With a new school year about to begin, many students will be looking for a place to live in Saskatoon — a potentially overwhelming task for students who will be moving away from home for their first year of university.
What follows is my advice for anyone moving away from home for the first time, as well as some things that I think you should know about choosing a place to rent in Saskatoon.
Moving away from home can be scary or exciting, depending on your situation. If you are moving from out of town, you may not have as big of a support system as some of the students from Saskatoon. If this is the case, it might be best to find a place with a roommate, as having roommates with similar interests is a good way to make a new friend, or friends, quite easily. Make sure you meet the other person before you move in, so you can be sure you will get along.
When moving away from home, it is important to keep your stress and mental health under control. While living on your own, it’s important to work toward incorporating some healthy habits into your life. Things like a regular sleep schedule, regular exercise and a healthy diet can help immensely with maintaining your mental health. Remember that if you need to, you can always call home or plan a weekend visit.
Finding your new homestead in Saskatoon is not as hard as it sounds. The easiest way is to look around at classified ad sites like Kijiji. You can put in your price range and all of the specifics you want. If you don’t want roommates, you may have to pay a little bit more for a one-bedroom apartment. However, if money is an issue, the cheapest way to live in the city is to rent a house with several roommates and divide up the rent amongst yourselves.
Often, the utilities will be included in the price of rent. However, if you do find a place where utilities are not included, you will need to set up electricity with SaskPower or the City of Saskatoon, natural gas with SaskEnergy and water also through the City of Saskatoon. Visit saskatoon.ca to find everything you need to set up your utilities and payment information.
It is also important to know who your landlord is and to discuss the terms of the living arrangement with them before you move in. If you are renting from a property management company, there will be lots of paperwork and screening that you have to do before you can move in. If you are renting from the owner of a house or an apartment, it is important to know how to get a hold of them and how and when they would like the rent paid.
If you end up living somewhere with a roommate, you should know basic roommate etiquette. When you make a mess in a shared space, you must clean it up as soon as possible. It is not okay to do things like cook a large meal and then leave the dirty dishes in the kitchen for days.
When you live with a roommate, your mess should not leave your bedroom, because it is inconsiderate to the other person. Keep common courtesy in mind, too. If you are going to have a long bath, for example, ask your roommate if they need the bathroom first.
Every once in awhile, you will have to confront a roommate. The best way to do this is to begin with written communication — like leaving a note or sending a text to let them know what you are having a problem with — and then give them a day or so to think of a response or solution.
Finding a place to live for the school year may seem like a daunting task, but once you know everything that you are looking for, it isn’t that bad. Remember, if you are unhappy with where you end up living, you can always plan for something better next year!
Lyndsay Afseth / Staff Writer
Photographic Illustration: Emily Migchels / Opinions Editor