One of my biggest stressors when planning to move to Waltham (just outside of Boston) was finding housing. I think most felt this similar roller-coaster ride of emotions:
Emotion 1, excitement: “Wow! Living in Boston will be just like in the movies. I want a nice 1 bedroom studio near the water, I’m sure my $800 a month will go a long way!”
Emotion 2, inquisitive: “Look at all these options… wait, when I enter my budget I can’t seem to find my dream apartment, what is going on?!”
Emotion 3, rational: “Ahh, okay I guess I will just have to opt for a nice big shared house with a roommate or two.”
Emotion 4, confused: “Wow, that’s not going to work either. Okay, smaller house with a few more roommates it is.”
Emotion 5, accepting: “Okay, looks like a small townhouse with 4 roommates will have to work!”
Emotion 6, nervous: “But what will living with 4 other people be like, how will I find them, how will they find me?”
I bring you to today. Real talk: I was not excited about having to live with 4 other people (who I did not know) in a small place when moving here; and, for many, their situation is like mine in which they are working on a tight budget and need to make every penny count. But let me tell you, IT WILL BE OKAY!
In fact, if you’re looking to build community, living with others is great. In my mind, I worried that I would have super messy, loud, rude roommates who made every moment home unbearable. But, my experience has not looked like that. Instead, I now live with 4 other Brandeis students who are wonderful. My roommates include another Heller graduate student (in the MBA/SID program), a PhD student in History, a graduate student in Business Analytics, and a graduate student in Finance. If I had opted to spend (A LOT) more money to live by myself, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to enjoy casual dinner conversations while I make my usual dinner of broccoli and potatoes. I wouldn’t have enjoyed the yummy smells that come with foods from Pakistan and Afghanistan, and I wouldn’t have had others to commiserate with after a long day of classes.
If you are like me and feeling a bit apprehensive about finding housing in this area as a graduate student, let me tell you: odds are you will encounter some pretty smart, talented, kind and caring individuals in your pursuits because Brandeis seems to pull those types of people in. There are also plenty of resources provided to graduate students to help you on your housing search. So, don’t worry and just trust and enjoy the process. Hey, you may even make some awesome new friends because of it!