Harper: Apartment Hunting Tips & Tricks!

5 Tips on Apartment Hunting 

By Harper Wayne 

For upper-classmen, you might start looking into apartments! Apartment hunting can be confusing, expensive, and exhausting. Here are five tips to help you get through the hunt and find some cool digs for next year!

  1. Involve your parents or an older sibling Having someone older than you to help guide you through the process can be super beneficial. This person can be a second set of eyes on the lease, help you find your “essentials”, and is overall a been-there-done-that type of advice giver.

    You might think you want to do this on your own your first time, but if you can call someone who has rented an apartment before I highly suggest you do!

  2. Pick your roommates before the apartment If you want to live alone, skip over this tip! If you don’t, I recommend finding your roommates before you put your name on a lease for an apartment. This helps you have more people to bounce ideas off and takes away the hassle of finding subleasers. 

    Roommates can be friends, classmates, or BU students you meet through Facebook. Overall, you all should have similar budgets and wants out of your apartment. Before locking down a future roomie, have a meeting with them to make sure you both are on the same page.

  3. Know your budgetThis is a good conversation to have with a parent, uncle or aunt or friend who has rented. If you aren’t paying your rent, check with who is to know what they are willing to pay each month! Being a first-time renter you also will need a guarantor to co-sign with you. They are a good person to discuss the budget with too.

    Your budget will also affect where you live, the number of rooms in the apartment, roommates, and your upfront costs when you sign your lease.

  4. Find a realtor or company with a good standingSometimes having a real estate agent or company to help steer you to good listings can be helpful. BU has an off-campus housing search that BU students can use. Overall, before starting your search it is good to research Boston real estate and real estate in different areas of Boston that you will look at like Allston, Fenway, or Back Bay.  All three of these areas have different budgets and distances from BU’s campus. 

    Agents are good middle-people that can deal with leases and overall be good spokespeople for your wants and needs during the whole process.

    Looking for a good management company within the apartment building you are looking at is important. Check yelp reviews before you sign your lease to educate yourself on the management company. 

  5. Pick your area 

As mentioned above the area you choose sometimes is chosen for you due to budgets, the distance you want to be from campus, and also the ~neighborhood vibe~ you are looking for. In order to know what fits your needs, do some research online or ask an agent you are working with.

Students usually start looking for apartments in early March to April, often signing a decent amount of time before May. The process often goes by quickly but is a fun thing to celebrate when it is done because then you can mood board your first apartment’s decor!

Harper: Tips on Registering for LfA Spring Classes

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Signing up for classes can be extremely stressful. Here are some tips to help alleviate some of that stress and also make spring classes easier on you!

1) Meet with your advisor!

Meeting with your advisor is a vital part of registering for classes. They can be really reassuring and share great advice for what classes pair together well for each term. Also checking in with your COM Ambassador or older friends in COM to get advice is helpful too.

2) Know your timezone

If you aren’t studying in an East Coast timezone, do the math as to when your classes will be in your timezone. This is super important for early and late classes. 

3) Backups, Backups, Backups!

Don’t just pick one set of classes to walk into registration with. Have a few different sets of classes before registration! This helps make sure that if a class fills up you’ll still be set for registration day. 

4) Wake up at least 15-20 minutes before you register

This is important for freshmen and sophomores because some of your classes might get filled up by upperclassmen. This gives you a small gap of time to get your first choice classes organized before your actual timeslot. 

5) Find stable wifi

The registration portal might act up during your timeslot because so many people are registering all at once. Having a solid wifi connection helps combat that!

6) After you’ve registered, double-check!

It might sound strange, but make sure you registered for the right classes the first time. Instead of closing the computer with a sigh of relief, double-check the times and classes you registered for are the ones you meant to! 

Right now is a really weird time for people in school! Choosing classes that are genuinely interesting to you can help combat the upcoming winter blues and also help stimulate your brain. 

Wishing everyone an easy registration!

Harper: Five Boston Coffee Shops to Order Takeout From

coffee shopAlthough we may no longer be able to study in coffee shops like we used to, supporting businesses in Boston is still a fun treat for yourself and for the business that you are buying from. Cramping for finals, working on group projects, and commuting to an internship can all be jazzed up with a little coffee or tea.

While some may run on Dunkin, I think it’s fun to venture off-campus (now with your mask on!) and find some places that don’t hold the bright orange and pink logo. Here are some coffee shops I am missing from Southern California on this bright and sunny day:

Thinking Cup

  • Multiple locations 
  • Great pastries and desserts!
  • No wifi but that does not matter for a while

Pavement Coffeehouse

  • A BU right of passage 
  • Vanilla Oat Milk Latte is AMAZING + the bagels (but they sell out pretty quick)
  • Try the “Death Cream”

Flour 

  • Amazing full meals as well as baked goods
  • To-die-for sweets and desserts 
  • I never got to order more than just plain coffee, but their drip coffee was amazing!

Caffe Nero 

  • Has a rewards program!
  • The Pistachio Muffin is amazing + the sandwiches
  • Not as expensive 
  • Many, many locations

Japonaise bakery & cafe 

  • Smaller shop in Brookline near South Campus 
  • Yummy breads + cute picturesque desserts

My lovely fellow COM Ambassador Geneve has a Instagram account dedicated to all things coffee + desserts in Boston, but also in other places around the world! Check out Bean Happens for some more coffee inspo!

Harper: How To Plan During Uncertainty

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As a transfer student, I’ve always spent a lot of time planning out my next “move” during college. I researched clubs, planned out my classes by semester, and thought about how I would spend my summer. Now, all that has been thrown up in the air. If you’re like me as someone who loves planning and finds security in it, here is how you can plan during this time of uncertainty. 

Tip #1

Find multiple ways you can spend the upcoming few months and see which one fits your situation the best. Look into online classes at your local community college or at BU and talk with your advisor about ways you can continue your education from inside your home. Apply for remote work or look into ways you can make a few bucks online.

Tip #2 

Write down things you have always wanted to do and see if there is a way you can put effort into them in quarantine. Pitch an opinion piece to your local newspaper or magazine. Make your family act in a phone-filmed short story. Maybe start a blog or a YouTube series. Dye your hair or learn a new skill for free online. Reach out to a local store and ask if you can pitch a PR plan to them via zoom during quarantine. 

Tip #3 

RELAX. Read a book, binge watch TV, sleep in, lay out and stretch your muscles, and do not feel guilty about it. 

Tip #4 

Know that wearing a mask, staying inside, and washing your hands are the biggest ways you can help the world get back to normalcy. Do your part, but know that right now is not in your control. Find hope and joy in the little things and take away stress from “planning”. 

I understand that there are people under a multitude of different circumstances and not all these tips, tricks, or helpful words of encouragement are applicable to everyone. When in doubt, reach out to your BU community for help during these tough and emotional times.