As May approaches, many first years — especially those who have been living in residence — are looking for places to live. Student housing is has become a business with many websites dedicated to helping match students with landlords. However, even with the student pricing, students still struggle to pay. Many students opt for roommates, sometimes even signing a lease with people that they don’t know.

For many students, this is their first experience living on their own and paying rent. Mila Menna, a first year student who lives in residence, says that her main goal is to “make true friends and be able to continue to live on my own with as little stress as possible.”

“Being able to live in residence for free would be nice. A house is a costly expense,”said  Menna.In order to do this, Menna may apply to be a Don because she really enjoys residence and thinks that continuing to live there would be a good experience for her.

Ella Del Fiaco, another first year student who currently lives in residence, will also be applying to be a Don. She said she wants to be a part of the Laurier community even more so than she currently is and to take on leadership roles.  

If I could could give any advice to a student, it would be to try their hardest to live either on campus or very near campus, to get the full experience and to be able to make the most of the experience with the new people and places you will encounter. However, in general, students who are looking for houses can count on most sites such as places4students.ca or Rentseeker to be a reliable source.

Laurier had  a “lease-reading” event in which students can drop in with their roommates and the lease they plan to sign to make sure that they are being treated fairly before they make a commitment. This is to ensure there is less stress on the students as they sign their first lease. Although living independently is a big part of student life, it is time-consuming and difficult. This is why there are so many options for first year students (and upper year students) to be able to succeed in this aspect of student life. Some students may move back home, depending on the costs of housing.

Konnor Huard, a second year student who rented an apartment last year, found her roommate through her residence building. “My lease wasn’t as complicated or as nerve wracking as I anticipated, and I really enjoy living alone,” Huard said.

Huard’s advice would be to get a landlord with flexibility. She said her lease was easy to understand and she was able to live independently without too much added stress. Huard also suggested that one take advantage of meeting people in your program and building, or both, as this is where she met her current roommate.

Laurier does its best to offer their students whatever resources that they can to be able to have an affordable and satisfying living experience. There are several places students may choose when searching for their perfect living arrangement. For example, there is student housing very close to campus, between two campus buildings. This ensures that students live somewhere close to campus, while giving them the choice to live on residence or not.

In general, students are very eager to continue their experience living alone. Signing leases with friends, going apartment-hunting, and moving into your very first apartment are very enriching parts of the university experience.

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