My Bookshelf: Deep Fried and Pickled

deep

Title: Deep Fried and Pickled

Series: The Rachael O’Brien Chronicles, Book #1

Author: Paisley Ray

Genre: Historical Fiction & Romance

Amazon Summary:
“It’s ’86, the era of Pop Rocks, Jelly shoes, and big hair bands. Rachael O’Brien’s freshman plan seems simple: Attend a southern college away from her hometown of Canton, Ohio, earn a degree, party, and meet cute guys—hopefully acing the latter two.

But being threatened by a jealous She-Devil, avoiding the advances of a thirty-something redneck, and discovering an art fraud scheme mess with her “to do” list. On top of her troubles at school, Rachael finds herself forging a new relationship with her emotionally shaken father after Mom abandons the family to pursue a psychic calling.

Bad decision-making, law-bending behavior, and surprise romances make freshman year challenging in Paisley Ray’s DEEP FRIED AND PICKLED quick-witted, south-of-the-Mason-Dixon romp.”

Cheers:

  • I really loved the characters, Macy especially.
  • It captured the feeling of going to college really well. I felt like I want to go back to college and live in the dorms (and considering I just graduated, the fresh horror of the dorms should have been enough to stop that feeling).
  • I liked that there was so much going on, what with her mom leaving and so much drama at school plus the art stuff.

Jeers:

  • I think that there should have been a little more focus on the crazy stalker thing at the end. I just personally thought it was amazing twist, but then it was over almost as soon as it started.
  • Personally, I wasn’t as invested in the art thief story line, but that’s just because I don’t really care about art. If I found out some big scandal like that had happened in my hometown I’d just shrug, so that’s kinda what I did in the story, but I did like the action and drama that went along with it.

Would I recommend it?:
Yes! The author (who was really friendly, by the way) offered this book in exchange for an honest review and said that a lot of older women liked the story (as in, the women who had been young during the time this book is set in) but being 21 I think that this book is really good for anyone who is college-aged. Basically, if you’re worried about starting college, nothing is going to be as bad as Rachel’s first year.

Shelled and Shucked, book three in the series, is free right now on Amazon through the 27th, so snag it now while it’s hot!

Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Fried-Pickled-Rachael-OBrien-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B00AABHU70

Author’s blog: http://www.heypaisleyray.com/

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My Bookshelf: Hooked on the Game

dsa

Title: Hooked on the Game

Author: C.M. Owens

Amazon description:
“Everyone has secrets that define them, a past that has shaped them, and a game they play – whether they know it or not.

Despite the fact they live next door to each other, Kade and Raya have never made an effort to speak, until a wild party, four frat boys, and… a bulldozer.

Sterling Shore was supposed to be a new start for eighteen-year-old Raya Capperton. Everything was working out perfectly until her two roommates were expelled for a prank, leaving Raya with the house she couldn’t afford on her own. Fate intervenes before she has the chance to find a new home, but she struggles to decide if it’s divine luck or the devil’s cruel sense of humor.

Twenty-one-year-old Kade Colton has his life planned out, and everything he does is an elaborate game to aid him with his future endeavors. Coming from money has made Kade’s life easy, but he wants to build his own name – his own future. The thing he doesn’t realize… when you only put forth superficial effort, you only acquire superficial friends.

Raya is torn between being amused or disturbed by Kade and his philosophy, but the drive behind his determination isn’t what Raya expected. Little by little, her hatred fades and is replaced by emotions she never would have believed she could have for the rich jerk she desperately doesn’t want to care about. Too bad you can’t force yourself not to care.

The problem is… Kade’s shiny name can’t be tarnished, and Raya has a jaded tie she can’t cut loose. Nothing about them can work, nothing about them makes sense, but nothing can seem to stop them from trying.”

My Description:
“Ember is almost forgotten as I stare into the endless pools of blue that suddenly carry such a meaningful depth instead of a guise of shallowness.”

With a line like that, you know it’s going to be a fabulous book.

Oh, wait, sorry, I was being sarcastic. That’s actually the line that made me put this book down.

Cheers:

  • I liked the part where the drunk frat boys bulldozed her house.

Jeers:

  • Literally everything else.
  • The main character is flat and shallow, making fun of all rich kids for being shallow pricks when she herself is shallow as hell for thinking that.
  • Her name is Raya. I’m sorry, but that’s a terrible name, especially for a white girl claiming to have come from Utah.
  • The entire plot set-up is preposterous. Her neighbor holds a party and random drunk guys bulldoze her house, so the neighbor’s dad forces his son to let his daughter live with him? And he owns that student house? And four cars? Rich people aren’t rich because they throw around money like idiots.
  • There are a lot of typos. I know my book wasn’t perfect, so I’m being lenient, but in the first few chapters I found multiple instances of missing quotation marks (lots of them), mixed up words, missing words…
  • Nothing that the characters did seemed genuine. Overall, it was written very poorly.

Would I recommend it?:
Even though I downloaded it when it was free, I would still say not to read it. It has a ton of good reviews on Amazon and I have no idea why. I’m thinking it’s because she has a ton of self-published eBooks available, all of which look to be of questionable quality. But hey, more power to her. She seriously needs a cover artist though (this book happens to be like her best cover).

Amazon link:

http://www.amazon.com/Hooked-Game-Sterling-Shore-Series-ebook/dp/B00KCE1K2Q/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

I’m a little teapot

lold

I found this and it reminded me that I have school work and writing work that needs to be done. I’m not in a very productive mood because I’ve been cut off from ibuprofen and whatnot for my upcoming surgery so I’ve had a headache for two days. Blogging will be postponed until I get all my final assignments out of the way (there are six, four of which involve writing). Poo.

I’ll keep writing anyway!

I'll also keep taking pictures!

I’ll also keep taking pictures!

I can’t quit my day job because I have student loans to repay. I’ll keep writing anyway.

I have one friend who thinks I’m going to sell millions of copies of my books (unrealistic) but basically everyone else just says “meh” when I say I’ve already published one book. I’ll keep writing anyway.

The attitude today seems to be that anyone can write a novel. Oh well. I’ll keep writing anyway.

I’ve only reached a handful of people with my blog, and even fewer with my book. I’ll keep writing anyway.

I might not be the next big hit, or even a hidden gem among writers. I might just be average. I’ll keep writing anyway.

My books aren’t some literary explosion of genius, they’re just meant to entertain. I’ll keep writing anyway!

There’s no daily reward for my work. I don’t save lives or change people’s outlook on life. Each word can sometimes be a struggle, and I don’t see the fruits of my labor until months after I write that first word. I’ll keep writing anyway!

I don’t have a writing nook. I don’t have scheduled writing hours that I can write. I don’t have a ritual, I don’t have time to write some days, and sometimes I feel like the real world has sucked out all of my writing energy. I’ll keep writing anyway!

My professors are not amused. Too biased. Too personal. Try to be serious. I’ll keep writing anyway!

I can’t write everything I want without giving up my real life. I’ll keep writing anyway!

I need to keep my apartment clean and make time for my boyfriend. I can’t skip showering to write, and I need to eat at some point. Sleep, too. I’ll keep writing anyway!

Life will go on. I’ll keep writing anyway!

 

A reaction to this post (check it out!)

Will my college bookstore have condoms?

yes

Well, do you live in the deep south at a private school? If so, the answer might be no. I know someone who goes to school in Mississippi and the prefects will fine her if she swears and church is mandatory, so if that’s your school I doubt they give out condoms at the bookstore. However, I’m sure most public universities or large universities have condoms either in the bookstore or in the health services office (along with free cough drops and shit medical advice).

If you have to, ask an RA for condoms. Like, colleges don’t want you getting pregnant and infected with STI’s. If you ask for condoms, you shall receive.

/random advice

And now I shall share a lovely quote from my sociology professor’s lecture today: “Kids are stupid. Teenagers are stupid. Arranged marriages came about because young people are morons. You’re all horny morons. You got went vagina and hard penises and you can’t be trusted with these kinds of decisions! That’s why we let the old people decide for you, because they don’t have went vagina and hard penises so they can think straight!”

Tips For Freshmen Moving To College

I’m currently sitting in my first apartment. School starts Monday, and I moved in Friday (at 4 in the morning, but that’s irrelevant). I’m a junior, and the last two years I lived in the dorms. I like to think that I picked up a few tips on how to successfully move on campus, whether you’re returning or going for the first time.

I’ll be focusing on living on the dorms for the most part, the traditional ones where you share your room with a roommate and share a bathroom with the whole floor.

Here are things you NEED to bring to school:

  • A shower caddy. Seriously. Unless you’re a guy who needs nothing more than an all-in-one shampoo/conditioner/body wash, get something to carry your shower things to the bathroom. Girls, you may also want to take a towel and sew some velcro to the inside edges so that you don’t have to worry about flashing people in the hall (or just buy one). Also, remember to always take your keys to the shower. I have had to run looking for RA’s for people who were stranded outside with only a towel at least five times.
  • Something for stomach aches. Whatever you use, bring it in bulk. You’ll be eating shitty take out food, shitty dining hall food, and shitty food you make in your little microwave. If you’re the kind of person who doesn’t like taking medicines of any kind, stop being pretentious and buy tums anyways. Tylenol or ibuprofen are also advised.
  • Comfy bedding. Unless you like hard mattresses and sleepless nights, you might want to invest in a mattress pad. Of course, you can always wait and buy one after you sleep on it a bit to see how uncomfortable you really find it, but if you’re going to be cut off from Walmarts without begging for a ride, it’s only like $10 or so. Remember that your bed is about 40% of your half of the room, so it’s important that you like being in it.
  • Sleeping aids! And by that, I mean earplugs and a sleeping mask. Of course, if you are a heavy sleeper you might not need this, but after three semesters with roommates’ whose snoring was as loud as someone screaming (Seriously, screaming. I could hear them snoring when I went out into the hall) I would suggest buying the heaviest duty earplugs you can find.
  • Quarters for laundry. I forget this every year.
  • Condoms. Now, I guess this one is optional, but if you’re planning on having sex at all you should have condoms. Even if you just think “Oh, well, if I meet a nice girl I might have sex with her” BUY CONDOMS. You can get the smallest pack they have if you want, but always be prepared. Most schools will give away free condoms for multiple events, but however you get them you should have condoms ready (guys AND girls). The only one exempt from this rule is lesbians. You girls can just bring a bag of dental dams and a 4 foot dildo (alright, 4 foot dildo is optional).

Here are some tips related to packing:

  • FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DO NOT BRING A MILLION TINY BOXES OR BAGS. Try to pack everything into four or five big crates, max. You don’t want to be trying to juggle things as you bring them in, and you don’t want the movers to see your underwear bag. The elevators in the dorms can break or get way backed up, and you don’t want to take 6 billion trips up the stairs. Also, remember that you don’t need to bring ALL your clothes (*cough* girls *cough*). You will never have time to wear them all or the quarters to wash them all.
  • When packing clothes, do so economically. I roll all my clothes and have for years. It has allowed me shove an astonishing amount of clothes into the tiny dorm dressers. It looks like this, but you can do it differently if you have a method you enjoy.

Here are some tips related to roommates:

  • Contact your roommate before you move in. SERIOUSLY. DO NOT BE THE DICK THAT DOESN’T RETURN PHONE CALLS OR EMAILS. If you ignore your roommate before you move in, not only are you making a terrible first impression, but you’re being an asshole. There is legitimate reason for roommates to contact each other. You need to talk about things like who will bring the TV, the fridge, and the microwave. There are guys every year who end up with two fridges because they don’t contact each other. Seriously guys, why? Why are you so anti-social? I know you Facebook stalked that one girl you saw at your sister-in-law’s friend’s pool party, so you can manage to find your roommate and shoot them a message.
  • If it’s obviously that it’s not going to work with your roommate, don’t be afraid to ask for a new room before you get settled in. I was living with a girl who seemed nice when we had talked over the summer, but once I moved in with her she was a terror. She demanded that I tell her every single time I had anyone over to the room and that I could only have visitors between 3 pm and 10 pm, and that my boyfriend could only come over between 5 pm and 8 pm.  I told her I didn’t like this agreement, but she demanded that this be the way we did things. A little crazy, but I figured she was just nervous because she was a freshman. Only, after diligently reporting to her about when I was having my boyfriend over, I heard her loudly complaining that I was a freak because I ALWAYS text her when my boyfriend comes over, like she would care.  I immediately asked the RD if I could switch. Most schools have an open policy so that people aren’t stuck with horrible roommates. Don’t prolong your suffering because you think you can make it work. If you wait for too long, you won’t be able to switch.
  • However…. don’t be the bad roommate. Don’t touch your roommate’s stuff or take out unrelated frustration on them. Don’t eat their food without asking and if you’re sweeping up your side of the room, go ahead and sweep theirs too (assuming there’s not going to be anything important you’d risk ruining). Offer to take out their trash when you’re taking yours and make an effort to get to know them. I know that a lot of freshmen don’t end up being good friends with their roommates, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be decent to them so that the year doesn’t end with you two spitting at each other’s feet.

Here are some tips for general campus life:

  • Talk to people! You’re not going to make friends if you lock yourself up in your room. Talk to people in class, talk to people in your hall, talk to random people on the streets. Go to dorm activities and join clubs. If you don’t want to talk to people, that’s fine. Introverts are the best kind of neighbors! I would still advise joining a club or two. If you don’t, people will still talk to you. They’ll come from nowhere. Be prepared.
  • That being said, don’t talk too much. Remember that you’re here to study! College is about your education, not your partying skills. Don’t flunk out because of binge drinking, or I will judge you. Your mother will judge you. Ash Ketchum will judge you. If you want to party, you don’t have to go to college for that. Study (and not just the night before the exam), take notes, and ask questions. This is not high school. You can’t just skim by (unless you’re really smart, like I am, but beware: everyone will hate you for each A you get).
  • BUY THE TEXTBOOKS. Not from the campus bookstore, of course, but don’t get the guy who thinks that it’s impressive to skim by with a C- without the textbook. You don’t want to end your first semester with a 2.0 GPA. I know the books are expensive, but all of college is. Get a job, take out loans, whatever. None of it will be worth the money if you fail out. Rent or buy used textbooks, and get international editions or oldest editions whenever you can. For Gen Ed classes you don’t usually need a textbook, but some you do. Wait until class starts to buy anything, as some professors will explain that tests will come directly from the book while others will mainly use notes and make the book just a backup reference.
  • Finally, take advantage of all that money you’re spending. Go to the free activities. Take all the free food. See the free movies and enter to win the free t-shirts.

I hope this helps! Have a fun school year!

Publishing is SO MUCH WORK

It is. Seriously. Like I understand why some self-published books look like poo. A lot of effort needs to go into those books to make them legit.

Here is a gif related to nothing.

Want

Want

But yeah, if I can’t get a real job after school I’m totally going to start my own self-publishing business. Just basically connecting with authors who want to self-publish and formatting/editing/finding a cover for them at a reasonable cost. I’ll be prepared for it by then, because I’ll have two or three of my own books published by then and also I’ll have worked for two years at my school’s writing center. Let me tell you, you have not seen the decline of America’s education system until you’ve read the ENGL100 papers that I’ve seen.

School starts Monday, and my last day of work is tomorrow. I have to pack all my stuff up for school (and it’s an apartment, not just a dorm, so I also have to shop for food and such) and head there on Friday, I have a job interview on Saturday AND I’m volunteering to answer Freshmen questions for two hours AND my parents are coming up with some bigger things that won’t fit in my car, then Sunday will basically be preparing for school. I won’t be posting a lot until I settle in, probably.

However, this is also a reminder that Kiss of The Fey will be out on the 1st! I barely have any time left. I thought that I’d be set for August 1st and I was like no, I’ll wait just in case, and thank god I did. I’m ordering my (hopefully) last proof copy with all the final corrections as soon as CreateSpace is done approving the files.

Basically there is a lot going on right now. A lot. No time for blogging, only packing.

Getting closer!

I’m super excited to be getting closer to the release of Kiss of The Fey! I’m reading over the book for some last minute tweaks just to dot my i’s and cross my t’s. I’m really happy with how the book turned out. It’s been a long process, almost four years from the first form of the story until now, but I’m glad I stuck with it. It was worth it.

I’m also working on my second book, and I’m about halfway done with the first draft. I want to get it written as soon as possible. After getting Kiss of The Fey ready for publishing, I realized how much I enjoy all the work! I’m glad I’m publishing right as school starts. All the homework should distract me from the big gaping hole that the editing and formatting previously filled.

I hope you’re all having a great summer!

-Charlotte Cyprus

Madness

This is a haiku
Because I hate this dumb class
Like, fucking-a man

Powerpoint slides, *dies*
I am incredibly bored
I need a smart phone

Forty-five minutes
Of graphs and correlations
IVs, DVs… Ugh

Participation
It is graded, so I’m here
No other reason

8% of grade
It’s totally not worth it
This class is torture

Forty minutes left
Will he notice if I leave?
Just sink through the floor?

If you are reading this
I have probably passed on
To a better place

My pillow is great
But Professor keeps me here
My bed weeps for me

I could be sleeping
Or painting a masterpiece
Or robbing a bank

Thirty minutes left
The wind is blowing fiercely
But that is outside… 😦

I think he’s lying
He didn’t take attendance
I could’ve just skipped

Professor comes near
Quick! Hide all evidence
Yes, I’m listening…

Is the fine worth it?
To pull the fire alarm?
I just won’t get caught

You! Girl who speaks now!
Shut your mouth, your question sucks
Brain cells crawling away…

Look, it’s a zebra!
Not really. I like zebras.
Stripe stripe stripe stripe HOOF!

I’ve put up a shield
In one ear and out the other?
No, I hear you not

Twenty minutes left
Endless agony and grief
Tetris would help me

Spiral, spiral, square
But what do the doodles mean??????
Negative pi- ELF!

Did you see the elf?
He just ran by in pink tights
No, I’m not on drugs….

So hungry, nom nom
I have eaten my finger
Desperate times, man!

Fifteen minutes left!
Marbles, marbles everywhere
Marbles should be pugs

My hair is slinkies
Not really, but I can dream
Hahaha, slinkies…

Stop staring at me!
Those beady eyes, that mean glare
Oh, it’s a trash can

I am a tea pot
Short and stout with a big knife
I can’t trust the scones!

Class, in summary
You all fail, epically fail!
Go be homeless now

I am almost free!
I shall make a break for it!
Anarchy!

Tips for Living Off Campus in College

Image

Pictured: Typical state of student housing

There is one thing about college that I have not been able to appreciate. This thing is the famed college dorms, with tiny rooms, shared bathrooms, and… roommates. Let’s just say I haven’t had a good string of roommates. My roommate this semester is pretty good, but she snores and smells weird. That might sound petty, but if you’ve never had a roommate you don’t realize the value of quiet and neutral smells. She’s been my fifth roommate in four semesters of college, so you could say I’m a bit of an expert on bad roommates. However, that’s for another post. This one is about dorm rooms and living on campus.

Next year I will not be living on campus but I will have roommate. Way back in November my boyfriend and I signed a lease for an apartment about a mile away from campus. The distance was intentional; we liked the apartment building and we didn’t want to be right next to campus because we’re snobs, I guess. My parents continually questioned the decision to move off campus, despite the fact that they knew I had had terrible roommate experience (as I assume it is the case at most schools, boys and girls cannot room together on campus) and I couldn’t afford to pay extra for a single room. They thought that it would cost way more and that I was stupid for moving off campus.

At first I thought it was because my parents didn’t trust my math skills. Not only did I calculate an estimate of how much cheaper it would be, but I explained that since I get $10,000 in government loans we would no longer need to pay the school anything during the year because the loans would cover tuition and fees. In fact, next year I should actually be getting a little money back in a check so that I can pay for books. All I’ll need to pay is rent, electricity, and for food. It’s less than my current payments now.

Upon first visiting campus for an open house one of the first things the tour guide told me was that living off campus was way cheaper (plus it’s a dry campus, so you have to leave to drink). I thought everyone at my school knew that. However, after talking with enthusiasm about how I’ll be in an apartment next year, I’ve heard many people say they think living off campus would be more expensive. I plan on emailing the school newspaper to try and write an article debunking this next year (before housing sign-ups), but for now I’ve decided to write a blog post about it for anyone it may help.

On Campus (2013-2014 school year, 4-year state school)
Unavoidable school fees: $2,277.00
Tuition: $6,622.00
Meal Plan: $3,088.00
Housing (Traditional- Super Fly Suites): $5,264.00 – $9,264.00
Total: $17,251.00 – $21,251.00

Off Campus Estimation
Unavoidable school fees: $2,277.00
Tuition: $6,622.00
Food (200-328 a month 9 months): $1,800.00- $2,951.00
Rent: (400 a month 12 months): $4,800.00
Utilities (50 a month 12 months): $600.00
Total: $16,099.00- $17,250.00

Now, let me explain a little more. Firstly, my school is pretty cheap since it’s a public state school (at least compared to my friends at private schools). That being said, housing is pretty steady from college to college if the geographic location is similar. I added the price of the suites at my school because it’s $4,000 more and the people living there still think that they’re going to have to pay more to live off campus. Obviously, you’re going to have to pay tuition no matter what if you want to go to college, along with the ridiculous fees. Clearly, those things I don’t have to explain.

The first thing to gripe about is the campus meal plan. I seriously cannot take another semester of eating at the campus dining hall. The food was okay my freshman year, but it’s been in a steady decline since then. I don’t know how most schools do it, but for me it’s mandatory to have a meal plan if you live on campus. This makes total sense because if you live on campus and don’t have a meal plan you are probably going to starve by trying to cook food only with a microwave. However, the meal plan is expensive considering the quality of the food and the fact that I’m only paying for two meals a day (there are other plans, but I had to go with the cheapest viable one). When I explained how it was NOT more expensive to move off campus to a girl complaining about the dorms she expressed concern over having to cook for herself. Allow me to address this in my next section.

Food costs for living off campus will be as high as you make them. If you order pizza every night and buy a case of beer each week then yeah, your budget is going to be pretty high. I calculated the food budget with what I plan to spend next year ($200 a month for myself, I’ll share a little but my boyfriend is responsible for his own shopping) ranging to what you could spend just to stay even with the on campus cost. I only budgeted 9 months in because summer is usually at least two full months at home (almost 4, actually) and winter break is usually at least 4 weeks. If you don’t think you can stick to a budget of ~$328 a month for a single person, you’re going to have trouble when you’re in an entry-level position working to pay for rent, a car, cable, internet, phone bills, insurance, food, and student loans.

Part of going to college is learning to be an adult. This means budgeting your meals and learning to cook for yourself. Believe me, I’m not an excellent cook. I’m not even that good. I’m a picky eater, too. But I still believe that I’ll be able to stick to my budget. I’ll be practicing making cheap meals from scratch this summer when it’s my parents who will be paying for supplies and eating any disastrous results. While the two-ramon-noodle-packs-a-day can be your life if you don’t plan right, here shows that you can get 202 servings of rice for $10. With a $15 investment in spices at the start of the year, you can have stir-fry literally every night. Occasionally buying chicken and veggies when they’re on sale can make this a meal you wouldn’t mind eating two or three times a week. Planning cheaply like that is how you’re going to save money during college and for the future when you’re budgeting for more than just yourself. Also if you’re willing to take the time you should definitely research on how to be a good couponer so that you can get more food for your money. There are tons of sites out there dedicated just to couponing.

As an interlude with the boring stuff, let’s talk about furnishing your new apartment. (Sorry, is this still boring? I’m just enthusiastic about this kind of stuff.) For those of you whose parents don’t hoard things, who have never gone on craigslist, or who’ve never stepped foot into a goodwill… this will be harder for you. Some apartments come furnished, but lots don’t. I’m using my bed from home, my old desk and my desk chair. I’m stealing an old couch, end table, kitchen table, kitchen chairs, and coffee table from my parents. I got an entertainment stand from craigslist for free and I’m stealing an old TV from my parent’s basement. My mother bought a dresser and nightstand set for $30 on craigslist (I would have used my own, but they’re oak and huge and weigh a ton) and so the combined price of most of my furniture totals $30. Granted, I yearn for a coat rack and I have yet to find one, but other than that I’m pretty much set. Kitchen supplies is where things might really cost you. I got a set of dishes for $3 from craigslist, I got pans and cooking sheets for Christmas, and all the other little things I’ve been getting here and there plus stealing from my parents. Now is the time to convince your parents to get new pots and pans so that you can steal their old ones. Also keep in mind that these are things you can use when you move out for real, so it isn’t just wasting money.

Finally is rent and utilities. I budgeted for 12 months because I have a year-long lease, though some places do school year leases that are cheaper. Since this is college, it’s likely that you won’t be living alone (and if you are you already know that it will be more expensive). Living with at least one other person drastically reduces the strain of living off campus. I budgeted $50 for utilities because I’m only paying electric, everything else is included in the rent. Here is a map of electricity cost averages per state if you need an idea. I don’t know if it’ll even be that high considering how small the apartment is (plus I’m spliting rent with my boyfriend, so he’s paying half of the electric bill), but even with that considered it’s still not more expensive. Also, while I put rent as $400, mine is actually only $375, which is actually kinda expensive. In a college town the average rent per person is going to be $250-$400. If you hadn’t realized, landlords actually want tenants. They know that college students aren’t going to shell out big cash for shitty student housing. The exception is when your college is in a big city. My friend is trying to get a house for her and her friends in the middle of Pittsburgh. They started early and they still haven’t found a place. When they do, it’s going to be at least $600 a person and they’re going to have to share rooms. If that’s the case for you I highly suggest adding a little commute time to get cheaper housing. If you’re in New York City, don’t talk to me. I can’t help you.

Tips for finding a good place:

  • Start early, don’t wait till it’s summer to find somewhere to live.
  • Know who you want to room with. If you only have a single roommate, try to look at two-bedroom apartments before getting a four-bedroom and begging people to live with you.
  • Try starting with a real estate company in your area. They’ll have more to offer and they know what they’re doing.
  • Check the boards around campus as well as craigslist for individual landlords who are renting out. You can also just walk around to find “student housings” signs and take note of all the phone numbers.
  • If going with a landlord, check with previous tenants to see if they’re reasonable. I’ve heard of landlords issuing $50 fines for opening the windows and $25 fines for letting someone spend the night.
  • Try to find a place that includes most utilities into the rent. The rent might be higher but it will be a lot easier to just pay only one or two bills when first trying to be an adult.

I hope some of you find this to be a helpful guide. To any of you who are in a college that don’t allow you to move off campus until a certain year, I have an extra tip for you. Two of my friends go to Kent State. The policy there is that you must live on campus freshman-junior year. Both of them got out after one year by going to their doctor and asking to write a note for their headaches/allergies that (they claimed) the dorm aggravated. You can just go to one of those Med Express places and get a note for headaches and it is that easy to get out of it. You’ll have to file whatever special permissions form that your school has, but they can’t deny you if you have a medical excuse.

Good luck to everyone who’s in college!