wallflower1987 wrote:Hi, people. I'm back, and I'm all-in. A few questions/comments I have:
1) Yes, it is awesome that they got rid of the laptop policy. Now I can get a Macbook Air instead of buying an ugly Lenovo that costs almost as much anyway and weighs 20 pounds. Happy happy, joy joy.
2) I am still looking at apartments and trying to figure it out. I found some cheap ones close to campus called the University Apartments (I think), but I'm a little reluctant to sign because the landlord seemed nice but old, and I got the feeling it might be a dust-and-mothballs establishment where one goes to die inside. This could be inaccurate, and I would love input from anybody who might know. I want a place to live; if it isn't super conducive to studying, so-be it... I will just study at the library. What I really do not want to do, though, is sign a lease to live in a virtual nunnery like I have lived in for this past year of grad school. Somewhere I can meet people, meet friends, meet ANYBODY would be nice. I feel like Dinkytown may be the way to go because I like socializing, I like partying, and I like being in the middle of it all, even if that means dealing with some undergrads (maybe). I can handle the work/play balance, but this past year has been all work and no play, and I think we all know what that has made me.
3) If I pay extra to live close to campus and sell my car, I figure that will save me at least like $200 a month between my car and insurance, plus it would mean no paying for parking (possibly at both school and apartment)... swap gas money for occasional cab money and I'm going to call that part a wash, assuming I live close enough to avoid using a cab for anything but bar outings (for which I could not drive anyway). So that leaves me $200 more a month (plus probably a couple hundred for parking throughout the year) for rent to help cover the cost of a good location, and that would be my preference if it is possible to go carless around the university. That said, is it smart for a Midwesterner to give up his car in the Twin Cities area? Or is that a mistake? I will be 10 hours from my parents, and I do not anticipate getting out of the cities much more than holidays, so I would probably fly on those few occasions. Anyway, I'm rambling... my point (in this subpoint) is: is it reasonable for me to swap out my car for a nicer/better-located place, or should I stay way off-campus and keep my car, keep paying for the car, insurance and parking all year, and risk isolation from my peeps (you guys) who will largely be closer to campus? Or will you guys mostly be further off campus anyway/not interested in socializing whatsoever in the first place even if you are near/on campus? I knew several people in undergrad who were from the Twin Cities and had no driver's licenses. I assume this means that driving is mostly unnecessary except in the suburbs, but is city travel itself doable without a car? I went to undergrad in Sioux Falls, and for those of you who are unfamiliar, it is a small 160,000 person Midwestern city that sprawls and sprawls... you really could not reasonably get by without a car unless you absolutely had to. Is the university area pretty well accessible without a car, and would it be sensible to come live close to campus if it meant being without a car? I'm just trying to find a way to afford a nicer place, but I don't want to throw out my independence in the process. Would my independence be substantially compromised by ditching the car, or are cars pretty much unnecessary near the law school?
4) Any of you who are from the Twin Cities, I would love it if you had any insight on where to look for an apartment (websites, neighborhoods, anything). Looking at apartments in a city one does not know is absolutely overwhelming, and the idea of coming up and winging it doesn't sound too great either. I am basically looking at 800- if it is driving distance to the law school or maybe up to 1000 if it is definite walking distance where a car would be totally and completely unnecessary.
1) Good for you guys. I was the last class to buy the ThinkPads.
2+3) I live in Uptown about 4 miles away. My place is under $800. I bike to school when the weather is nice and it takes me 30 minutes tops. During the winter, I take an express bus which takes less than 15 minutes. The only time I've ever felt like I needed a car was to take hockey equipment to games (but people will usually give me a ride). Not having a car is hardly an inconvenience. Also, it's kind of nice to keep away from the law school.
4) I'm a fan of padmapper.com