One of the things that happens to me when things start to get busy is that everything starts to snowball. When classes pick up, or I have made tons of evening plans, the first thing to go is my laundry – it starts to pile up. Next, I run out of groceries (also because I HATE grocery shopping), lastly, I get behind on emails, and my room starts to get a mess. Since my first summer class is now over, and my weekend getaway to Great Falls has passed, I decided to get my life in order.
First up, laundry. Luckily it’s been so warm I hadn’t noticed the lack of socks (since I’ve been rocking flats and flip flops for the last two weeks), but it was definitely time to give the washing machine some exercise. I somehow managed to procrastinate once again and didn’t get to grocery shopping (funny how that happens sometimes?!), but I did managed to get something big sorted out: where I’m moving to in T-34 days!!!
I definitely recommend living in residence if you can during your first year, because you will meet so many people, and have so much fun. But I moved off campus in my second year because I wanted to try the full “on-your-own” experience. It’s been great – there are so many options on the west side (and I did have a brief stint on the north side!), and the prices can be directly comparable to on-campus residence.
Great places I have lived off campus include the newer subdivision called Discovery. This area is almost entirely students, the houses and apartments are new, and it’s super close to the fastest Tim Horton’s on the planet! Right now I’m living in the 4-plexes directly across the street from the University (which are all students). It’s called Westridge Estates (but sometimes referred to as the “Japanese Village”). These are older places, but they are all owned separately, so some are super nice, and others are pretty old. My place is great, but I have found a cheaper place to live now! The last area I will suggest looking is Columbia – it’s close to the school (like a 5-minute bike ride), directly on the bus route, and there are so many options for price points in rent.
I like to think I drive a hard bargain (although I know friends who do pay less – it all depends on what type of place you’re willing to live), and I have paid at all four of the off-campus places I’ve lived $500 a month for rent, utilities, internet, and sometimes cable, for shared accommodations with one other person. This isn’t a guarantee, it’s just been my experience, and the price I’m willing to pay.
If you’re looking for a place off-campus, now is a great time to look, there are some killer deals coming out! Check out the University’s off-campus housing page here: http://www.uleth.ca/offcampushousing or check out Kijiji! It’s what I used.