Laura Skinner, a senior communications and public relations major, has made the transition from the pampered life of on-campus housing to that of off-campus housing, which lacks both the constant source of food from the dining halls and the single room and board bill included in tuition. She sat down with me and gave me a candid look into how she attained her current living space and what the first few months have been like living someplace other than Villanova’s campus.
“We found this house because I knew the girls who lived here last year, and it’s kind of been passed down every year to girls who are in my sorority,” Skinner said. “I knew about it because I had been here many times last year for parties and other events.”
Skinner told me that the biggest change that she and her roommates have faced is the responsibility of making sure that the bills and rent are paid on time.
“One month we didn’t pay our cable bill, so both our Internet and cable went out,” Skinner said. “You can’t really rely on your parents anymore for these responsibilities; you have to remember them on your own.”
This responsibility has caused Skinner and her roommates to appreciate conservation.
“We have to constantly remember to turn off the lights and water to save money or else it comes out of our pockets, not our parents’,” she said.
Skinner advises rising seniors to beware of landlords when house/apartment hunting.
“When we were house hunting we saw this gorgeous house, but the lease was 30 pages long, and the landlord was crazy,” she said. “Be careful that you’re not getting ripped off because landlords know that you’re college students, and there aren’t a lot of houses to really choose from around here.”
Luckily for Skinner, she has not dealt with many problems concerning the housing she has chosen for senior year.
“The only real problem that occurred with the house happened this past summer when my roommates lived here but I had not moved in yet,” Skinner said. “It was around midnight on a Saturday night, and they had a couple of friends over, so they were outside on the front porch playing music and having a good time. Apparently, a neighbor called the police and they came and issued us a warning. The warning actually turned into a noise citation, so the police then had to come out and inspect our house.”
The tenants of her house were nervous about the possibility of eviction, but over time, things settled down for them. Skinner suggests that if you end up living next to families, try and refrain from drawing too much attention to yourself. Families don’t generally like living near college students and will not hesitate to take action.