Many students wrestle with whether to live on or off campus. When you live on campus, you’re right in the middle of the vibrant college experience. You can easily partake of social activities, naturally, but there’s also the convenience of getting to class and all the campus amenities, usually without needing to drive.
But there are many benefits when you
live in off-campus housing in Athens Ohio.
For instance, not everyone can
adjust to having a roommate – which is a likelihood if you live
on-campus. Do you treasure your privacy? Do you study better when
you’re alone? Are you worried a dormmate with annoying habits might
be too close for comfort? Maybe you’d be better off listening to
your inner lone wolf and looking into an off-campus rental in Athens
Ohio where you can have your own space. Even if you have to rent a
house or apartment with several bedrooms and you need roommates,
you’ll have your own crib to sleep and study in.
With the right off-campus housing,
you can save money. But before you sign the lease agreement, make
sure you’ve done a realistic assessment of your finances. Consider
your income or housing allowance, and figure in rent, utilities,
deposits, move-in fees, laundry and food.
Also, pay attention to the fine
print in your lease agreement. Be sure you understand the duration of
the lease, and any penalties for breaking it.
If you have a car, commute time to
campus may not be a big issue for you. But you may also need to
figure in the cost of parking your car on campus if you commute. If
you don’t own a car, how will you get to campus – walk, shared
ride, bicycle or bus?
Lyft is operating locally, as are Liberty Mobility Now and local taxi
services if you’re running late and need a fast ride.
College pulls you in a million different directions at once. You’ve got three to five classes each competing for your attention. You might be working a part-time job. Friends want to hang out. Your significant other says you need to make more time for them. Your apartment roommates call a house meeting. Sometimes there just doesn’t seem to be enough of you to go around.
And today’s technology doesn’t make it any easier. Social media, YouTube videos, and web blogs can make it very hard to find your focus. But don’t worry. We’ve got you. Here are 4 ways to refocus your mind and get back to work.
Make a To-Do List with Easily Achievable Tasks
Start a daily to-do list that includes simple jobs that work towards the big picture. You can even make item #1 be make a to-do list. As you check off simple items, you build momentum and become inspired to do more. Make sure to keep the list handy. Tools like Google Keep work well because it’s always in your computer or on your phone. You can even add checkboxes to mark each completed task as you go.
Think of your brain like a little kid. It needs to be rewarded for good behavior. Tell yourself you’ll only hang out with your friends if that chapter in Biology is read and notated. Happy Hour will only happen if you reach page #5 on that English essay.
Keep a Leash on Social Media
Social media like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram can be a rabbit hole that’s tough to crawl out of. Learn to control it. Only allow yourself to visit those sites at certain times of the day and for specific lengths of time. If you can’t help the temptation, there’s are apps for that. Self Control is a Google Chrome app that will prevent you from using selected sites when turned on. StayFocused allows you set to set certain limits on social media and cuts you off when you’ve reached your quota.
Study in Groups
Another great way to find your focus is to form study groups. We’re more motivated to study when we do it with others in the same boat. You can help each other with the material, quiz each other, share notes. Invite everyone over for a study group at your Athens Ohio apartment. It’s a great way to rekindle your work inspiration.
If you’re not careful, “Freshman 15” can quickly turn into the “Senior 50.” Most college students tend to put on weight living away from home, and it can add up, fast. The good news is the formula for weight loss is pretty simple: Burn more than you put in. But it’s all too easy to just lounge around your Athens Ohio rental eating Twinkies in your PJs.
Understandably, you’re busy, but you can manage to get in a workout and still ace every final. It just requires some creative ingenuity when it comes to movement, time, and getting off your butt and out of your Ohio University student rental!
Always Walk to Class
Athens may be hilly, but it’s very walk able. Always walk to class. In fact, walk everywhere — the library, the bar, that party at your friend’s house. And don’t take the easy way. Those hills are good for your gut. Hoof it up every hill you see. Some people spend thousands of dollars on a StairMaster, but the hills in Athens will always be free.
Grab Nature by the Throat
Nestled in the foothills of Appalachia, Athens is a natural wonderland. Hit the trails on the weekends. Invite your friends and have a great time! The Ridges are an easy walk from campus and downtown Athens. The Hockhocking Adena Bikeway features 21 miles of paved biking and hiking trails through urban, forest and country settings. And though technically its private property, Bong Hill and its neighbor Witch’s Hill across the street are great exercise for the lungs.
Wellworks Fitness Center
Don’t forget the Wellness Fitness Center at Grover Center. It’s practically free, though technically you do pay for it in the tuition bill, so you might as well use it. The fitness center is a great resource for exercise winter or summer, rain or shine. Exercise is a great reason to get out of your Athens Ohio rental and hit the bench press.
Ohio University’s a party campus. Even Playboy says so. To prove it, all you need to do is open a window. Those late night screams are tomorrow’s early morning hangovers.
But you don’t need to drink to have fun at college, even if you go to OU. And no, sobriety doesn’t mean you can never ever leave your Athens Ohio apartment. I assure you there are plenty of ways to have fun in Athens and not regret where you wake up in the morning.
In fact, it might take a little more effort, but being sober can actually be a blast because you will actually have the mindset to enjoy your time at college. Maintaining most of your brain cells are an bonus.
“I am living proof that going to a party and not drinking can be a great exercise in getting yourself out there without depending on alcohol,” Seventeen Entertainment Editor Noelle Devoe relates in an article about her sober years in college. “It really forced me to get out of my head and start having fun, and I was able to bring that outgoing mindset out of the party setting and into the real world.”
Pack Your Own Beverages at Parties
You don’t need to avoid the party scene like a nun. Simply bring your own, non-alcoholic of course! IBC Root Beer tastes a lot better than the Natty but you still look the part. Nonalcoholic ginger beer is equally amazing. There are plenty of organic teas, sodas, and juices on the market that taste great. You can still drink without missing out. (Some advice: Still keep an eye on your beverage and ask your friends to do the same. Some people can be sick bastards, especially on a college campus).
Not drinking doesn’t have to be a big deal. People may ask, but usually it’s just an icebreaker to make party conversation. You could always say you hate the taste of your own vomit. If you’ve had a problem with alcohol in the past, you can turn it into a joke: “I’m allergic to alcohol. Every time I drink it, I have to break out of jail.”
Exit B.S. (Before Stupidity)
Even those who like to drink will tell you there is a time of night where the silly just gets swilly, which is a nicer word for stupid. Parties may start chill with interesting conversation. But things can get idiotic fast. That is the time to quietly exit, go back to your Ohio University student rental and binge watch Netflix. You don’t even have to worry about saying goodbye. Everyone will be too drunk to really notice.
You thought finding an apartment for rent in Athens Ohio was tough. Now you’ve got to move in, and so does the entire campus. On. The. Same. Day. It’s like the movie 300, only bloodier and more U-Hauls. Be brave. Get smart. Absolutely rock moving into your Ohio University student rental with these 5 clever hacks.
Bring an Arsenal of Cleaning Products
Face the fact that the house you rented in Athens Ohio is going to be a dive. Chances are the former tenants left it in tatters. I once found a “Booger Wall of Fame” in the bathroom of a student rental, and it wasn’t pretty. Pack rubber gloves, Comet, garbage bags, and maybe a bottle of bleach. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Keep Your Parents Busy
Mom and Dad just want to help. Sending their little darling off to college is a bit of a tear jerker for them. Give them something to feel useful, even if it just gets them out of your hair. Let Mom clean out the fridge. Flip a fuse in the fuse box and see if Dad can figure it out. Malia Obama let her dad put together her desk lamp, trickier than an economic recovery. Parents deserve to feel needed.
Label every box, bin, and bag like cleaning a crime scene. It cuts down on the chaos. You’ll know where to find the essentials when you’re stacked wall to wall in boxes.
Wrap Everything Fragile in Clothes or Blankets
Move-ins can be brutal to every breakable thing you own. Wrap anything fragile in blankets, clothes, even old newspaper if you have too. Avoid tragedy. There’s nothing worse than unpacking after a move to find your most precious stuff in broken little pieces.
One Box at a Time
Don’t expect everything to be moved in and unpacked in one day. Land first. Unpack essentials. Then go grab some lunch or a beer. You’ve got friends you haven’t seen since last semester. Catch up. Have some fun. Those boxes will be waiting for you when you’re ready.
College textbooks have to be one of the biggest rackets out there. You’d think the textbook industry was controlled by the mob. (We’re looking at you, Little Professor!) You could afford a decent vacation in the Caribbean for what one semester of textbooks can set you back. Some classes cost more than the rent you pay for your Athens Ohio apartment. And while Amazon may be a wonderful bargain for music, it’s textbook savings is pretty paltry. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to get the books and education materials you need and save. Here are 6 hacks the textbook mafia doesn’t want you to know.
Wait Until After the First Class to Buy
When it comes to buying textbooks, procrastination is on your side. Some professors will level with you if only a few portions of the textbook is important. Then you can just share with someone else. They might be able to suggest cheaper used copies for those who can’t afford them. Plus, there’s always a chance someone will drop out who’s already bought the book and you can buy it off them used.
Buy Older Editions
Aside from the New Testament, newer editions tend not to be that different. Most textbook companies only release new editions just to keep sales coming in. Buying an edition or two behind the times tends to save you 50% or more.
You rent your Ohio University apartment because you won’t live in it forever. You rent the latest blockbuster from Redbox because you’ll only watch it once. Why can’t you rent a textbook for an exam you’ll take in a few weeks?
Download it onto a Kindle, tablet or computer and save big time. It’s easier to take notes. And carrying around a lightweight device is so much easier than a backpack full of books. Your back will thank you for it!
Hit the Library
Alden keeps several copies of popular textbooks in stock. You may be competing against other cheapskate colleagues, but if it isn’t a critical book the whole course is based on, you might get away with it.
Share with Your Friends
Sharing isn’t just caring. It’s saving, big time. Network with your friends and form a book swap. This can help inspire study groups, so it’s a win win.
These hacks may take a little more effort, but the savings can be substantial. Compare the savings to what you pay in rent for your Athens Ohio apartment. If sharing a book or using an older copy essentially saves the rent for a month, it’s worth it!
How many college students would starve to death if Kraft stopped making Mac N Cheese tomorrow? It’s a staple to the Ohio University diet. If Kroger stopped carrying Kraft tomorrow, Unicef would have to send a relief team to your Athens Ohio apartment. It’s that serious.
But eating Mac N Cheese day in, day out, definitely gets old, fast. Fortunately, there are ways to spruce up the college student diet using simple ingredients around the house. Try a few of these tricks to make Mac N Cheese a black-tie affair.
Just Add Bacon
Sure, bacon makes anything delicious, even dog food. (Don’t ask us how we know that.) But forget frying bacon. That’s a pain. Bake it in the oven on a baking sheet at 400 degrees for 10 minutes per flip. (Set a timer on your phone, space cadet!) Break the cooked bacon into bits and store it in the fridge someplace that’s safe from your stoner carnivoriore roommates. Crumble the bacon onto the Kraft and you’re in Mac N Cheese heaven.
Dazzle It with Bread Crumbs
Toast some bread. You can even get fancy with some cinnamon raisin toast or garlic bread but honestly just plain old Sara Lee’s will do. Toast it to a crust, just shy of burn. Break it into tiny pieces and sprinkle it over the Mac N Cheese. It turns Kraft Macaroni into hipster takeout from GrubHub: pure salivation.
Go Crazy with the Cheese
One of the reasons Kraft Mac N Cheese can taste like the box it comes in is the cheese is really just powder. Shred real cheese on top and don’t be afraid to go a little crazy. Throw in some cheddar, Asiago, parmesan, maybe even some gouda.
Garlic’s adds passion and spice to the finer things in life. Now you could go the lazy route and just use powder. There’s no shame in that. But if you really want to step up your game, get yourself a few fresh bulbs, clean a couple of cloves and fry them in a pan with some butter. Then add it to the pot of Mac N Cheese like a true wizard gourmet. It will make every room of your three bedroom Athens Ohio apartment smell amazing.
College is about freedom, so it’s only natural you’d want that freedom to be mobile too. You just started driving a few years ago. Who wants to give that up and be stranded in a town as small as Athens Ohio? (Those 23 bars are all in the same half mile because the town is just that small.) Should you take your car to college? Let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages.
Grocery, Errands, Convenience
For starters, having a car is obviously very convenient. You’re living on your own, and Athens doesn’t have many grocery stores within walking distance. And Uber isn’t really a thing there yet. So a car comes in pretty handy for going to the grocery store, especially if you are the only one in your Athens apartment who has one. You can take your roommates to the store anytime.
If your house doesn’t have a washer and dryer, a car is pretty much essential for the laundromat. Who wants to carry 4 plus bags of laundry down the street? It’s a no brainer.
The biggest catch to having your own car at college is the parking. Athens is notorious for parking tickets. The city’s economy pretty much depends on it. They’ve got a 24-hour parking rule, which means you need to move your car every 24 hours to a nonadjacent space. And don’t think you can just wipe off the chalk. They’ll nail you. The meter Nazis earn their reputation by the ticket. They can be vicious.
So if you do bring your car, make sure your Athens Ohio housing has a reliable parking spot, one you won’t have to share with your roommates. And if it’s an issue, consider renting a space at a private lot. The tickets just aren’t worth it.
This is probably the coolest reason to have a car. Athens is a small town. It has its charm, but the luster wears thin from time to time. Being able to get out of town for a road trip will save your sanity. Head out for concerts, shopping, hiking, whatever. Just hit the road and get as far away from your Ohio University apartment as possible.
Every Ohio University student needs to sit down and write out their bucket list. No, not the awesome things you need to do before you die, though let’s face it: It’s going to happen someday, so we might as well live life to the fullest today. You can’t waste your entire life just sitting around your student rental. Get out and have some adventure. We’re talking about all the things you need to experience in Athens Ohio and Ohio University before you graduate. So sit down, make a list, and get your friends to sign it with their own blood. And yes, you can make the list at the bar. In fact, that’s probably the best way to get started.
Find your friend with a car. Fill it with gas and hit the pavement. You don’t really need a destination, though it might help. New York City is nine hours away. Hit the road by midnight and have breakfast at Times Square by morning. See a Broadway Musical on a Saturday night and still make your Monday morning Psyche class. Head to Asheville North Carolina and drink orange mimosas in the used book stacks of the Battery Park Book Exchange And Champagne Bar. Drive to D.C. for some fresh bebop at the Blues Alley, a famous jazz dive that’s been a stage for the likes of Wynton Marsalis and Dr. John.
Kayak the Hocking
It’s actually a lot more fun than it sounds. Sure, the Hocking River you see from Bong Hill is not much more than a drainage ditch, thanks to the Army Corps of Engineers that rerouted the river in the ‘60s to prevent massive flooding. If you go downriver to Hocking County, the river is much cleaner and takes you through some beautiful nature. Hocking Hills Adventures and the Hocking Hills Canoe Livery both feature kayak and canoe rental. Grab some friends and hit the water. (You might want to leave your phone in the car, especially if Old Johnny Walker’s coming along for the ride).
Go Ghost Hunting in the Moonville Tunnel
The Moonville Tunnel in Vinton County is the ruins of an old railway tunnel stranded in the middle of the forest that’s supposedly haunted. Numerous deaths have been said to occur in the tunnel, including a brakeman who fell underneath the wheels of a passing train. To this day, many have reported seeing a mysterious man in engineering clothing carrying a lantern. Photos taken at the spot often display spooky lights and spiritual figures when they are developed. Even if you don’t buy into the ghost stories, just going to a creepy old railway tunnel in the middle of the night will scare you senseless. It can be tricky to find, but here’s a guide on how to get there.
Just because you’re a college student renting an apartment in Athens Ohio, you are not condemned to a mac n cheese diet until you get a real job. You can be so much more than that. In fact, you can grow your own organic vegetables right in your Athens rental. Eat fresh, healthy organic food without busting your budget.
“What?” you say. “I live in an Ohio University student rental. I can’t grow a garden.”
Think again. All it takes to grow your own veggies is some water, sunlight, and a little ingenuity. Yes, you can grow your own vegetables right in your student apartment.
Nope, you don’t need to till the fields to grow your own broccoli. All you need is broccoli seeds, a glass jar, water, and cheesecloth to start your own crop.
Place two tablespoons of broccoli seeds in a glass jar. Cover the seed with about 4 inches of water. Secure the cheesecloth to the top with a rubber band. Place the jar in a warm, dark place for about 8 hours. (A closet works nicely.) Next, drain the water, rinse the seeds, drain the jar one more time, and resecure the cheesecloth. If the mixture starts to smell, you’re over watering. Cut back on the amount of water you keep in the jar.
Repeat the same process for about three days, when leaves should start to sprout. Next, place the jar in direct sunlight, either on a porch or a windowsill until they turn green. Once they’re green, congratulations. You’ve grown your own broccoli right from a mason jar.
Herbs are basically houseplants you can eat. Basil, thyme, cilantro, and parsley are easy to grow in pots on a windowsill, year round. You can usually get potted herbs from the grocery store.
It’s a good idea to repot the plants into bigger pots, especially as they grow. You’ll want to report at least twice a year into fresh organic soil to replenish the nutrients. Make sure the pot has holes in the bottom and place it on a kitchen plate or garden plate to avoid over watering.
Clip off the leaves as the plant grows. Use them as fresh herbs. Clipping also encourages the plant to grow.
Don’t throw your old leftover lettuce butt away. Instead, place it in a bowl with a little water on the bottom. Leave it in the sun. About two to three times per week, spray it with a spray bottle filled with water set to the mist position. After three to four days, roots and new leaves begin to sprout. Replant the start in a pot with soil. Continue to mist spray the lettuce a few times per week, and make sure it gets plenty of sun. A window works perfectly.
So yes, you really can grow your own organic garden right in your Athens apartment. Happy gardening!