This past Martin Luther King Jr’s Day at the beginning of the semester I volunteered at HUG-Hilltop Urban Gardens Food Soverignty project with my Theta sisters. We got to hear the vision of Dean, who wanted to create a community-based and independent system of creating a space to grow food, tend to the plants and share food ideas with everyone pitching in what they can: recipes, gardening time, land plots in front of their houses, etc.
That was especially meaningful for me as a student worker in our Dining & Conference Services on campus and for the fact I do not have a meal plan and have been shopping, planning and cooking my own meals (mostly!).
Puget Sound is often and fondly by all of us, home. And this home isn’t in the literal sense necessarily, it’s finding a place where we can be ourselves, share our learning and passions and grow as people. And while I’ve made some great and truly amazing friends living in T/P Garden Level last year and Theta this year, I’ve decided to make the decision to live off campus. And there are many factors attributed towards that decision.
The cost to live on campus is pretty expensive, especially compared to the off-campus housing opportunities. There are options to rent a room or share a room, and pay only the rent, utilities heating and cable bills as necessary all can amount, in my case, lower than the cost of living on campus. It also gives me the opportunity to have an off-campus meal plan, more suited to my eating and spending as well as make my own meals, here comes the mac n cheese, ramen, oatmeal and cereal days but it’s realistic and puts the power of what i’m eating more directly into my hands instead of just what the sub has. The third perk is choosing who I want to live with and where we are living. The different types of rooms vary in cost on campus along with room options through the lottery which isn’t ideal either. This way I found five amazing friends I want to live with and we can all have our own room, or share if we choose to, to look for large closets if that’s what we want or non-scary basements, to live as close to campus as possible or close to the nearest Starbucks. Having these choices and responsibility is really pushing all those lessons learned at home and growth as individuals respecting others space and holding my self accountable.
And while I’ve had amazing roommates on-campus (I’m actually going to be housing with my current roommate next year) it’s time for another new step, because in two years when I graduate I most likely will be living on my own, finding where in the world do I want to try and make my mark and my living situation while doing so. What’s great is that UPS supports this growth within it’s students. We found our house among the many listings on the UPS website, articles about safety and protection services Security offers, someone to look over our leases and the many options of subletting, moving in, lists, and more. I’m excited for this new step next year and can’t wait to see how it goes!