Why Apartment Hunting Is Basically Just Job Hunting For Where You Live

If this place is anywhere in Boston, rent = astronomical.

Happy New Year, folks!

We have reached a momentous time of year for second year student affairs graduate students- the months leading up to conference season. It’s an exciting and nerve-wracking time of year, and I feel for every one of them. It’s a time that can decide the course of one’s life, at least for a few years, and should be taken seriously. 

I feel for this group even more this year because I’m apartment hunting right now, and it feels so similar to this time about 2 years ago. My roommate situation this past fall has not been the very greatest, and through a series of circumstances (not to be explained here), I am now on the lookout for a new place to live! And I couldn’t help but notice the similarities in the processes, as I look back on how I spent my Friday.

I am eagerly scrolling, refreshing, and clicking around on Craigslist the way so many of you are doing now with HigherEdJobs, Inside Higher Ed, and the TPE Applicant Portal. I have to eye every detail of postings, noting what works for me and what doesn’t. I have sent countless emails to potential housemates and landlords, laboring meticulously over the wording of the messages to ensure that they like the “me” I’m presenting, want to take a chance on me and see what I’m about. And after all that is done…I stalk my email, waiting for a number to pop up so I can see who has taken the proverbial bait. I’ve already lamented more than once about the (highly unlikely) prospect of being homeless, and have to keep reminding myself that it’s early in the process šŸ™‚

Me, around 2pm.

But that’s not all! Because then comes the interviews. Like placement interviews, these interviews are about half an hour to dazzle potential roommates. Convince them that my weaknesses will not hold me back, that I’ll fit into their institutional culture, and that I won’t leave dishes in the sink (Which there aren’t right now, I could take a picture for proof!). I can’t schedule them too close to each other, lest I risk not being able to make it to the next place on time. And I have to make sure I take notes as I go, or else the standout features of each place could get mixed up in my head. What do I wear? Do I send thank you notes? There are no webinars about this!

But after the grind two years ago, I did find a job. I found one that I liked, with great coworkers and amazing students. And I’m confident that I will find an apartment that I can live in and will work for me. Similarly, those early in the hunt- have heart. You’re going to find your home too. Best of luck to us all!

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