College is an exciting and changing time in our lives and for most of us, this is the first time we live on our own without mom and dad. Renting a place can have many pros and cons and be full of unsuspecting surprises. Many people may not be aware that there are laws that can protect you. There also may be many things you didn’t take in to account when you signed your lease.
For many people going away to college, you may choose to live in a residence hall. Living in residence halls can be very fun, depending on the type of person you are. Something that can make living in the halls easier for people is getting to know your RA. For a lack of better terms, you want to be on their good side. Become friends with them. They know of all the events happening on campus and chances are they can tell you places off campus to visit. They can help you create a better college experience. Also keep your door open, this is the best way to get to know people and make new friends.
Most of the time, college students can’t wait to live off campus. I’ve personally been very happy with both. But there are things that you take for granted when you live in the halls. You don’t have to spend time on making food or washing dishes and laundry machines are located conveniently down the hall. So here are a few tips that I have learned; Invest in renters insurance. For example my policy, covers my apartment, my professional digital camera, my MacBook Pro and liability insurance on my dog for about $14 a month. Quite the deal right? My policy covers situations where my apartment gets broken into and my belongings get stolen, if the house burns down, if there is a party and someone wrecks the house, even if this is all my fault or not.
If you are living with a bunch of people, when you first move in, take pictures of EVERYTHING you bought for the apartment even if its small trivial stuff. Chances are, when you move out you will want to take all of these things with you. But are you going to remember who bought the green bowls and who bought the red ones? Maybe you will, but just in case you don’t you will have photographic proof.
When you go grocery shopping, only buy food that you know you will eat and won’t go bad. If you work and are taking a full credit load, are you really going to have time to prepare that chicken recipe you found? One quick way to spend and loose money is by buying food that you won’t eat. Get a list of quick recipes that you can make and take on the go.
Have you looked up your renters rights? You and your landlord have laws that can protect you both in case something were to happen. You can find more info at http://www.legislature.mi.gov/publications/tenantlandlord.pdf
Whether you choose to live on or off campus, just make sure you make the best of it! These college years will go by quicker than you think!