As West Campus and North Campus pre-leasing and moving time approaches around The University of Texas and Austin Community College Campuses, there are a number of questions plaguing your mind as to what your options are for housing. If you need some advice to if you should seek a roommate or live on your own, look no further. For someone who has lived and moved around Austin for the past ten years, I have seen and experienced it all in terms of housing.
First, you need to think about a few factors in terms of living on your own. Getting your own place can be rewarding, liberating and allows all the privacy and quiet time you desire. Who cares if you have dishes in the sink? It’s your problem, right? And so what, my clothes are on the floor! Or if you are a neat freak like me, you’ll enjoy having a serene, clean place all to yourself. You don’t have to worry about someone else making a mess, taking up the bathroom or eating your food you were saving for after class in the fridge. However, getting a place on your own, especially in West Campus, North Campus and Downtown Austin can get expensive. You have to look at the pros and cons because you will pay more for your own place. There is also no one to split the bills with, you’re responsible for it all. Depending on your personality and how studious you are or not, living on your own can get lonely and boring for a young college student. Having someone to talk to, watch movies with and enjoy your college experience is a great reward and can make life long friends. Again, that depends on your personality.
Second, with roomies, there can be drama. With all the emotions and competitiveness of going to college, getting good grades while keeping a social life can bring on some unwanted drama with a roommate. Especially, since you live together, there is no escaping when you need “you” time and spending that much time with anyone, there is bound to be some spouts of differences. You’re also sharing a kitchen, living room and possibly a bathroom with other people so you have to take others into consideration with cleaning and keeping up the house to ensure mutual respect, which of course sometimes doesn’t happen with all parties.
Third, you also have to keep in mind that most West Campus apartments, condos and houses will have one lease per unit and all parties are responsible for rent and upkeep of the house for the duration of the lease. You are all bound to this contract with one another, most leases are not individual and some damage beyond normal wear and tear can fall on you if the house is not taken care of properly. Also, if rooms are different sizes or one has a bathroom when the other doesn’t, price per person is usually different and established between roommates.
Bottom line: Living on your own has it’s perks and many people enjoy the privacy and feel it’s worth the extra costs. But others tend to prefer living with roommates, especially in your super social years of college. You just have to take into account all of these items discussed above and make the right decision for you! Always KNOW who you’re going to be living with and establish trust and respect for your roommates. You never know, you could create life long friendships!