get involved. Be friendly, meet people around you, and don’t be a shut-in. I met some of my best friends halfway through freshmen year and it turned out they lived two doors down from me. You never know what’ll happen if you say hello to someone next door.


Off-Campus Living

Today I want to give some helpful advice for those who are considering off-campus housing and how to go about finding a place that is right for you. First and foremost, unless you absolutely can’t afford it I would suggest living on campus freshmen year. It helps you meet other incoming freshmen and make connections you otherwise wouldn’t be able to make if you weren’t always in the same vicinity. And trust me, friendships like that can change things dramatically. Outside of freshmen year though it is common for most upperclassmen is to find an off-campus apartment to live in. And that means no longer relying on just your meal plan (i.e. buying groceries and cooking) which can be a radical change for a lot of students (especially if you’re coming from out of state). So, what I would suggest is trying to find an apartment with friends you trust in an area near transportation (I’d say redline would be ideal as it never stops running as opposed to the Brown or Purple line). Apartments are incredibly expensive though, so unless you’ve got parents willing to bankroll things for you (and I know some of you do) working and saving money is a necessity. It took me an entire summer of being frugal and working as hard as I could to just barely afford to move into my current apartment. Thank God for refund checks and financial aid because that’s what allows me to keep living in my apartment. So, don’t fret, off-campus living is a possibility, it just means it’ll take some work.