Z is for zones

For anyone from Chicago, there’s an old joke that there are two seasons — winter and construction … well after almost three years in Champaign, I’m starting to believe the University is much closer to the windy city than I thought.

With new businesses, buildings and apartment complexes sprouting up all the time, most University students have experienced construction and the many joys (if you can call them that) of living near it.

I lived across the street from the newly renovated Scott Park at Third and Springfield for two years now, meaning I knew it when it was just a nice (semi-creepy) lot full of trees.

I’ve woken up to jackhammers, tree trimmers, pipe layers and whatever other heavy, and loud, equipment it takes to turn a field into a park.

If you are lucky enough to live near the ongoing construction around campus, you understand. Waking up at 4 a.m. to the sweet sounds of construction men yelling, walking on your balcony to a cloud of dust and not being able to park on your street because a bulldozer is in your spot.

Don’t get me wrong, Scott Park is a beautiful addition to the community and a great step for the Boneyard Creek project, but I’m glad it’s completed.

Another caution of construction, don’t believe the promise that your new state-of-the-art, but not yet built, beautiful apartment will be done by fall, especially as snow falls and ground hasn’t yet been broken. You’d better make friends with someone with an extra couch because my guess is you won’t be able to move in. Never sign a lease to live anywhere you haven’t actually visited.

Z is also for zen — and the place you live should really be somewhere you’re comfortable and can call home. Through fights with roommates, throwing parties, finding a space to laundry under all your piles of laundry, where you live in Champaign-Urbana will be home.

Now, as we zip up this housing guide, we hope you’ve enjoyed our advice – both serious and comedic.

Housing can be stressful at times, but living in Champaign-Urbana is a worthwhile experience and I hope we’ve helped you in some way or another.

Melissa Silverberg is a junior in Media.