For the students of Gonzaga, finding a house in Logan Neighborhood for junior and senior year is a process that, in most cases, starts the summer going into sophomore year. This process starts before friendships can truly form and before students meet the majority of their friend groups.

Because the off-campus housing market surrounding GU’s campus is highly competitive among students, this process is accelerated to the point where decisions are made prematurely. Before friends have the opportunity to live with each other, they jump into signing a lease.

In my experience, the leasing process in Logan Neighborhood requires a change. Signing a lease early causes more of a challenge than it helps students with peace of mind.

I signed a lease on a house in Logan Neighborhood the summer going into my sophomore year. I felt the pressure to sign a lease as soon as the snow fell to the ground in December of my freshman year. There was talk among my friends and chatter in classes about who was living with whom, where the house was and the cost of rent. 

As soon as I heard of people making housing plans for the years to come, I jumped into a lease with a group of girls. The arrangement did not work out.

This is the lesson I learned from signing a lease before I knew what I was doing: Take your time.

For freshmen hearing the same chatter I did, the advice I have for you is to take your time finding a house and group with which to live. The pressure that students put on locking down a house right away is unnecessary.

There are other options for students who are struggling to find housing as the time to sign comes closer.

On-campus housing is still an option for students. Also, since the search for a lease starts before friendships are fully developed, students who are in need of some “last-minute” housing options for their junior and senior year have GU to use as a resource. In fact, the housing bulletin board still has options for off-campus housing posted late into the school year.

There are roughly 300 upperclassmen living in on-campus housing. So, if you can’t find a way to live off-campus during your last two years at GU, you aren’t alone.

You might save yourself some money and time by not having to pay rent over the summer, and you won't be stuck in Spokane when your lease hasn’t started and you need to move in for those summer classes.

As the weather turns from snow to sun in Spokane, students scramble to find a place to live for the awkward overlap of time between finals week and the start of summer classes, internships or jobs.

With most leases in Logan Neighborhood starting the beginning of June and spring semester classes out for summer the first week in May, students are left stranded during the first couple weeks of their summer plans in Spokane.

While the majority go home for that two-week gap, some students are forced to bum it, couch-surfing with friends or family nearby for a couple of weeks.

This causes trouble when moving personal items around from location to location and is an annoying part of moving when summer rolls around in Spokane.

Despite all the negative feelings I have toward leasing in Logan, living off-campus has many perks for students. One of my favorites is sharing.

As incoming juniors move in and take over the leases seniors have just left, there is an element of reusability. Whether previous tenants left small items like pots and pans in the house or incoming renters buy furniture from others on their way out, students recycle housing appliances.

Collin McNicholl-Carter, a recent GU graduate, said he recalls buying many items off the seniors that lived in his house before him.

McNicholl-Carter also said many of the guys who lived in his house before him left behind items they used. He described how he sorted through what they wanted to keep and donated the rest.

Along with sharing among students in Logan, living off-campus junior and senior year of college helps prepare students for the real world. Going through the leasing process teaches many lessons, big or small.

Living off-campus helps students learn how to be responsible for a house, how to clean, pay bills, put out the garbage on time, be conscious of how long their shower is and purchase food for themselves, among other things.

Living in Logan Neighborhood provides a great opportunity for students to grow into themselves and transition into adulthood.

Hannah Hislop is a staff writer. Follow her on Twitter @HannagvHilsop 

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