By: Joe Laurendi
I’ve lived in the same house for all 19 years of my life; I’ve had the same room with my bed in the same position for my entire life; I’ve never had the experience of being away from home. When it was time to finally move into my dorm at DePaul, it was a totally new sensation. Calling a new place my home was undoubtedly going to be a little weird for me. Now that freshman year is coming to a close, I’ve noticed that I definitely had it easy last summer. All I had to do was put my name down and write a check to reserve my spot in a dorm… It was a breeze compared to my life right now! Apartment hunting is in full swing as students are on the lookout for the best possible place that fits within their price range. Although this is a very exciting time for me, this has become an extremely stressful process that both my roommates and I are going through.
Don’t get me wrong, the dorm life has been great. Some of my best friends live all throughout my hall. I love being able to walk around at night while simultaneously making plans for the upcoming weekend. Unfortunately though, the cons outweigh the pros when it comes to dorm life. I need more room to function! I honestly can’t take another year of living in what seems like a 2 x 4 room, which I also share with another person. Yes, I think all freshman should have to dorm their first year in order to make friends, but after that, it’s definitely time to get out of the dorms.
It all started in January when I decided I wanted to move off campus. The first step was finding the people I would trust to be my roommates for the upcoming school year. Luckily, I already lived with those people in the dorms. Through random selection, I was paired with three great roommates who I know I can trust and live with in the future. We pretty much knew from the start that we were all going to be living with each other for a while. Finding the right roommates who I knew I could live with and TRUST was a vital part of my decision to move off campus.
As the months have passed, my roommates and I have consistently been checking apartment websites. It’s really exciting to see what’s out there on the market, but looking back at it now, we had no idea what we were doing when we first started looking. We would view apartments and dream about all the different things we could do with the space. We would plan these unrealistic parties and design unique ways of setting up the furniture in the living room. The thing we didn’t notice was the price tag. Once we started to run numbers, we realized that we couldn’t afford any of the apartments we’d been dreaming about.
When we started to get serious about the price, apartment shopping started to get stressful. It wasn’t that we were finding bad places; it was just that each place was missing one key part. For example, we found a great apartment, but it was a pretty long walk from the L stop. I am all for walking, but in the cold winters of Chicago, it would’ve been far hike. We continued our quest for the perfect apartment, but to our dismay, we weren’t having much luck.
On multiple occasions, we would go out to apartment viewings and see what the places had to offer. We’d consistently find nothing that fit all of our requirements. We actually eventually found the perfect place; it was beautiful and not far from the nearest L stop. As college kids do, however, we procrastinated. The apartment was gone before we knew what happened and we missed out! After that incident, we told each other we’d never let that happen again.
After a couple more weeks of shopping around, another perfect one came along. We jumped on it as fast as we possibly could. Within two days we all had viewed the apartment and had all of our applications in (which, might I add, was not an easy process!). There seemed to be about a thousand different forms each person had to fill out. Then the co-signers have to fill out forms, which ended up being our parents. The problem we ran into was that our parents didn’t live anywhere close to Chicago. A lot of emailing and scanning took place over the stretch of two days. Finally, all of the papers and money we owed were in. It was time for us to wait and see if we were accepted or not.
Fortunately, we were accepted and got the keys to our new apartment! We were overjoyed when we finally were able to call the apartment our own. This long and stressful process took all of our time and energy, but thankfully, it all paid off for us in the end.