Where should you live for grad school?

Congrats, you are going to grad school! One of the first things you will need to figure out is where to live. I see posts on online forums and questions in email lists such as “Where are good areas?”, “Anyone know of apartment buildings?”, and so on.

The first things you need to consider are 1. how do you envision your graduate life going, 2. how do you study, and 3. what things do you want to be near.

Best. Roommate. EVER!

I started out giving the solo living a try with my own apartment that was cat friendly and had parking. I knew I wanted to get a cat and didn’t trust myself to parallel park in the snow (snow driving is very different). I enjoyed living by myself especially early in my program when I was the busiest and most stressed. But having my own place still didn’t help me with some things I wanted, like entertaining because it was too small (bummer!). Now living with roommates, I have enjoyed living (and saving!) even without my cat or a car living closer to the main campus. I can study the same with roommates or without (or just go to a library), so my productivity hasn’t been affected. And I am so much happier to be near the main campus to enjoy some more student life and the fitness center.

I think it’s important to have an honest conversation with yourself. Gone are the safe options of on campus housing (usually) and you are probably going to a graduate program at a new university. Graduate school is different than undergrad and while you can’t control how experiments go or your classes, you can control where and how you live. After you get a general idea of what you want your graduate life to be,  you can think about what amenities your crib will need (laundry, parking, pet friendly, space for 2, etc). The sub-reddit of where you will be moving to is a good place to read through as a lot of people post information and suggestions of where to live. I highly recommend getting in touch with a few current students in your future department to see what they recommend. Some departments/schools also have lists of places to live.

Happy house hunting! And don’t forget, if something doesn’t work out, there are many housing options on the daily so don’t feel trapped!



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