Thursday, 23 June 2011

You've got into your course - Now what? Part 1.

Weeks of applications, emails and letters to colleges around your area/nation (if you're into that sort of thing), and you finally get a letter congratulating you on your acceptance.

Woohoo! what?

Well! Now you need to get yourself there, get youself stable and settled once your course starts! And first things first, you need to work out accommodation. You've got a few options here, depending on the location of said course. If it's a good 3+ hours away from where you currently live, you may want to start investigating into student accommodation/shared rent options (siblings can be extremely handy in these moments!). A lot of universities/colleges have "On campus" living options that are generally very cheap. They usually come with all your basic living requirements such as hot water, a toilet, bed and personal living space. It could be a unit-like set up (y'know, 5 student rooms with the shared living room and kitchen), or you may wind up sharing a room with someone. Not to discourage you, but try to avoid that. You shit goes missing, suddenly your jeans are theirs, and plates and food are left everywhere for weeks on end. Oh. Also. Please, never be that sort of person.

But please. Don't let that discourage you. Really. It can be cheaper, particularly if you don't feel like driving for 4 hours across the country to get to a one hour lecture.

Sometimes, if you're lucky/a lovely enough person, an elderly couple or some less elderly couple (provided they aren't serial killers - look into that) might be quite happy to let you use their spare room with a boarding fee (generally cheaper than typical $300 a week rent). You get home cooked meals out of this, often super fast internet, and most likely there will be almost no intrusion to your space. The cons to this set up? Most folk who kindly let a stranger sleep in their house for study purposes aren't very fond of house parties/copious drinking/drugs.

Finally. If you have the option to - keep living with your parents. If you can, pitch them even a small amount of money every couple of weeks to help with your own upkeep. Nothing is cheaper than bumming off your family. So long as you 'appear' to be keeping a good GPA and 'studying', you can get away with most shit. They might even let you house sit for the weekend. This generally calls for a house party.

With everything but the 'living with parents' option, have a look at community noticeboards around the area your college is in. Often people will put up notices looking for a room mate to help subsidize their rent, or the elderly couple I mentioned earlier are looking for a youthful energy in the house. Look for the cheapest options, then narrow that selection down by calling the persons who are concerned, get to know them, find out if they're going to shove pineapples up your arse or not in the middle of the night. If they're not, and they genuinely want someone to pay rent and to live comfortably with, you've got yourself a deal.

So. Basic living space ideals covered. Next, your biggest concern is going to be keeping up with that rent. This one's pretty simple.

You get a job. Yup. "Oh my god, but I've never had to work a day in my life so far!". Guess what sunshine? They day is eventually going to come where you'll be working behind a counter selling chicken. But again. It's money. You have to start somewhere. And whether you get government payments or not, having a bit of spare spending money is going to make your boring university life a lot happier. Trust me.

Extra little tips:

1. Don't forgo a week's rent for alcohol/drugs/a hooker. That's a bad idea. Seriously. Some places might be lenient about a week or so. But if you skip one week and get away with it, it'll become a habit, and suddenly you're 5+ weeks behind rent, and it's a scary thing, particularly if you have nowhere else to go.

2. If they say no drugs in the tenancy agreement, don't do it. Just not within the property boundaries/indoors. Seriously, that shit can get into the walls, drop into the carpet. And if they find just one reason to bust you on it, they will. If you're gonna go smoke a joint, go for a walk through the park or something.

3. Look for free things, free vouchers. Anything that gives student discounts. If you're bored, taking a huge dump, go to reward-giving survey sites, and do the surveys. It'll give you that little bit of extra internet cash or something. If you're patient, that shit can build up to $100+ so it's often worth it.

Any other tips/protips you want to add, I can pop it in my next blog. I might make a series of helpful hints. Dunno.

:) Until then, Later days!


  1. Great read, this is right up my alley.

  2. nice blog
    actually im not an american so i can not go to college. but i think many of those advices can be used in every kind of school.

  3. I'm actually Australian, so I'm putting it as a generalization.

  4. Outstanding information. The best part is thats its real information, the kind you can only get from people who have been there, not a guy selling a book on the subject.

  5. Excellent stuff. I live close to the college I want to go to. It's a community college, but good enough for me. Big universities are really not my deal.