DeBlogs > DePaul Deblogs
When it comes down to it, you have more privacy in an apartment than you would in a dorm room. You have the ability to choose the size of your room, how big you want it and how much money you can afford to spend on housing. If done correctly, living in an apartment could save you a good amount of money because you can decide how you want to budget instead of committing to a big payment up front. There’s also the bonus of groceries living without a meal plan. I learned how to cook and how to make meals that I loved with my roommates. We have dinner together every weeknight and I feel like it’s been a good bonding experience as well as a learning opportunity.
Being an adult can be a wonderful experience, but as I mentioned before, it comes with more responsibilities than you may expect. My relationship with money has been pretty rocky for as long as I can remember. After moving into a place that I could call my own, I had to quickly learn how to budget and how to manage my spending. Paying rent and bills can be a bit stressful at times, but in the long run, I feel like I’m learning and growing as an individual and that in itself is worth it to me.
Song of the Week: South London Forever- Florence + The Machine
Living off campus is a whole new type of freedom. You feel like a real adult. It is very stressful going to see open houses and filling out paperwork to sign for an apartment but it is so rewarding. I lived in an off-campus apartment, about a 10-minute walk to the Lincoln Park campus, my sophomore year of college and it was about the best thing that could have happened. I ended up staying for my junior year too because my apartment was just perfect.
Freshman year is a year of discovery, seeing who you are outside of your family and usual friends. Sophomore year, at least for me, was the year of being a real adult. I had to figure out rent, utilities, and grocery shopping. I had to make sure I wear presentable clothes to class because I’m walking around in the real world, not just on the DePaul campus. I had to leave time to walk to class. I had to fit grocery shopping into my schedule, meal-planning, and cooking, in order to have food for the week.
Although it may be stressful, living off campus is definitely rewarding and totally worth it. I feel like I understand “adulting” more than I did living in a dorm. I assume not being in college will make living in an apartment different because I’ll have to juggle money and job-hunting, but it is good to know that I have the basics down of how to get an apartment and how to live in one. Once it is time for me to graduate, I feel as if I can handle the real world a little better.
Freshmen Year: University Hall (U-Hall for short!)
My first dorming experience was in U-Hall, a large brick building right off the Quad. I loved being able to look out the window by my desk and see whatever activity was occurring just outside. I was one of few lucky students who had a bathroom attached to the dorm room, which was an awesome benefit for the late night showers that I tended to take. Here is a photo of my half of the room, decorated for my birthday by my lovely roommate Molly. Though you may be scared of heights, I definitely recommend lofting your bed to create more room!
Sophomore Year: Centennial Apartments
The deadly combination of living above Whole Foods, being a few feet from the el, and the stunning view, makes Centennial my absolute favorite housing experience. There I lived with my best friend Olivia in a studio apartment, which meant that we did not have a full door on our bedroom. But we did have a large bathroom and living room and we attached a curtain to the half wall to create a door.
Summer Before Junior Year: Seton Hall
As I transitioned between my two on-campus apartments, I lived solo in a triple in Seton Hall for a summer. Though this is not the traditional living arrangement within that hall, it did give me my first taste of community bathrooms, which were always super clean. In case you have not heard, the other benefit of Seton is the HUGE walk-in closets that can literally house a single bed if you wanted to move in there! I definitely missed leaving that.
Junior Year: Sheffield Square
My last on-campus experience was in Sheffield Square, which was the most like a traditional apartment. Though I still shared a bedroom with Olivia, this time we had a door! We also had a huge kitchen, living room, and study, as well as a front and back door for easy access to classes. The one drawback was that we lived in the garden unit, which meant that we did not get much natural lighting.
Senior Year: Off Campus (corner of Sheffield and Webster)
Currently, I am living above CorePower Yoga in a one-bedroom apartment because Olivia decided to move back home. I am so close to campus that it still feels like I am on campus, but most people who live in my building are young professionals as opposed to students. It is a nice transition now that I am a senior and I am preparing to live independently myself.
My dorm arrangement was a quad consisting of two sets of bunk beds with myself being on top. The benefits of being the top is that you feel less confined, especially if you live in Seton where the ceilings are high. The drawbacks are that the temperature up there is a toasty twenty degrees different than your lower bunk counterpart, and having to climb a ladder every time you want to get to and from your bed, and that you’ll need some time to overcome the fear that you’ll roll over right off the top bunk.
Privacy, there is none. With three roommates, a communal style bathroom and shower room, the only time I could ever feel alone was at the library’s third floor, a.k.a. the quiet study floor. As for eating, my diet primarily consisted of what the Student Center has to offer due to the meal plan, however, it would also be fairly difficult to maintain home cookware for the dorms since the only stove is in the lounge and there is minimal storage for pots, pans, and dishware. When I look back to freshman year as opposed to my current situation where I have my own room, I wonder how I was ever able to live in such conditions. Yet, I kind of miss those days. Those were times of meeting the new people that lived all around me and immersing myself in a new city that I would call home. The struggle of dorm life was not so much a struggle after all, but rather a humbling experience that propelled me into the college experience I yearned for.
Typically, the rooms in Munroe consist of two people to a room along with a Jack and Jill style bathroom, although, there are single rooms available. The university provides detailed layouts, as well as virtual tours of each dorm building, on the housing website- which I definitely took advantage of. I grew to love my dorm for the views of the city’s skyline and location on campus. Living in the dorms has been one of the best decisions I’ve made. My random roommate became my closest friend here and the reason I’ve had so many incredible experiences. If you’re still looking for a place to live next year, consider Munroe, you won’t regret it!
And just in case you’re still packing, here’s a list of things you may not think to bring to college:
Song of the Week: West- Sleeping at Last
Also with the UC being a skyscraper, you can possibly have a great view depending on your floor. My roommate and I had a great view of the lake if you peaked your head out of the window enough. Living so close to the lake was also one of my favorite things about living there. The lakefront trail was less than a mile away and I could go for a short run to the museum campus with a beautiful view.
Although it sometimes feels like I missed out on the “normal” freshman year of a DePaul student I’m glad I got a different experience because I was able to see a lot of different things being in the loop that others didn’t. I’m more familiar with downtown than I thought I would be.
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.
DePaul is quite unique in terms of housing because they don’t require students to live on campus during any of your undergraduate years. However many students still choose to live in on-campus dorms during their freshman year and sometimes beyond. Like the majority of incoming students, I also chose to live in the dorms my first year. As an out of state student, I wanted to meet as many new people as possible and get accustomed to DePaul’s campus and the Lincoln Park neighborhood. Choosing to stay on campus my first year was absolutely the right decision for me and I'm so glad I got to experience dorm life as a first-year student.
After my freshman year, I moved into my first apartment with a couple of friends I met from my dorm. Apartment hunting at 19 definitely isn’t fun and honestly is not something I would recommend. In the end, we found a great place right in the heart of Wrigleyville. Living in an apartment is totally different from living in a dorm on campus. It’s a great way to get your own space, but it also comes with a lot more responsibility.
I ended up moving to my second apartment for my last two years of school and it’s my favorite yet. Living in Wrigleyville is fun, but is definitely a lot to handle. Overall, I love the unique experience DePaul students get by being able to experience living in off-campus apartments anywhere in the city. I’ve got to explore so many different neighborhoods and discover amazing restaurants, coffee shops, and shopping. While most students choose to live off campus in either their sophomore or junior years, on-campus dorms are always an option as well. I haven’t had a traditional college housing journey, but it was definitely a fun one.
Now if you are going random, you are leaving it all up to fate. You cannot blame yourself if the situation does not work out like you might do if you had chosen your “friend.” Either way, you can, of course, remedy the situation with a housing transfer if you really needed to, but I would be less willing to do this if I felt like it was partly my fault.
Now here’s something else to keep in mind, you don’t have to be best friends with your roommate! I definitely would not consider my roommate freshman year my best friend, or even a good friend really, but we still had a great room-lationship (and she helped me get a job, which I still work at four years later—thanks, Molly!). When you aren’t best friends with your roomie, it makes it easier to put yourself out there and meet a lot of new people during your first year, which is incredibly important.
So I encourage you to save your energy and don’t make a Facebook post. Instead, wait to meet people in real life and roll the dice with a random roommate!
Being from another state has pushed me to be more independent and reliant on myself. Rather than being able to call my parents to come check out an apartment I am interested in, I have to be attentive and responsible and decide for myself whether it seems like a safe place to live and a good fit. Instead of going home when I get sick or have had a hard week like some of my friends are able to do, I do not have that option. Being completely on my own has pushed me to succeed on my own without falling back on anyone else, and I am proud of the accomplishments I have achieved while living here in Chicago.
Another thing that going to school in another state has taught me is to treasure the time I have with my family and friends at home. When I fly home for Thanksgiving in a couple weeks, I will not have been home for eight whole months! Since this is the case, when I do have a few days at home I make sure that I take full advantage of them. Rather than spending any time watching Netflix in my room, I’m usually hanging out with my grandma, going on lunch dates with friends I rarely see, or catching up with my five siblings. I don’t waste a single moment because I understand how precious this time truly is.
Although it is difficult when one of my roommates meets her family downtown for dinner and I’m missing my family, or my other roommate calls her parents to bring her something she forgot at home and I crave that convenience, I do not regret my decision to go to school in another state. I would not be the person I have become if I had not pushed myself to do this, and there is truly no place I would rather be than living and learning in Chicago. My experience at DePaul is simply not something I would have been able to have at any school in Ohio where I am from.
Q: What’s the quarter system like?
A: The quarter system is fast, but I love it! It gives you a chance to take way more classes and if you don’t like a class very much, it is over in just ten weeks. But it can be difficult because midterms and finals definitely sneak up on you. As long as you are organized and proactive in completing your reading and assignments, you will do great!
Q: How do you stay on top of your academics?
A: Break up large assignments into smaller tasks, so you don’t feel totally overwhelmed. Force yourself to write drafts of essays before they are actually due. Ex. Midterm Paper is due in two weeks, but MY first draft is due in one week. Reward yourself! Ex. If I finish this chapter, I will watch a 20-minute show on Netflix (but don’t forget to return to your work!!)
Q: What are professors like? How are they different from teachers in high school?
A: Professors, in my experience, are always eager to help! But they won’t necessarily check in with you as often as high school teachers might. I recommend looking at the syllabus to see if they have listed specific office hours, so you can meet with them individually. Be proactive and seek help and professors will respect that you are trying to succeed.
Q: What happens if you are absent?
A: If you are sick and cannot make it to class, email your teacher. It is best to stay in good communication to show that you care and want to be on top of your schoolwork. Additionally, try and get a doctor’s note. You should bring your doctor’s note to Dean of Students so that you can get an excused absence.
Q: How do you meet people?
A: You can meet people in so many different ways: get involved with a club, go to DePaul sponsored events (DePaul Activities Board has tons of many events), try out group fitness classes at the Ray Meyer Center, attend DePaul sporting events, talk to people in your classes, hangout in the common areas of your dorm, eat at the Student Center, and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there!
Q: What’s the best part about DePaul?
A: The best part about DePaul is being in the middle of the best city in the United States! There is always something fun to do and with your Ventra pass included in the price of tuition, there’s no excuse not to explore the city.
After mass ended, a student announced that any freshmen interested in attending a first-year student retreat should meet at the back of the church. I had attended a few retreats in high school and enjoyed them, so I decided to stay. And boy am I glad that I did! There was a small group of students gathered to learn more information and I introduced myself to one of the girls standing there.
“I’m Olivia,” I said nervously. “No way, I’m Olivia too!” she smiled. I laughed and I asked her if she was going to go on the retreat. She nodded and so we both signed up. We continued to talk as we walked out of church together, finding out that we both wanted to be high school English teachers too. A few weeks later we were reunited on the retreat and became inseparable ever since!
Flash-forward to today and we are still best friends. We lived together for two years (sophomore year in Centennial Hall and junior year in Sheffield Square ) and have more similarities than we can count. But we also have our differences and we use these to challenge each other to become even better people. The only thing better than being friends with Olivia is being able to introduce ourselves as “Olivia and Olivia” wherever we go because we are almost always together.
It’s crazy to think that I would have never met Olivia if I didn’t put myself out there in attending mass alone that second day of freshman year. Sometimes you want to do things that others you know may not want to do and in doing that you can meet new people that you have something (or in my case, almost everything) in common with. So don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and try new things, alone or otherwise!
Both my mom and my oldest sister graduated from DePaul, but that does not mean that it was the school that I always thought I would be attending. To be honest, I originally imagined myself at a school much further from my hometown of La Grange, IL. However, health complications that came up during my high school career made that choice a bit unrealistic, so I applied to a few universities much closer to home: Loyola, Marquette, Michigan State, Indiana, and of course DePaul.
When I visited DePaul, I totally loved it. I had been to Chicago so many times before, but being in Lincoln Park was completely new to me. I was surprised that the city that I thought I knew so well had so much more to offer me. Walking down Belden, Kenmore, and Webster I felt the homey vibe of a close-knit neighborhood, which I had never expected in the middle of the third biggest city in the nation. It was so cool to see DePaul’s quad nestled in the midst of it all, so central, but yet so intimate. I could definitely see myself here. It was close to home, but it felt a world away.
After that visit, I started thinking more and more about DePaul. I knew that I wanted to major in Secondary English Education and DePaul would be the perfect link to Chicago Public Schools, giving me a much more diverse experience than my own high school gave me. That is the beauty of attending a city school—you are surrounded by amazing, worldly opportunities rather than being isolated in a small college town. There is absolutely never a dull moment! Whether you are interested in art, music, sports, comedy, or food, there is something for you to do each and every day with the U-Pass at your fingertips.
After my first quarter at DePaul, I knew I made the right decision. Not only was I living in one of the best cities in the world, but I was also surrounded by people who wanted to make a difference. If you don’t already know, DePaul is a Vincentian community that prides itself on its commitment to service and social justice by asking the question: “What Must Be Done? ” This was not something that swayed me in my decision to apply because I was not fully aware of its meaning, but it certainly made me feel a lot more fulfilled when I arrived and embraced the mission of the University.
So, what must be done? Your application to DePaul University of course! You’ll never know if you don’t apply!
When I was searching for colleges and universities I was easily overwhelmed with things like acceptance rates and test scores, so much so it led me to not apply to schools that I was interested in. I’ve realized that the college admission process is so much more than what your grade point average is or how well you did on one test. Instead of calculating the chances you have of getting into your dream school, skip the doubt and apply to as many schools as you can.
A major reason why I applied to DePaul was because I knew they had an incredible Public Relations/Advertising program. However, I also had to think about the possibility that I would change my major or career path sometime throughout college. DePaul offers so many different areas of study that I knew I could find something I loved even if I did end up going in a completely different direction.
Often times at DePaul you hear people saying “the city is our classroom” and the phrase could not be more true. It’s one thing to learn out of a textbook, but it’s an entirely different experience getting to test your knowledge out in the real world. The fact that DePaul is situated in one of the best cities in the world is another reason that led me to apply. Chicago offers thousands of jobs and internships across the city, and DePaul is the best resource to help students land their dream position.
I also loved the fact that DePaul is a university founded on Vincentian values, so much so that the school was named after St. Vincent de Paul himself. I was thrilled that DePaul could offer me an amazing college education, but it’s the things DePaul offers outside education that truly led me to apply here. From community service organizations to student government, Greek life, professional development and recreational sports, there is literally something for everyone here at DePaul.
DePaul has been a dream school for myself and thousands of other students across the globe. Good luck to all high school seniors with the college application process, and I encourage each of you to apply to be a blue demon!
If you thought you missed your mom’s home cooked meals when you were in the dorms, you were very wrong. Coming home after a long day of classes and having to figure out what you want to eat is one of the most stressful things. Of course, the possibilities are endless compared to the stu food, but who has the time to make food? You’ll most likely end up popping some frozen food in the oven or make some pasta. Also, don’t forget you have to go grocery shopping about every week. Where’s the best place to buy groceries ? What groceries do you need? What won’t go bad fast? Which brand is the best? Is $2.49 too much for strawberries?
I usually don’t mind cleaning, but there is so much more to clean and so many other housekeeping things that need to be done than I thought. Dust accumulates dramatically in my apartment and sweeping and mopping have become an everyday ritual. There are always dishes to be washed and put away, bathrooms that need cleaning, and tons of laundry to be done. I finally understand how much my mom does to keep our house put together.
The good thing is that I have finally become super aware of the value of a dollar (my parents have waited 20 years for this day). Having the amount of rent in mind along with having to pay bills for utilities has made well aware of the amount of money I have to put away for necessities.
Although an apartment is an absurd amount of work, it becomes a place that you can make your (and your roommates’) own. You can add the little things that make it cozy enough for a place you and your friends can kick it. My first apartment is making me realize how fast I’m growing up and is definitely preparing me for more adult responsibilities I will have in the future.
Seating storage: When you’re living in a dorm you need to take advantage of storage wherever you can get it. Seating storage is a great way to add another sitting area to a small dorm room while also getting a small space to store your things. This is the exact seat I had when I lived in the dorms.
Closet storage: Again, I can’t stress how important storage is. I was mildly horrified when I walked into my dorm room and saw how small the closet was. But fear not, the way you use the space is far more important. From shoe organizers to hanging shelves, closet storage will seriously save your life while you live in a dorm.
Microwavable mug: Not going to lie, this is an item everybody should have, whether you live in a dorm room or not. A big, microwave-safe mug (like this one) is seriously a genius invention. You can use it for the essential college meals, like microwave mac and cheese, but it can also be used in an attempt to actually cooking a real meal. You can make things like steamed vegetables, mug cakes, and even omelets!
Miscellaneous dorm room essentials: Throughout the year you’ll find yourself needing the most random things for your room. Among those are TONS of command hooks, velvet hangers, a mini tool kit, a first aid kit, and a Brita water filter.
Happy dorm living!
Upon moving in, I quickly realized the benefits, and drawbacks, from renting an apartment off-campus. What I like thus far is definitely having the luxury of your own bedroom. The room itself is about the size of the four-person dorm I roomed in freshman year, so to say the privacy and space is appreciated would be an understatement. The living room is the size of the entire room of the two-person apartment of Centennial I was in last year. These comparisons are not meant to downsize DePaul’s living accommodations, but more so to brag about how lucky we were to find this huge apartment. Living off-campus, you also get the sense of having more independence and less supervision - whether that supervision came in the form of checking into your building or having cameras on you wherever you go. However, where there are pros there are cons.
The first thing to note is the location. Yes, Lakeview is a very nice neighborhood and not far north, but it still does not compare to living on campus where I would leave five minutes prior to when my class starts in Lincoln Park or having the Ray and CTA trains conveniently located minutes away. Another downside is the monthly expenses you have to set up and pay for. Cable, Internet, heating, AC, electricity, water, laundry, and printers are all provided on the room and board expenses. As of now, we only have Wi-Fi in our apartment. No TV channels, pay $1.25 a load for laundry, and the electricity bill. For our place, water and heat are covered but the heat it is not controlled inside the units and is in the form of steam that comes from radiators. We also have no AC.
I realized I did not want to live at DePaul forever, and getting an apartment off-campus was ultimately the only option for me unless I commuted from home. I’m not advising as to which form of housing you should go for, but to look into the expenses for both.
Every year at DePaul my belongings seem to multiply. Freshman year everything was able to fit in my Dad’s Jeep. Moving out Senior year – let’s just say it took some strategic thinking and a few car loads. If you choose to live on campus all four years you’ll likely go from a compact residence hall room to an apartment with your own living room and kitchen. Many of the items I've accumulated such as pots and artwork I'll use into adulthood - but I had a lot of clothes that I wasn't in need of anymore. Here's a few spots near the Lincoln Park campus to donate your used items and give back to the community:
In light of the big and exciting new changes approaching
quickly in my life, I can’t help but reflect on the decisions I’ve made to get
to where I am. Not only has DePaul prepared me academically for my next steps,
but has also encouraged me to take ownership over my life – by renting an
apartment, engaging in my community and working in the city I feel more
prepared for post-grad life than I ever though I would! Here are a few things
I’m SO glad I did during my time at DePaul, which I may not have done otherwise
at another university.
Opened up a credit card
It seems terrifying, but opening up a
credit card was one of the best decisions I made during college. Building
credit is really important when you’re looking for an apartment, a car and sometimes
even a job! I was able to nail down my first post-college apartment without
help from my parents because of my good credit and references. Discover is
great for a student card!
Lived off campus
Living in my own apartment during college
taught me the importance of knowing how to cook, clean and get along with
people in small places. I learned how to grocery shop on a budget, compare
internet providers and slowly acquired furniture to take to my next home.
I have never been a very religious person,
but one of my first missions when I moved to Chicago was to find a church
community. By becoming a member at St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, I made
some of my closest friends, networked with professionals in the area and built
relationships with people I can rely on. I had a supportive environment to
escape to when school was getting me down – I will miss St. Paul’s when I move
Not only has DePaul given me the resources to
be a phenomenal teacher, but has also provided me with the skills necessary to
transition smoothly into adult life. (I’m realizing this now more than ever
before!) I’ve been very fortunate to learn and grow in this amazing city – I know I’ll be back sooner or later!
1. Do your research
before making a decision.
What is the mission of the college? What academic resources
will you have access to? What kinds of clubs are available? Will there be
internship opportunities? What are the perks of being a student at DePaul?
Where is the campus? What are the facilities like? What are the college’s
strengths and weaknesses? Can you study abroad?
Check out these amazing DePaul resources: The Writing Center, Career Center, Ray Meyer Fitness Center, University Counseling, DePaul Central, Financial Fitness Program, Study Abroad Program
All incoming undergraduate music students are guaranteed on-campus housing. What does
this mean? As long as you get your housing paperwork in on time, you will not be turned away or put on a
wait list. Keep in mind that you are not required to live on campus – though we
do suggest it for your first year at DePaul! Field trips, free food and new friends? who wouldn't want to live on campus.
3. Sit in on classes,
take a tour and pick a current student’s brain.
The Music School is currently offering 1:30pm info sessions and tours Monday-Friday, but we are more than happy to arrange custom visits to
show you why DePaul is the place to be! Want to see a music theory class, intro
to music education or orchestra rehearsal? How about a tour of our new and
improved practice rooms? Call or email the music admissions office to set up a
4. Join the Official
DePaul University Class of 2020 Facebook page.
You’ll be able to ask questions and get to know other
admitted students! DePaul organizations often post useful information about
housing, orientation and exciting events designed just for you. Also “like” the
DePaul School of Music page for updates about current students, construction
and fun facts!
Choosing a university can be really challenging with high
attendance costs and (potentially) leaving home for the first time. I hope that
you will consider DePaul for your next educational journey! As always, you can
contact the music admissions office with any questions or concerns – you might
even get me on the phone! DePaul is a great place to be, and I think you will
If you’re not in the Honors Program, I would still recommend Seton Hall. Seton has the biggest rooms and the biggest closets. Last year, I didn’t have to worry about what shoes to bring or what clothes to pack; I had the luxury of being able to bring my entire closet.
My walk in closet at Seton Hall was so large, that I would often use the space to talk on the phone. It was a dream come true. I hope that someday in my life when I’m a working professional I will have a closet like I did my freshman year of college. I never thought I’d type that sentence when I was in high school.
Additionally, having high ceilings really opens up the rooms in Seton as well. I could stand up on my lofted bed and still not be able to reach the ceiling to give you an idea of how tall my room was.
Tyler’s Hot Track of the Week:This week’s hot track comes from Eels. His album Hombre Lobo: 12 Songs of Desire is rad to say the least. Give it a good, hard listen. Enclosed is one of my preferred tracks from that joint.