A Guide to Navigating Off-Campus Housing

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Living in off-campus housing is a completely different experience from sharing a room on campus. You’ll have greater freedom, but this also means more responsibilities, such as preparing your own meals and coordinating with roommates to keep your apartment clean. To ensure a smooth transition into true independence and to gain the maximum benefits from off-campus living, here are a few things you need to consider.

1. Grocery Shopping

You may like to go grocery shopping with your roommates to purchase the basics you’ll all share. If you’ll be eating together and taking turns to cook, you might like to share almost all your groceries. Alternatively, if you’ll each be preparing your own meals, you’ll need a way to separate your food, such as your own shelves and sections in the refrigerator.

2. Chore Schedule

Whereas you’ll each be responsible for keeping your own bedrooms clean, you need to consider common areas like the living room, kitchen, and bathrooms (if you share these). Create a chore schedule to ensure everyone does a fair share and your apartment is always clean.

3. Staying Safe

Living off campus means you need to consider your personal safety when commuting to and from classes and when you’re at home. Choosing an apartment near campus in a safe neighbourhood and with good security features is an important first step, but there are also other things you can do to ensure your safety. For instance, if you’re heading home late, find someone who lives in the same building to walk with. In addition, you should never advertise when your apartment will be empty over a weekend or break.

4. Putting Your Academics First

The additional freedom you’ll have living off campus may make it tempting to put your social life above your academics. It’s important to remember why you’re attending university: to gain a degree. Make sure you only attend social events when you don’t have urgent homework and that you return home by your bedtime when you have an early class the next day.

5. Security Deposit

Take steps to ensure you receive your security deposit back when you move out. This means treating the property with care to avoid damaging anything. If something breaks, let the property manager know to receive a repair as soon as possible and avoid additional problems. Lastly, when you have people over, invite a reasonable number and keep noise down out of respect to others in the building.

6. Choosing Roommates

Pick people to live with who have a similar lifestyle to your own. Consider factors such as how clean you want the apartment, how often you like to socialize, and your approach to academics. Discuss expectations with roommates before you move in to ensure you’ll be comfortable living together.

Crucial to improving your student experience is finding the right apartment. You’ll find the perfect University of Waterloo housing at myREZ. We make living off campus as easy as possible. All utilities are included in the price. You can choose your roommates or take advantage of our roommate matching service. Since the apartments are fully furnished, you can move in immediately. Apply now.

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