I decided to write this blog post on contract renewal not to tell you what to do but to guide you through the process. I have been through this decision making process and I wish someone gave me some thinking points to consider. Today, I was on my way to the Windsor Dining Hall (getting lost actually) when I passed a few girls talking about whether to live in the University Residences or to move out. There are things that you should consider before making a quick decision. I have lived in Residence Halls before and I have also lived off-campus. While in college, I worked for an apartment company as well. I can offer you multiple sides to this conundrum.
One of the main things that becomes a deciding factor in this process is money. The group of girls that I passed were discussing this aspect. Most people think that living in an apartment is much cheaper but there are factors left out of the apartment rent pricing.
In University Residences you get free: electricity, water, sewage, trash service, transportation, cable, internet and furniture. Something else that I thought was important is you do not have to clean your bathrooms. Trust me on this one, this matters. If you partake in one of the dining plans you also have food always available to you. You pay two fees: living and dining.
In an apartment complex you have to pay for: electricity, water, sewage, trash, transportation, parking, cable, internet, groceries and furniture. Some of these things may come included in the rent but usually its very few. You have to realize you are taking on a responsibility of paying monthly bills (rent, electricity, water/sewage, cable/internet, etc.) and there are monetary and disciplinary consequences to forgetting to pay or paying late. When worrying about your 2 exams, 3 quizzes and 4 reading assignments, it’s going to be difficult to remember to pay the rent, electricity and cable on time. Not to mention splitting it between roommates evenly and making them pay you back in a timely manner (this may seem easy but trust me it’s not).
Another thing to think about is friends/roommates. How many friends have you made in the University Residences? Think about how many more you could make! Living in a place where a group of diverse individuals have so many things in common makes for a great experience. You are all located in the same place that is easily accessible. Encourage your friends to sign up for their same room and you can all be on the same floor!
Ultimately, this decision is up to you. I urge you to take time and do the math. Think of any fee that you would have to incur in either situation and see which works for you. If you are honest with the math (and don’t forget groceries!) I believe you will be joining the 917 residents who have already signed up!