The Hunt for Off-Campus Housing

Kaitlynn Tarbox Contributing Writer

    As students progress through their degree, many opt to move off campus to experience life on their own. But the big question is: where is the best place to live off campus?  

    There are two main housing companies around the Farmington area, one being Riverbend Properties and the other being Foothills Management. Riverbend owns 78 properties around the Farmington area, 71 of those being apartments, as well as five houses and two commercial spaces. They offer wifi, sewer, heat, hot water, water, and trash removal at most of their units. Each building also has coin-operated laundry on site and the only thing not included in rent is electricity. Their highest rent is $1700, but their lowest is $365 which is one furnished room.

    Foothills Management is the other major company that rents to students. They have 128 apartments in the Farmington area. Included in their rent is electric, heating, WiFi, and parking/snow removal, and garbage. 

     Sharon Buker, sophomore elementary education major, currently rents from Riverbend her first off-campus apartment. She said, “It’s nice to have my own space. I can have friends over whenever I want and it’s a lot quieter than living in the dorms. Being able to have my cat is a huge bonus for me!”  

    The application process, Buker said is  “really simple, I filled it out online with basic income information, what I was looking for number-of-bedrooms-wise, and whether or not I had pets. I received an email just a couple days later about going to look at an apartment.” 

    Jon Ferguson, a senior biology major, also rents from Riverbend Property Management. For Ferguson, the main perk of renting an apartment is having a kitchen all to himself. “I enjoy having my own place where I can cook my own food. I also enjoy where my apartment is located. I’m next to Stone and Dakin so I can still enjoy on-campus events.” Being close to campus can be beneficial to some students as they might not have a vehicle, so getting to classes is easier the closer you are to campus.

    In the spring semester, UMF usually hosts a number of companies and landlords who table in the Student Center to tell students about off-campus housing options. “The application process was rather easy. I went in during the day that the campus puts on for off campus housing,”  Ferguson said. “I got a tour of a couple of places and had signed the lease for my apartment by the end of it all.” 

    Charlotte Allard, a junior Outdoor Recreation Business Administration major, rents from Riverbend as well.  She went through the same application process that Ferguson did, which was at the off-campus housing fair. 

     For some students such as Allard, on-campus living is not for them. Allard said, “ I didn’t really enjoy living in the dorms. I always felt kind of crammed in a room. I don’t feel crammed in a room with my apartment.” 

    The ability to have pets is a bonus for many students such as Buker and Allard. Allard said “I also enjoy the feeling of being independent, having my own  place, and being able to live with my two cats.”  

    Buker said, “The owner of the apartment does a lot of the maintenance himself. There is a form on their website to put in a service request and the one time I needed to use it, he was here within half an hour to fix it.” 

    Faith Diaz, a senior creative writing major, has lived in three apartments owned by Foothills Management. She said, “I like the ability to come and go as I please without having to check in with a [CA]. I enjoy having my puppy, who is my ESA (Emotional Support Animal), but he has more room to live than if we were in the dorms. And I work so it’s nice to have my own space without interruption.” Foothills has a 25 pound limit on pets in their buildings. 

    The only issue Diaz has had is “the parking becomes an issue because we are so close to campus they confuse it for campus parking.”  There are a few staff that work for maintenance on the buildings and Diaz said, “They are constantly working on all of the buildings and they are the real MVPs. But they are understaffed and the buildings are old and need more help being up kept.”

Sports, Classes, Clubs, And Work: How To Juggle It All

Sports, Classes, Clubs, And Work: How To Juggle It All

By Tania Bureau Contributing Writer

College is challenging when students balance studying, practicing sports, working and getting eno

Sophomore Charlotte Allard combats stress by going to the library to do homework. (Photo by Tania Bureau)

ugh sleep at night. Gavin Pickering, a counselor at UMF, said that while it is important to set times and make schedules, it’s also smart to take breaks and spend time with friends.  

   “It is important for students to take one thing at a time and not try to multitask,” said Pickering in an email. “Think of yourself as capable to get the work done, and don’t overwhelm yourself. Focus on one thing at a time.”

   Two students at UMF dealing with busy schedules and the stress of college life are Joseph Ashby, a freshman, and Charlotte Allard, a sophomore.

   Ashby is still adjusting to college. “It is extremely overwhelming,” said Ashby. “Especially playing a varsity sport and having to juggle to get my 16 credits and having three hours of practice everyday.”  Ashby is working to find strategies to help with the busy workload. “If I am not in class, I am doing homework and if I am not doing homework or in class, I’m playing soccer,” said Ashby. “I’m always doing schoolwork.”

   Both Ashby and Allard have come up with some strategies to help with stress and a busy schedule. Ashby goes to a math tutor through Johnson Scholars, and Allard goes to tutors to have papers read with a fresh pair of eyes.

   Allard strives to be organized, making a list of everything that needs to get done, and goes to the library to do homework. Allard finds that writing her notes color-coded also helps with studying.

 Allard has found that it helps her to take a short break. “…[During a stressful time] I did something other than homework. I got away from that specific thing and when I came back to it I reread what I had, and it was like, ‘oh, there’s my mistake.’”

   Allard also has strategies to unwind. “I stress out myself so bad. When I am mentally stressed and overwhelmed I write in a journal,” said Allard. “I will just like word vomit all of my thoughts, everything I am thinking and throw it on paper and I can get back to what I am doing because my mind is clear.”

   Pickering emphasizes that students need to focus on the positives while studying. “Celebrate the work that you accomplish also think about how you will feel when the homework is complete,” said Pickering. “Try to get excited about a task. It gets rid of the voice that says, ‘I don’t wanna,’ which is often the reason work goes undone.”

    If you’re struggling with the stress college life brings, you can make an appointment at Counseling Services by go online to the Counseling Service Page on the UMF website, or call 207-778-7034.