Choosing an Apartment

By Janessa Rutiaga
Blog Content Contributor

Around this time of the year, it’s time you should start evaluating your living situation. Do you like it? If not, what do you want to do differently? Do you want more, or fewer roommates? If you’re living in the dorms on campus, do you want to stay there or would you rather move into an apartment complex? There’s a lot of variables you should consider, and even if it seems like you have a lot of time, you don’t.

By now, your apartment complexes and dorms are probably asking whether you plan to stay with them for the following year. I know that my own apartment complex was asking for an answer by the 30th of November, and if I don’t provide an answer they assume I’ll be leaving by the end of my lease. When I was deciding on whether to move to a different complex, I kept in mind some key things because they influenced my experience so heavily.

The commute

The commute from home and school can take a toll on your day if it’s a long one. However, if you have a car and can spare the money for a parking pass, or if your apartment is on the bus route, it’s not too bad. Keep your schedule in mind too. If you have 8 a.m. classes, do you really want to get up at 6 or 6:30 to make sure you get to class on time? What I’ve also learned is that the farther from campus you are, the less likely it is that you’ll go home to eat. If you live on campus or within walking distance of it, most likely you won’t spend money eating on campus. There’s a lot of nice apartments within walking distance of campus that can save you time and money.

Price

Do you like what you’re paying now, or is it too much on your bank account? Personally, I hated living in dorms because of the price. I felt like I was never getting my money’s worth, and there was such a limited amount of space. If you’re in an apartment complex and feel like you’re paying too much, then look around. There’s a lot of affordable places throughout San Marcos. Usually the more roommates you have the cheaper the rent is. Studios and one bedroom apartments can go as high as 1,000 dollars a month, and four bedrooms can be as low as 450 a month. Keep in mind who you choose as roommates, and your standard of living.

Pets

I know that most people don’t even consider pets when deciding on an apartment, but being a dog mom, it’s what I think about quite often. If you have a dog or cat, you should consider who you’re living with. Not everyone loves your furballs as much as you do, and not all roommates are going to be okay with their favorite shoes being ripped to shreds. If you don’t have a pet, consider if you’d be okay living with one. There’s cons but also a ton of pros to living with pets.

There are a lot of important details to consider, but above all you need to be happy and comfortable in your environment. If you’re unhappy, your grades are more likely to suffer and so will your mental state. Home should be a safe and relaxing place, somewhere you’re relieved to come to after a long day. Whether it be a dorm or apartment, make sure the choice is right for you!

Featured illustration by Joseph Wallace.

Jashel Negron

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