4 Pro Tips for Finding Off-Campus Housing near Berkeley City College
July 1, 2016
Living off campus requires a great deal more personal responsibility than on-campus living. You have to manage all of your monthly bills, interact regularly (and maturely) with your landlord, and, in most cases, find a roommate who’s compatible with your habits. But if you pay attention to the following tips, you shouldn’t have any trouble living in off-campus housing near Berkeley City College.
Budget Your Money
Coming up with a realistic, comprehensive budget is probably your number one task when you decide to move off campus. Depending on where you’re from, you may experience some sticker shock when you start looking at apartments in the San Francisco Bay Area. Rent is notoriously expensive in this highly populated region, but that’s only because so many people enjoy living here. And there are a few things you can do to make sure that your spending stays within your budget, even taking into account a high monthly rent.
First, actually calculate your budget. Add up your income from work, financial aid, and monetary help from parents, then subtract essentials like food, car payments, and textbooks. You should be left with your budget for rent. To cut costs elsewhere and make living off-campus more affordable, cook your own meals. Not only is cooking at home cheaper than eating out, it’s also often much healthier.
Find a Reliable Roommate
Your roommate can really affect the trajectory of your off-campus experience, either for the better or for the worse. Try to find the most responsible person you can. While moving in with friends may seem like a great idea, many advise against it. Living with someone requires compatible sleeping habits, study habits, and cleaning habits—being friends with someone does not. Just remember to do your research and don’t jump into anything before you really get to know a potential roommate.
Try to Find a Place Within Walking Distance
When you’re living off campus, your daily duties include making your way to Berkeley City College for class on time. Instead of spending money on the bus or an Uber when you’re running late, try to find a reasonably priced apartment near campus. Not only will this save you money on transportation costs, it will also help you stay fit since you can walk or bike anywhere that you need to go. Plus, you’ll save money on campus parking passes.
Take Advantage of Free College Amenities
Nearly every college campus has a number of free activities and resources for students, and Berkeley City College is no exception. Since you are already paying for tuition, you want to get the most bang for your buck—which means taking advantage of complimentary activities and facilities. For instance, the campus health center. From eye exams to flu shots to checkups, the health center offers many of the same services as a traditional doctor’s office, but they’re either free or discounted for students.
College is a great time to stretch your legs as an independent adult. If you budget frugally, take advantage of free campus perks, and find reliable roommates, you’ll be able to experience the freedom of off-campus housing.