After Freshman Year: Where Do I Live?

Honestly, this part of the college process kind of hit me like a ton of bricks. I was completely lost on what to do and which would be the best option for me without being pressured by other people around me to do a certain option. I thought it might be helpful to list out all the options and their pros and cons for you! This blog post is sponsored by Personal Touch Property Management. All opinions are my own.

1.On Campus Apartment

This is where I lived my last three years of college after the dorm! I wouldn’t have traded it for anything else. The reason I did this was because I had two on campus jobs that were easier to get to by walking instead of finding a parking spot and then going all the way home to an apartment off campus for lunch or just to spend a few hours in between classes. In addition, it’s secure, it’s easier to join clubs/attend meetings, they’re furnished, don’t charge for the use of utilities, and they usually supply you with trash bags and some cleaning supplies! It allows you to save money in a lot of other areas! It was also nice to not have to worry about a rent amount each month! A lot of schools offer on campus living for upperclassmen which is super convenient! NDSU has multiple and I’m very familiar with them! NDSU offers places that have studios or suites and different locations all around campus. If you go to college somewhere else, search residence life website to find upperclassmen on campus living options! 

2. RA on Campus Living

This might seem redundant to the one above but it’s quite different! Being an RA allows you to live in different places on campus for free! Basically, instead of being paid monthly or weekly you get room and board, in some cases food, for free. At NDSU they assign RA’s to different dorms and apartments. Being an RA means that’s your job! You must host meetings, work at the office during hours, being authoritative when tenants disobey rules, and curating content for your floor. This can be time consuming just like any other job! I know quite a few people who have done this though and enjoyed it! Please note that most RA jobs don’t allow you to have another job outside of it – not sure why but it’s just a rule they have! Overall, it’s a pretty sweet deal if you don’t mind not making extra cash in exchange for free room and board. 

For the next couple options, it might be easier to reach out to a resource that can help you find the perfect place to live for your personal situation. If you feel like having someone guide you through the process of finding a place to live after college reach out to Personal Touch Property Management. Personal Touch Property Management specializes in homes with character! They have a variety of rental options ranging from studio apartments to single family homes throughout the FM area. Their experienced and friendly leasing specialists are ready to help you find your next home! To find out about their current availability, give them a call at 701-205-4330, follow them on Facebook or visit their website at  

3. Apartment

A lot of people I know choose this option for after freshmen year because it’s easy. You don’t have a lawn to mow or snow to remove constantly and you usually have someone to fix things that don’t work properly within your apartment. Another great thing about apartments is they usually offer amenities like a gym, pool, or underground parking/garage. Apartment are usually safe and secure too considering people usually can’t get in unless they are let in by a tenant and they usually always have security cameras! Apartments also allow you to live by yourself or with less roommates if you choose to. Keep in mind living by yourself or with a small number of roommates usually means a higher rent depending on the location and amenities. 

4. House

I also know quite a few friends who rent a house from people. The downside to this is it usually means living with 4+ other people which can be quite overwhelming. Another thing is the yard to take care of which means mowing and snow removal. Even if you don’t do those things you will have to hire someone which is an extra cost to your rent! However, houses with multiple roommates can be CHEAP. So, if money is of stress to you this could be a great option for you! Another plus to houses is the space. Normally, houses are going to provide a lot more space than a studio apartment or dorm which you will appreciate after living in a shoebox for a year. Another pro to living in a house is being able to have more freedom with your space because you don’t have neighbors that live only a few feet away! 

5. Townhouse/Condo

I think of a townhouse/condo as like the in between of an apartment and house. It’s not as big as a house but it’s not as small as an apartment. It usually takes the pros and cons of each and kind putting them together. I don’t know a ton of people who have lived in these spaces but if it’s something that is of interest to you I would do some research on it or using the resource like PTM to help you figure out if it’s a best fit for you! 

7. Home

Another great, affordable option for living after the freshmen year is home. A lot of students end up going to college near their hometown which provides a great living option. If this is of option to you there is many great reasons why this might be the option for you! It’s affordable because chances are they won’t make you pay for rent/food/utilities. However, the downside to this option is it might be more difficult to be independent and social because it is someone else’s house. Your parents will still probably provide you with rules and such that you will have to follow! So, depending on your situation this might be a great living option! 

8. Family Member

This one goes a little hand in hand with the one above but it is different. Depending on where you go to college you might be in a town where a family member or close family friend lives! This can be beneficial to you because it can be a cheaper place to live and having roommates that you already love and trust. I know people who have lived with siblings, cousins, aunts/uncles, and family friends. One downside is the freedom factor because it is someone else’s space so you must be respectful of that. However, rent will be cheaper more than likely and you won’t have to worry about someone being untrustworthy or unreliable. It can also be nice to have that stability of having others there to prevent feeling lonely! 

Overall, there is quite a few options for living after your first year! But, I remember being extremely stressed going through all the options and their pros and cons. It can be nice to have that all already listed out for you. In addition, if you feel lost or want some guidance from professionals, reach out to PTM. If you’re still a little overwhelmed after this blog post, reach out to people you know who are upperclassmen to learn about their experiences to help reach a decision. Also, talk to people you are friends with and see what they are planning on doing after freshmen year because you might want to be their roommates!


Emily Avdem

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