The Daily Illini

Editorial: Don’t rush into your home away from home

A+Campus+Property+Management%27s+apartment+building+located+on+S.+Fifth+street.+The+Daily+illini+Editorial+Board+believes+that+students+should+be+careful+when+signing+for+a+housing+arrangement+early+in+the+year.
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Editorial: Don’t rush into your home away from home

A Campus Property Management's apartment building located on S. Fifth street. The Daily illini Editorial Board believes that students should be careful when signing for a housing arrangement early in the year.

A Campus Property Management's apartment building located on S. Fifth street. The Daily illini Editorial Board believes that students should be careful when signing for a housing arrangement early in the year.

Lily Katz

A Campus Property Management's apartment building located on S. Fifth street. The Daily illini Editorial Board believes that students should be careful when signing for a housing arrangement early in the year.

Lily Katz

Lily Katz

A Campus Property Management's apartment building located on S. Fifth street. The Daily illini Editorial Board believes that students should be careful when signing for a housing arrangement early in the year.

By The Daily Illini Editorial Board

Making poor decisions under pressure is a tendency rooted deep within the hearts of nearly every college student.

Consider all of the times you’ve messed up when it mattered most. Whether it be serious, such as emailing the wrong attachment to a professor just before an assignment’s deadline, or trivial, such as panic-ordering the wrong sandwich at Potbelly, we’ve all made mistakes under duress.

That’s why it’s so important to let your life-changing choices breathe a little bit before you jump into a bad situation. And there are very few campus conundrums that induce gaffs more frequently than deciding on your housing situation.

Ridiculous roommates and maintenance mess-ups seem to cause just as many headaches for students of the University as midterms, yet few students take the necessary time to thoroughly evaluate all of their options before diving into an apartment with three bros they met in the dorms freshman year.

We understand the reasoning behind the rush; just a few weeks into the semester, it’s already nearly impossible to avoid the housing hype for Fall 2017. There are encouraging ads on CUMTD buses, seemingly urgent lease-signing instructions in front of every apartment building and hushed talks of collusion among friends.

But we’re here to say: Don’t believe the hype. There will absolutely be apartments that fill up within the first month of the semester, but no apartment building is so prestigious and affordable that you need to cram your way into the leasing office like sardines.

Plenty of buildings — yes, even those in good locations with not-insane prices — will still have openings well into the spring semester. You don’t have to wait that long, but so much changes at college within mere months that it’s unwise to dive in unless you’re renewing a lease that’s already proven fruitful.

Friendships can be particularly ephemeral on campus, and the last thing you want is to get caught with an untenable fellow tenant. Don’t be afraid to have difficult conversations with your closest friends about their previous roommate experiences.

If worst comes to worst, don’t forget that saying no is an option. If a friend breaks off your relationship because you choose to live with someone else, then they probably didn’t care enough to deserve your friendship anyway.

Choosing your leasing company is equally important. Don’t be fooled by pretty porches and updated appliances: There’s much more to a living arrangement than its walls and floors.

Asking former tenants about their experiences with maintenance requests and utility pricing is perhaps the best way to navigate these murky waters. You can also tour the apartments and houses of friends to make sure they’re up to snuff before signing your money away.

When it comes to choosing your home away from home, take more than two weeks to decide where you’ll spend the next year of your life.

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