If you’re like most college students, your first off-campus housing experience will also be the first time you’re completely living on your own. While this is undeniably exciting, it also means you’ll inherit a lot of responsibilities you may not have been exposed to previously. So to make your transition as easy as possible, we’ve designed the following guide to off-campus housing near Virginia Commonwealth University.
Start Your Search Early
Start your apartment search early in the spring semester if you want to secure your top picks. Most college students are looking for the same things when it comes to housing, so it’s likely you’re not the only one interested in a specific unit or community. To get a leg up on the competition, hunt for your next apartment in early April. Some people even recommend starting in late March.
Know Your Budget
Know what you can afford to spend on rent each month before you sign a lease. While it may seem as though financial aid will cover the cost of housing, you need to remember that rent will not be your only fixed expense. Utility costs and grocery bills will also take a significant chunk from your budget. And you’ll definitely want a little bit of play money each month, as well.
Find Some Roommates
Living with roommates is a great way to cut housing costs. As an added bonus, the bonds we form during our college years make it likely that you and your college roommates will be friends for a very long time. However, that’s only the case if there’s mutual respect between roommates regarding household responsibilities and study hours. To avoid the potential for any conflicts between friends, create a roommate agreement early on in the semester so that everyone has the same expectations.
Meet Your Neighbors
Your roommates won’t be the only friends you’ll make while living in off-campus apartments near VCU. You’ll also have plenty of opportunities to build relationships with your neighbors. Remember that creating a mutual respect with these neighbors is just as important as creating a mutual respect with roommates, so make sure you introduce yourself early on to get an idea of what those living around you expect from you.
Use Campus Amenities
While you may prefer your apartment community’s resort style pool over the lap pool at Virginia Commonwealth University, there are other on-campus amenities you’ll still want to use to your advantage. Remember, for example, that the VCU Wellness Center isn’t just about fitness. It also serves as a resource for student health issues.
Get to Class
Getting to and from class may not have been too difficult during your freshman year, but things are different when you live off-campus. To avoid being late to class, you’ll want to wake up early and give yourself plenty of time to get to campus. If you have a car, you’ll need to purchase a parking permit from the VCU Parking and Transportation website. If you don’t have a car, you’ll want to look into alternative means of transportation, like the Greater Richmond Transit Company’s bus routes.
Whether you’re a college sophomore living on your own for the first time, or an experienced young professional looking for graduate student housing near VCU, we hope you found this guide useful and informative.