So you’re about to graduate college with flying colors (or just graduate…)! First of all, congratulations. All of those sleepless nights, bleary-eyed mornings, and afternoon naps have paid off!
The question most of my friends and I are facing is WHAT NOW?
Hopefully, you’re thinking about the job search at this point. As a peer, my only advice is to find a position that interests you. But, remember that this is just first of many jobs to come so don’t stress too much if it’s not your dream job yet. You worked hard in college, so do the same in your job search and you’ll be successful.
Fortunately, it’s likely that you have a several living options after graduation! At this stage in life, you need flexibility and and renting offers you both financial and geographical flexibility–there are apartments in almost any budget in almost any place. Plus, most leases can be for one year or even less, which gives you freedom to move when your dream job turns up across the country.
Let’s consider some pros and cons of a few different living/renting options after graduation.
Moving Back Home
Sure, Mom and Dad may have driven you nuts toward the end of high school (and vice versa!), but college usually gives both parties time to really miss and appreciate each other. Many students decide to move back home with their parents after school, especially if their job plans are unsure or if they want to live in the same place where they grew up.
– Save money. Like save a TON of money (that you can use for a rental deposit, etc. later on).
– Location, if it’s close to work or job interviews.
– Stability. It’s unlikely that your parents will boot you out for higher-paying tenants.
– Living with your parents may limit your personal freedom.
– Less responsibility and thus less experience with the “real world”–bills, etc.
– No new location to explore.
If you’re sick of having roommates, which can easily happen after living in shoe-box-sized-dorm-rooms for a couple years, you may want to seek out an apartment on your own. This is a great option if you have a stable income and are looking for some space to relax in peace after a work day.
– Privacy and personal space.
– Control over finances. You won’t have to worry about other roommates paying on time.
– Autonomy over the apartment’s location, features, decoration, cleanliness, and price.
– More expensive to foot all bills by yourself (think TV, Internet, electric).
– Less entertainment or could get lonely.
– May need to compromise on location and amenities in order to afford.
Apartment With Roommates
This is perfect if you’re a sociable person who enjoys spending down-time with other people. If you loved having roommates in college, this route is for you. Having roommates may make your ideal (or even a pricey) apartment possible–one of the biggest pros for having roommates is the fact that all housing bills are split, leaving you with more cash in your pocket.
– Split most, if not all, housing costs (allowing you to save money).
– Build or maintain friendships and connections within your community.
– Split household chores.
– Less autonomy over any apartment decision.
– Must rely on others to pay bills and do household tasks (share cleaning, etc.).
– Possibility of a bad roommate match and the ensuing drama.
Renting A House
This is a fun option, which a lot of people do in college as well. Instead of seeking an apartment, keep on the lookout for houses that are for rent in your area. Same idea as an apartment, but a different vibe than apartment living.
– Potentially more space.
– Different environment, whether in a neighborhood or on an exciting street.
– Amenities like a pool, park, or sports courts.
– Extra household chores (maintaining the lawn, Homeowners Association fees, etc.).
– Likely must have several roommates to pay the rent.
– Potentially stricter landlords.
Like all living situations, think about location (Close to work? Close to friends? Close to activities I enjoy?), space (Is it enough? Is it too much?), and roommates (Are they good? Are they evil?) before making any permanent decisions. Alao read my fellow blogger Audra’s great post about the 5 biggest first time renter’s mistakes your should avoid.
Did I miss any pro’s or con’s? Which living style suits you the best?