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Moving stress

February 20, 2012

The move at the end of the summer has been on my mind a lot lately so I might as well just get it out of my head and write it down. I’m starting to stress out a little bit about it, so I’m hoping writing down all the pros and cons of possible options will tame that a bit.

I’ve been looking around at various possible living spaces. I’ve been looking at apartments just for me, apartments with the possibility of roommates, and at a dorm room. All of them have their plus, and all of them definitely have some downsides. I’m leaning heavily towards a dorm room right now (though admittedly it’s going to take a lot of warming up to the idea before I’m happy about it). I applied for a single room, but may get put in a double room if I get accepted into residence. So this entry is really just me trying to convince myself that a dorm is a good idea. If you have any input, please share.

Plus sides of the dorm: all amenities included, which can be hard to find in an apartment. I won’t have to worry about paying a high heating bill all winter on my own, and I won’t have to worry about roommates not paying their share of the bills. If I end up in a double room, at least my roommate will have somewhat similar interests thanks to the questionnaires that they make you fill out for matching roommates (definitely not the case with an apartment). I won’t have to worry about travel at all, since I’ll be living on campus. Distance from a grocery store, pharmacy, entertainment, and doctors won’t really matter since residence includes a mandatory meal plan, and the bus route going straight to the school. There’s also the campus health center and visiting nurse practitioners until I can find a doctor that is accepting new patients.

A dorm would also be much more safe than an apartment, what with the security cameras, guards, and all that jazz (especially the guards). There would be much less space to take care of since it’s just a room, which is a big up side. I haven’t seen the rooms yet in person, but the pictures look better than I thought they would and a sibling confirmed the size and quality of the rooms so that’s got me feeling a bit better about it.

Residence fees only over a school year, not the summer, but if I choose to stay in the dorm over the summer the per-month cost is cut in half, making it cheaper to stay in the dorm over the summer instead of finding an apartment for the summer months. They also have new AC units in each room, so that would be a major plus side for me since heat turns me into a spasming, thoughtless slug.

Down sides of the dorm: obviously, I will have to condense my life down to one room. It’s not as big of a problem as it seems at first, except when it comes to books. I have a LOT of books and am not ok with getting rid of them. I could leave some of them with my sister and just take them back when I’m done school, but I’d have to be awfully careful about which ones I take with me since I use a lot of them for reference on research papers and whatnot. Clothes would also be a bit of a problem, but I could just get some of those vacuum sealed bag things to store things I don’t wear too often. I would still have to get rid of a lot of clothes first though. There are some ways to maximize the room in a dorm, but if it ended up looking cluttered it would drive me insane. The size of the room also means I would have to leave my instruments behind. The noise from them wouldn’t be an issue since I use headphones when I play, but they would just take up too much valuable room.

One of the biggest downsides of the dorm is the price. It’s a bit more expensive for a single dorm room than it is for an apartment with a roommate, and double room is about the same price as a room in a large house with several roommates. It’s not the per-month cost that is the problem though, it’s the fact that it is not paid per month, it’s paid in 2 chunks (fees are paid once per semester). Second semester would be fine since they defer fees until you get your student loan, but that is not an option for the first semester so I would have to pay a few thousand in one chunk during the summer, which may not be possible without working myself to death considering my current living expenses. I have enough in the bank right now to pay both the deposit and first semester fees, but that money is put aside for my current rent for the rest of my current semester. The deposit isn’t a problem, since I can earn that money back fairly quickly from my tutoring work. I may be able to work out a deal with my parents to borrow part of the 1st semester fee until I get my student loan, we’ll see, though I hate borrowing money from them.

Another downside is the roommate. Yes, with the dorm you’re more likely to get a roommate with similar interests and whatnot, but you are also guaranteed a roommate of the same gender. I don’t usually get along with women very well, so this could be a problem. At least with an apartment, I could get a male roommate, but that presents a whole other set of potential problems (particularly safety and whatnot). That is assuming I end up accepted into residence in a double room instead of a single room like I applied for. I have applied fairly early though, so I have better chances of getting a single room.

Tied with the price for the biggest problem with a dorm is accessibility. There are wheelchair accessible rooms, and I’m doing fairly fine now, but that may not stay that way. If I end up relapsing while in a dorm, I’m kinda screwed unless I get a diagnosis before I start school and can fill out paper work. Since I’m still in limbo at the moment though, I could not check off the “accessible room required” option on my application. I’m not quite sure what to do about this situation. Finding an apartment that is accessible has proven to be damn near impossible (I have not found a single apartment or room that is accessible yet).

The meal plan also presents some problems. While the variety is much better when it comes to food than my current campus, it’s still pretty limiting. There are healthy options, but eat the same thing every day and you get sick of it really fast. The meal plan is a bit pricey as well, and there’s no guarantee that I would use it all (and if you don’t use it all, too bad, that’s just money down the toilet). There are some options for cooking in your room, but without use of a stove, they aren’t very good options. There is no opt out of the meal plan, it is mandatory. At least there is a small fridge in each room.

 

Well, this has been…..not all that helpful really. I think I’m going to e-mail the residence manager and ask a few questions about room size, what food things are allowed in the room, etc. *sigh*

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