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College Housing Issues! How do you deal with someone like this?

  1. Jan 10, 2009 #1
    So since I'm a freshman, stuck in a tiny dorm for this year that I pay about $7000+ for (which I share with another person I may add), I am eager to get out of university housing. I've taken a look at several properties and my plan was to move in with my friend, a girl who I've known since middle school, we're practically inseparable and have no issues that would make living together unpleasant, and possibly two boys from our highschool that we know and hang out with.

    The issue is that her parents are very very strict and don't trust her living with boys or ANYONE besides me, otherwise she stays in the dorms. This has become an issue since I want to start signing leases and me and my two buddies are ready to go, but she's holding back on asking her parents because she knows they'll freak out. Apparently, she wasn't too worried when she dropped the bomb on me that no, she couldn't live with other people in housing and shouldn't we start looking for a two bedroom soon?

    Every. Single. Two bedroom we have looked at is an apartment (she's dead set against houses because she thinks they're too expensive, despite the fact that we've visited several that are comparable to apartment prices), crappy, made to rent out to frat boys who just want a place to crash between beer bongs, and small (we're talking 600 to 800 sq feet for two people). I tried to go along with her plan and look for two bedrooms but always picks the smallest, closest to campus ones (ones where the price is more for the proximity than the quality of the residence). I can't deal with that and I've told her many times that I need a little space and decent surroundings to get my work done, since I do almost all schoolwork at home. She will not change her ways so I've told her once that it was never in the deal that I would room with her no matter what and if this persists, I will go and live with the guys. She freaks out and cries to our two guy friends about how I'm leaving her to live alone or stay in the dorms. What should I do? I feel like a jerk and I know she'll be hurt if I decide to live in a nice house with our friends and she's stuck in the dorms or some one bedroom apartment, but I'm at the end of my rope! Advice?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 10, 2009 #2
    Take this advice from someone who has an apartment and has been to countless apartments. 600-800 sq feet for 2 people is more than enough. That's a decent sized living room, kitchen, two rooms, and one or two bathrooms. I live in an apartment that has around 600 square feet and there are 3 of us and I've never felt like I needed more room. I really don't see why you would need more room... more room for what? All of my friends who have apartments have the same size apartment and it suits them perfectly. I used to do my schoolwork at home when I was in high school but in college I much prefer to get it done in the library now anyway. You needing decent surroundings is very psychological. Im pretty sure you can get over it.

    By the way, I've seen countless friendships destroyed because of living together. Just because you've known someone for 10 years doesn't mean you'll be good roommates.

    Try to loosen up. You're supposed to have fun in college. You'll always find some place to do your studies.

    EDIT: I should add that living in a dorm was a ton of fun for me. My roommate and I lived in a 110 sq feet dorm (one of the smallest dorms at my campus) and it was a blast.

    The real question is how does someone like her deal with someone like you. You seem to be the one making the demands. Put yourself in her position for a moment.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2009
  4. Jan 10, 2009 #3
    Perhaps it's just people on these forums but 600 sq feet for two people is too small for me. Yes, it's psychological, no I have better things to do than to try to get over perfectly rational personal preferences. I'm not happy in a tiny environment. I like a decent amount of space to entertain friends in, to watch TV in, to do homework in, and just to live in. I'm already going slowly mad because I have to share 150 sq feet with a roommate and I would do anything to avoid the issue next year.

    What do you consider outrageous demands? I've taken her issues into consideration when searching for places but she shoots every one down because even paying half of what we pay now for our dorms in unacceptable. What exactly is so terrible about her position is what I would like to know.
  5. Jan 10, 2009 #4
    Just how big of an apartment are you looking at?

    Also, it's really nice living close to campus. I live about 3/4 of a mile away and walk/bike to class everyday which is very convenient. Not sure what the parking situation is like at your school but at the UA it's terrible.

    Im not saying you have outrageous demands, I'm just saying that your demands seem just as strong as hers, so you two are in just about the same position.
  6. Jan 10, 2009 #5
    Is she financially dependant on her parents? If not then I would tell her to ignore them if they freak about her living with boys. She's an adult?

    Also I don't see what is wrong with 800sqft. That's a decent size. The two bedroom I live in is smaller than that and there is plenty of room compared to a dorm room. Do you just have a whole bunch of stuff or something? You're just going to be living there for college right?

    At any rate, if she's the type to freak out and get so emotional about such minor conflicts then you may not want to live with her.
  7. Jan 10, 2009 #6
    Moose: The apartment? About 800+ sq feet is what I was looking at, perhaps a short (15 min) busride away from campus but cheaper and larger than what she wanted.

    With 4 people, we're looking at 1500-2000 sq feet, which is about $1500/month with utilities. Split 4 ways, that's roughly $375/month or $4500 per yeah, which is almost half of what we pay now. What she's looking at is $1000/month, which would be $500 per person or $6000 a year. See why this is problematic? Not only would we be paying more, we'd be paying more for much less. 3/4 of a mile was about one of the properties I suggested but she even hemmed and hawed about THAT one because it was 'too far'. Afterwards, I suggested she just live in the library if she wants to be that damn close.

    She is financially dependent on her parents, so no go there, unfortunately. She doesn't freak out but she did treat it like I just kicked her dog or something. I thank you guys for the input, but I honestly don't want to think about what being stuck in a tiny two bedroom with another person would feel like. As it is, I'm NEVER in my dorm unless I'm sleeping and this isn't by choice; it's because I hate being there. I ave the mildest and politest roommate ever but the close quarters mean I can't ever do anything there. I don't want to spend the rest of college wandering around like a lost dog, I actually want a place I can stomach to be in for more than 20 minutes. Didn't you two ever feel cramped in such a small space? Or did you even spend enough time there to feel cramped?
  8. Jan 10, 2009 #7
    So in essence you would like to get everything you want. In the adult world it's not that uncommon to be forced to make compromises. You can learn that now taking the easy way or later on the hard way.
  9. Jan 10, 2009 #8
    What you're saying seems to be in the 5-7 mile range. I know a few people who live in apartments that far and they're OK with the commute, but would prefer to be a little closer, so it's not a huge problem.

    I never really felt cramped in such a tiny 11x11 dorm because to me it felt like the entire dorm complex was my house and the dorm room was just my room, which I happened to be sharing with someone. My roommate and I became good friends so we hung out a lot anyway. It wasn't problematic.

    My concern is that it already seems like you two aren't able to solve this problem. What will happen when more concerns arise throughout the year? Will it be this challenging for every problem that you encounter?
  10. Jan 10, 2009 #9


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    Do you really want to live with someone whose parents are clearly very controlling?
  11. Jan 10, 2009 #10

    Vanadium 50

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    I think misgfool has a point - one of you wants to live close, one wants to live far. One sees cost as more important than space, one sees space as more important than cost. And so on.

    You will either have to compromise, or make other plans.
  12. Jan 10, 2009 #11
    If your having problems, just looking for a place to stay with her, you should never move in anywhere with her.
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