The vast number of students attending the University necessitates an equally large number of places to live. Most students move into a house or an apartment after their first year of living in the dorms. One of the most popular places to live after freshman year is a little bit west of campus, in the East 14th Avenue and Hilyard Street area.

According to Terry Shockley, the manager at Property Management [email protected]@, “The majority of people who rent from us in the West University area are students. Anywhere from 75-95 percent I would say.”

As you can imagine, the West University Neighborhood is loud, full of rowdy kids and not always safe. Here are a few tips to survive your year(s) in the West University area.

  1. Earplugs. If you are at all a light sleeper, invest in some earplugs before you even move in. Apartment complexes can be extremely loud. Grace [email protected]@, a University senior, lived in the area for two years. “I never slept when I wanted to. It was always on someone else’s schedule, and more often than not people are not kind when you ask them to be quiet,” Burnham said.
  2. Extra keys: Making copies of your keys is a must. It’s almost a guarantee that you’ll lock yourself out within the first few days of being in your new residence. University senior Mary [email protected]@ said, “I locked myself out the very first day I moved in. Luckily, I had three other roommates, so it wasn’t a problem.”
  3. A flashlight. The power goes out in the area west of campus more often then you would think. Be prepared and store the flashlight in a place you can get to easily.
  4. Bike locks.  No matter how safe you think your bike is parked on your porch, you should definitely invest in a bike lock to be sure. University senior Mac [email protected]@ said, “I’ve had my bike stolen twice. Both times I had left my bike in the front of my apartment for no more than 20 minutes and it was gone.”
  5. Getting groceries. Not everyone has a car. If you can, try and plan trips with your friends or neighbors to go to the grocery store at a time convenient for everyone.
  6. Lock your doors. It may not seem like an issue to leave your doors unlocked, but even during the day it’s necessary. Make sure that you have a key when you leave, and that you remember to lock your doors at night.
  7. Conserve energy. Almost every tenant is responsible for electricity and water bills, so make sure that you shut off lights and conserve the amount of water you use daily. Power bills add up if you’re not paying attention.
  8. If you’re a minor, do not go outside with open containers of alcohol. More often than not, you will get caught by the police and written up, and your parents will not be happy to hear whatever story you come up with.
  9. Don’t walk alone. Always have someone to walk home with, and never walk alone at night. There have been many incidents of assault on or near campus at night. The Department of Public Safety recently sent out an email to all students. Its number one suggestion stated, “Don’t walk alone at night; always walk in pairs with a trusted companion.”
  10. Keep the area clean. Though you may not mean to make a mess of your front porch (or of someone else’s), keep in mind that people are all around you. Make sure to clean up any trash you may have left outside, or other messes; it will keep your neighbors happy.

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