For most likely the first time in your life, it’s time to decide where you personally want to live. Daunting? Yes. Exciting? Of course. Expensive? Sadly, yes.
I had no idea where I wanted to room my freshman year at DePaul. It’s hard to know what the dorms actually look like from raw floor plans and some dimensions. Based on a recommendation from my advisor, I ended up living on the Honors Floor in Seton Hall
. Living on the Honors Floor was one of the best decisions I made my freshman year. If you’ve been accepted into the Honors Program
and are considering rooming on the floor, I would highly recommend it.
As an honors student, your classes are capped at around 20 students. You will most likely get to know your classmates very well throughout your 10 weeks in class. Because of this, it is really nice to be just around the corner from classmates for homework advice. It’s easy to collaborate on projects and be in the loop about Honors Program events.
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.
If this is your second year at DePaul, I would highly recommend that you go on the apartment search. It can save you a few thousand dollars by not living in the dorms. Grab a few close friends you can see yourself living with, and hit up websites such as Craigslist, Padmapper, and Domu. It’s important to be wary of false advertisements and always make sure to see the space in person before signing any documents or giving money. I found my current apartment via Craigslist. While this may seem super sketchy, if you’re safe and smart, there are definitely some good spaces on Craigslist.
My number one tip for apartment hunters is to respond quickly and act fast. Apartments go really fast in the city, especially around this time of year. Being on top of new postings and listings will only work to your advantage.
Living on your own in an apartment with your name on the lease teaches you a lot about living in the real world. While apartment life has been no means been a perfect experience (i.e. water heater/fireplace leaks, broken washing machines, pipes freezing, and loud neighbors), it’s been completely rewarding.
Good luck as you search for a place to squat for the next year of your life. Remember it’s not about where you are, but what you make of it!
Year two already?! Seriously, where did the time go? Now that I’m a big, bad sophomore, I’ve got A LOT more on my plate this year. Despite the stress and the difficulty of finding time to sleep, I wouldn’t want it any other way!
Well I’ll probably spend my next few blog posts shamelessly plugging various DePaul student groups, I think it’s important to give a shout out to all the high schoolers out there! Whether you’re itching to get out of high school or you’re already feeling nostalgic, remember to take a few moments of the year to appreciate where you’re at.
A lot of things in high school prepared me for life in college, and I think it’s important to not take this time of your life for granted. I mean, your textbooks are free...I didn’t understand how beautiful this concept was until it was too late. Cherish your free textbooks, hold them close at night.
That being said, college is of course, quite awesome. This year I have embarked on a new journey: independent living. And man, is it an interesting one. I’m currently living off the Belmont Red Line stop on the edge of Lakeview and Wriglyville with my two roommates (S/O to Emily and Marcus!)
With a monthly rent payment and bills with my name on it, I think it’s safe to say that I am officially living the life of a poor college student. Although I’ve eaten my fair share of Ramen in the past month, I do have to say that my new status doesn’t upset me. I think that being a poor college student is a right of passage as a young adult. And being able to say that I am renting my own apartment in Chicago makes every night of Ramen worth it.
Independent living forces you to learn a lot of life lessons in a short period of time. But for the life lessons you need advice on, it’s great to call up the parental units. I’ve called my parents at any odd hour to ask them any questions regarding: when mushrooms go bad, what temperature is appropriate to turn the heat on, advice for heckling a landlord, how to get rid of bacon grease, thawing meat in a jiff, ya know, typical subjects that parents have a wealth of knowledge on.
I’m sure I’ll have some great blogs about independent living this upcoming year. Be sure to stay tuned for the mishaps, successes, laughs, and more life lessons! I can guarantee you that there will be all of the above.
As you soak in the rays and enjoy your last summer before the beginning of your new life, your parents may or may not start to nag you about finding out what books you need. Or perhaps who your roommate is. And also the date you should move in. And if you need to increase your meal plan. And if you should get the towel hook with three hooks or four. And how many picture frames should you buy. And do you want to bring that chair in the basement that no one uses…you get the point.
While the summer before college can be very fun and somewhat nostalgic, there are some things to plan out before coming to DePaul in the fall!
Roommate decisions are mailed out with plenty of time to contact your roommate and make the necessary living arrangements. Pretty standard questions to ask are questions like:
- What appliances should we bring? (I.e. fridge, microwave, etc.)
- Shall we have a futon or chairs to accommodate our guests
- The carpets are very bland so do we want a rug?
- Should we color coordinate or just let fate decide?
Don’t worry about setting room rules with your future roomie or anything like that. RAs take care of all that fun stuff the week you move in. Getting to know your roommate through casual conversation before you move in can also be helpful in making your first encounter a little less awkward. My roommate and I met before we moved in and planned everything out so moving in was a cinch! I’m going to miss her this summer!
As for getting books and scheduling your classes, tell your parents that this cannot be done until orientation. At orientation this summer, you will play thousands of ice breakers. Regardless of the activity at orientation, you will more importantly register for classes. The earlier your summer orientation the better; classes fill up on a first come, first serve basis. If your orientation is later in the summer, don’t panic however! You have so many options your first quarter at DePaul that there isn’t even a chance that you won’t get some classes that you want.
When school is a few weeks in the distant future, normally professors will e-mail you a syllabus or a quick introduction to the class and themselves. On the syllabus the necessary books will be listed. I like to buy my books before class starts just so I don’t have to worry about the bookstore running out or shipping nightmares, but that’s just kind of a personal preference type thing. Make sure that your campus connect e-mail is up to date in order to receive this very important information!!!
Overall, just enjoy your summer! Odds are your parents are worried more than you are. Or, if they are like my parents, they will not acknowledge the fact that you are moving out because of the denial they feel. Regardless, just realize that everything will work out in the end! Be patient and figure everything out as it comes up!
Last weekend I had the privilege of going to see The Wizard of Oz on Broadway with my residence hall FOR FREE! I am the champion at taking advantage of free events. Generally, the residence halls will host a few events per quarter for residents to go to. In the past we have had opportunities to grab tickets to free events such as Broadway tickets to the musical Chicago, Chicago Bulls tickets, an outing to an apple orchard, and we just had an opportunity to get Cubs vs. Sox tickets last week (Shout out to our Residence Director Amanda for arranging these awesome events! Seton Hall is the bomb).
These events are always fun because normally my whole floor participates, and the Wizard of Oz was no exception. In my opinion, the play was geared towards families with young kids rather than college students (no surprise there) but I definitely am one to enjoy the corniness of family humor. Our seats were pretty much nosebleed status seats and I think I need glasses so I definitely couldn't see any distinct features, but the play overall was pretty good.
A lot of crazy technology and screens were used and I thought the tornado scene in the beginning was pretty awesome. A video of twirling madness and farm junk swirled through the air as a smoke machine helped to also set the mood. The best part of the play was Toto!!!! Played by a real life dog named Nigel, the dog was so obedient throughout the whole play and ran on command and jumped on command and possible even barked on command (that might have been pre recorded but it's Broadway so I'll assume no.) Nigel is so famous and he doesn't even know it. That dog is going places just you wait.
The Wizard of Oz was shown at the Cadillac Palace right off of the Lake Red Line stop. About an 18-minute trip away from campus! I've been to this theatre before and it's so beautiful inside. With chandeliers and ornate walls, Palace is the perfect word for its name. Additionally, the Cadillac Palace is across the street from the best restaurant in the world called Petterinos. Although I didnt get a change to grab a nice (not to mention expensive) dinner there, if you're ever in the city and want dinner and a show, Petterinos and then the Cadillac Palace is the route to go. Overall, I'm so glad I got the opportunity to go to the Wizard of Oz and cant wait for our next great Seton outing!
I hope finals and your last days of school are going well! Especially for those seniors! It'
s crazy how much will happen during this next year, but always remember to enjoy the moment and every once in a while to think back to where your journey began : )