In these past few days, I found myself contemplating the last remaining years of my college career under the impression that I’ll be an independent college student working her way through semesters in an apartment paid for with my own income. Then there was the pause of…..what income?

Now, I’m no stranger to work. Right now, I’m working for a couple professors doing gardening and yard work for a good rate per hour on the weekends. But it’s also my only outside source of income. But at this rate, I’ll maybe be able to pay for some quality bedding by the end of the semester. I’ve had my eye on those DIY arm-knit giant yarn blankets that are a hit lately.

Anyways, cut back to mid-semester, I was frantic. The heaviness of the fact that I would have to soon make the decision about my living arrangements next year; thinking how my college life will play out if I try and get back into a dorm or look for my own place. And I’ll let you in on this now, a vision of having a one bedroom apartment in a smaller–Whitman is around 1500 students and campus is within a 3-4 block radius–college town is unfeasible; unless you have consistent monthly funding and strong planning skills. (But Whitman is also a campus with a higher income and socioeconomic class percentage so it is feasible for an amount of students if a small college town is the situation.)

Anywho, the solution to the monthly income problem was obvious: get a job! I applied everywhere. In town, on campus and I have a car so I could drive a bit which helped. A couple interviews were the result of around 20 different applications. But my opponents were also college students; so what made us different was really the times we were available between classes. My schedule was a bit more difficult to work with. Then on campus jobs de-prioritized my applications because I’m not eligible for work study. Discouragement was strong. So I looked ahead to the summer and applied for internships using my major (geology-environmental studies) as a filter. Still waiting to hear back on them.

As for the housing, I did decide to live off campus! I knew of a house that had spots open for tenants and I knew the people so it worked out nicely. Rent 5 ways is much more doable. I’m planning to save up over the summer and then go back at the job search; I made my pre-registration schedule more open for part time shifts and worked on getting connections with more professors to work with next semester.

I guess the lesson from this is: when you’re able to live off-campus, it takes a lot more planning than you’d expect to figure out leasing agreements with yourself or a group of friends if you want to get a place. The fun of off-campus living is sucked out a little bit by how important leases are–people will be hesitant to commit because there are consequences of pulling out of a lease early so you have to find some reliable people. And if you’re able to work on campus, stick to it! If not, it’ll be tough but do your best to make a good impression with the interview and assure the company you’ll make your shifts because you planned around your schedule.

that’s all i have//:)