The Big Move

Some quick tips for your first home away from home

 | By and

It’s an exciting time for you! High school is over and now the whole wide world is waiting; particularly the world of north Alabama. So many details go into this big move and you might be feeling overwhelmed.

Where do I move?

What do I bring?

Can I have a pet?

Can I have my parents banned from the dorm?

With all the unanswered questions, I’m sure the stress levels are going up. Below are some tips that may help you in the transition.

Every college town is Roommate City!

Other students all across the city are looking for roommates for off-campus housing. Finding someone to live with can be very beneficial.

First, all cost can be split, alleviating the pressure of staying on top of bills.

Next, this is a great opportunity to gain a great friendship. If things go well, you’ve got a friend that you can hang out with every day. On the other hand, if they don’t, you could be gaining an enemy so do your best to pick up after yourself and be respectful of noise rules.

Lastly, as a bonus, you have a human alarm clock. After those fun but late nights out, you can count on your roommate to rouse you the next morning for class. Have your cake and eat it, too!

Finding the roommate

If you interested in having a roommate remember a few things:

Find the right one. Just ask around because you will be surprised what friends or coworkers are looking for roommates. Once you’ve found a potential candidate, be upfront with them. Many arguments start because boundaries were crossed that weren’t known before. If you don’t like to hear country music at 6 a.m. (I don’t think anyone would, regardless of music preference), let your roommate know on day one. Being straight-forward will keep things smooth around the house as time passes.

Sometimes people are difficult to deal with so you might prefer to live alone; that’s totally fine and totally doable.

Your stuff

This may hurt but just ride it out. All our sports and science club trophies, build-a-bears that no longer work and books that you will never read or have already read ten times need to stay at home. Do not pack them. You most likely won’t even have room for them.

You can also save on time and energy by not lugging these things around. It helps to think about functionality when making this move. Ask yourself what you will need, what you will use. So, you might have to beg your parents to hold on to those sentimental items for a few more years. This will also decrease the chances of your old room being turned into Dad’s New Man Cave, no guarantees though, my friend.

For those considering living off campus, here are the top three complexes in Florence, Alabama, according to Google reviews. They are all a decent commute to campus and have great reputations across the city. Do a quick Google search for more information and check them out:

  1. Dogwood Terrace Apartments
  2. Woodlands Apartment Homes
  3. Village Parc Apartments


Final tips

  • If you are interested in living alone, ask around! Many historic homes near downtown have been renovated into multi-apartment units and are frequently looking for new residents. Drive up and down the parallel streets downtown, take notes of numbers listing “for rent” on lawns and check out Craigslist.
  • While the University of North Alabama has a freshman live-on mandate, your first home off campus can be just as impactful as your on-campus one, but you may need to check some features: Be sure all appliances work, all rooms are clean or will be upon move-in and take photos of any damage (we’re talking screw holes in the walls, beat up baseboards or cracks in the ceiling), so your future landlord can’t hold it against you.
  • Be financially prepared! Most apartment complexes require first month’s rent in advance, as well as a regular deposit and a pet deposit if your furry friends are coming with you. Some complexes also require last month’s rent as a precaution.

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