UT-Austin students plan their living arrangements for next school year

Laptop with Housing Locating Site

Even though her first semester of college is only just drawing to a close, government freshman Sydney Murray already knows where she’s living next year. 

After meeting her future roommates through her sorority, Murray has already signed a lease for an apartment in West Campus for her sophomore year. 

“It felt that within the first month of being here, everybody had their roommates already figured out,” Murray said. 

Although fall 2021 is months away, some students are rushing to sign leases and find off-campus housing for next year. Some say they’re afraid apartments will run out of space.

“You have the really desirable complexes in West Campus,” said Sam Njigua, broker associate at Campus and Central Properties. “If you want the best, those apartments are normally the ones that go the fastest.” 

At this time last year, Murray didn’t even know what college she was going to. This November, however, she knows where she’ll be living next year and with whom.  

“It was all kind of a scramble,” Murray said. “We found a place we really like, but it definitely caught me off guard. It was a stressful week because we were worried that spots were filling up really fast.” 

With its proximity to campus, Greek life presence and nearby bus stops, West Campus apartments are popular student housing locations, Njigua said.

“The first- and second-year students want to be in West Campus,” Njigua said. “If you like high-rises, that’s the place for you.”

This year, biomedical engineering junior Sara Stevens is renewing her current lease at The Ruckus on Nueces. The apartment said her signing deadline was Sept. 21.

“I think it’s stressful because West Campus apartments run out of spaces quickly,” Stevens said.

Murray and her roommates also signed their leases at the end of September. 

“I think if we had waited any later, it would be quite a struggle, at least from the people I’ve heard from that don’t know what they’re doing next year,” Murray said. “It’s definitely giving them a little bit of anxiety.”

Biology freshman Isabella Ambroso currently lives at The Callaway House. Since the start of the semester, she has stressed about where she’ll be living next year and with whom.

“I’m an out-of-state student, so I think that kind of adds another complicating factor because I don’t have a ton of super close friends that I went to high school with that came here,” Ambroso said. “I don’t have people that I know for a fact I would vibe with … living together with them.”

Ambroso has yet to figure out where she will live next year and is worried she won’t find roommates in time.

“It sucks because you don’t even know these people that well yet, especially because we’re freshmen during a pandemic,” Ambroso said. “It’s always in the back of my head that I need to find a lease and figure out my living situation for next year.”

Originally published on November 13, 2020 in The Daily Texan
By Leni Steinhardt
Illustration by Alex Donovan

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