We all know college budgets are tight, but this doesn’t mean you can’t live in a trendy apartment that will make all your friends jealous. Here are some tips to help you decorate your apartment affordably.

  1. DIY Projects are not as hard as they look. Go on tumblr and find some cute ideas. You can most likely find a step-by-step instruction guide on how to make things for super cheap. Things like candleholders, posters, and other décor can be easily made. Use thinks like old wood, corks from wine and empty vodka bottles (cause we know you have them) to make cool crafts!
  1. The Free and For Sale Facebook group is one of the best groups out there. People give out great things for free or super cheap!
  1. Go to stores like Ikea or target. You can almost anything there that you might need for your off –campus apartment for a reasonable price.
  1. Buy removable wall decals. This is a lot better than permanent wallpaper or paint. It’s a lot less expensive and a lot more convenient. Plus you won’t have to re-paint it at the end of the year.
  1. Buy cheap posters and frame them, they will look so much nicer and will make your boring wall look a lot livelier.
  1. Get fun throw pillows and fairy lights. You will be surprised what a difference this could make!
  1. Play around with storage – try a clothing rack or look for cool shelves at the thrift store. Clutter will make your apartment look smaller than it is, so it’s always good to get rid of all magazines, furniture and unwanted junk.

Unfortunately, you can’t move off campus until you are a sophomore. So here are some tips to help you survive dorm life until you can finally get a suite off-campus place.

Talk to EVERYONE – This is the one time in college everyone is looking for new friends, take advantage. It will never as easy to meet people as it is now next year, no matter where you live in Newark.

Study outside of your room – The dorm rooms are messy and loud, don’t try to study here. UD has plenty of places to go study in quiet. Just between Morris Library and the chapel in Trabant you are guaranteed to find your own desk area and with everyone studying around you, its hard not to feel pressured to stay concentrated. Plus then you can use your desk as extra closet space!

Friday nights are fun but Saturday morning is better – Its easy to drink a ton on a Friday night after a long week. Just don’t let that ruin your entire Saturday by being hungover. Saturday day drinks (better known as “dages”) are what UD is known for, so go easy on Fridays if you are having a hard time swallowing Burnettes at 9 am.

Don’t loft your bed – This may seem like a great idea to utilize space; which it is. But unless your planning to not drink all semester, you are pretty much guaranteeing yourself an accident. Don’t believe me? Go ask my freshman roommate how it felt to fall 10 feet during a post dage nap.

Go to the floor meetings….or don’t – Your RA will probably hold some meetings, especially in the beginning of the year, in order to get to know each other and plan some activities for the floor. This is a great way to meet people and make friends, but if you get invited to a big bbq by a sophomore you know from home, don’t sacrifice going just for a floor meeting. Just make an effort to meet people, it doesn’t matter how you do it!

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1. Make other friends
You may love your roommate now, but if you ONLY hang out with each other you are bound to get into some fights.

2. Set aside time for each other
Make it a thing to cook dinners together every Sunday night or get drinks after class one day a week. This lets you create a fun tradition you can look forward to every week.

3. “Do it” when your roommate isn’t home
College apartments have thin walls. To avoid any awkward fights, do it when they aren’t around…or just invest in a REALLY loud fan.

4. Negotiate
As much as you would like, you can’t always get what you want. Learn to give up things in exchange for others.

5. Respect their stuff
Don’t eat all their food or use their stuff without permission. Just because you live together, doesn’t give you the right to snoop through their things. Be respectful and ask before you take.

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It’s never too early to start looking for an apartment. Here are some helpful tips when moving off campus and into your new apartment!.

Important things to know:

  1.     You may need a cosigner. For those of you who don’t know what that means (I didn’t) this can NOT be one of your dumbass friends who buses at Cafe Gelato; it has to be someone who can financially back you aka your parents.
  2.     Get roommates – it is so much more affordable and fun! Plus there isn’t a lot of single apartments near campus.
  3.     You will need to put down a security deposit (honestly you might think your getting this back – your not; after a day at Grotto’s punching your bedroom wall might just seem like fun).

Must have things:

  1.     A toolbox
  2.     A plunger
  3.     Dish towels
  4.     Window blinds

Once you move in:

  1. Inspect your apartment and note any concern or repairs that needs to be taken care of. This will make sure you don’t get charged for anything that damaged before you moved in and will help you get things fixed right away.
  2. Make sure to get there before your roommates do so you can get first pick on rooms.

Questions you should ask (or just look on Udwell because landlords can be sketchy):

  1.     What’s the monthly rent? When is the rent due?
  2.     How much is the security deposit?
  3.     What is the parking situation like?
  4.     Am I able to re-paint the walls or make other modifications?

Syllabus Week, aka the first week of any college semester, can be overwhelming and chaotic, especially since you’ll probably be drunk for 90% of it. Fortunately, these tips will help guide you through what is sure to be one of the least challenging experiences of your life.

  1. Have some engrossing mental diversions planned in preparation for the professors who choose to spend the first class reading their entire 17 page syllabus out loud (including the Academic Dishonesty Policy). For instance, you could try deciding which D-List celebrity each of your classmates looks like, or which of you would last longest in a Donner Party/cannibalism scenario. Just try and conceal your complete disengagement by nodding once and a while and scribbling something in the margins of your notebook.
  2. Get ready for lots of really awkward “icebreakers,” like Two Truths and a Lie, The Name Game, or Forced Social Interaction Makes Me Die On The Inside. Wait, scratch that last one — that’s just what I’m thinking during every icebreaker.
  3. Go out. Like, all the time. You only have so many semesters left before people start considering your behavior grounds for an intervention.
  4. Take the time to figure out where your classes are, particularly if you live on a large campus. It’ll be one less thing to wrap your hung-over brain around as you head to your morning classes. Also, if you stop to ask for directions or look at a map, people will automatically assume you’re a freshman and silently judge you; from a social perspective, you might as well be one of those lepers from biblical times who had to walk around ringing a bell to ward off their fellow townspeople.
  5. Don’t feel guilty for setting the alarm for your 11:30 a.m. class, “just in case” — it’s significantly less shameful than actually over-sleeping your 11:30 a.m. class.
  6. You want to get out of your first class early. The professor knows you want to get out early. You know the professor knows you want to get out early. And the professor knows that you know that the professor knows you want to get out early.

But, don’t expect to get out of the first class early; your odds are decent, but not great, and that way it will be a pleasant surprise if it happens.

  1. Wait around after your classes end to speak with your professors
  2. Pick out the cutest person in all of your classes and think of a great way to start a conversation with them. You’ll either never actually talk to them or get nervous and completely screw up whatever you had planned (“Weather bad it rain today, what you think?”), but your painful, misdirected yearnings will at least make class slightly more entertaining.
  3. Remember: you will never have so few responsibilities in your life again. Enjoy it while it lasts. Take the time to do things that you won’t have the time to do in a few years, like reading every book by Don DeLillo, writing a short story, or playing a Madden franchise through the year 2024. Hey, I never said they had to be important things.

1. Create a cleaning routine

To avoid having a huge mess, create a cleaning routine so that things never get out of hand. Things like always putting your dishes away or wiping down the counter-top can make a huge difference

2Designate a junk drawer

A junk drawer will save you clutter in the future. Everyone ends up accumulating “junk” in their apartment that could come in handy at one point. By containing it to a specific location, it eliminates a mess and is a lot easier to short through

3. Get the right supplies

Just because you have multiple things in your apartment to clean, doesn’t mean you need to spend a lot of money on different cleaning products. An all-purpose cleaning spray can do the trick for almost anything. Other must-have products are a Swiffer and vacuum and you can easily grab those on Main Street

4. Use a sponge

A sponge can be used to clean other things than just your dishes! Use it to scrub away gung in your fridge, microwave or oven!

5. Stay focused

If you see your apartment is getting bad, set aside an hour to clean with your roommates. Don’t leave the TV on or any distractions. Stay focused and clean and you will see a huge difference.