Back to College – COVID-19 Edition – Part 2

Categories: Well-being

College Housing Options!

By Daniela Vulpe, UCF College Student

How choose the right housing option for you?

In my last post I talked about staying productive in the era of Zoom classes. In part II of my Back To College Series I would love to give you a couple of tips about choosing the best housing option for this fall!

The COVID-19 pandemic posed a new problem for college students going back to school this fall- HOUSING. As many of our classes are going online and there’s a need to maintain social distancing, students are challenged to make some very tough decisions this fall. I have worked as a Resident Assistant for off-campus housing for almost a year and I have come up with a couple of tips to help you navigate this new challenge:

1. Read the Lease Agreement!

If you have already signed a lease for the FALL 2020 go back to the disgustingly long document and read it thoroughly again. If you change your mind and want to go back home, what are your options?  Unfortunately, a global pandemic is usually not listed in the break clauses of the lease. And what is your plan if you test positive? Many universities are going to have you sign a housing agreement addendum acknowledging the risks associated with COVID-19. You should be prepared in case something goes wrong and know all the details.

2. Stay Home!

As the majority of classes are online this fall and dorm occupancy is reduced, many students have decided to move back home. It is indeed a great opportunity to save money, learn new recipes from your mom, and avoid some adult responsibilities for a while.


If you are not happy with your housing arrangements for fall or spring you could always look into alternatives. If you followed TIP 1 and you read your lease agreement you will notice that many housing companies offer the option of subleasing or releasing. According to  subletting, also called subleasing, is when a tenant rents their room or apartment out to someone else for a period of the lease. The new tenant is thus responsible for paying rent and taking care of the apartment. But remember, if they don’t, you will be held responsible. Another option is releasing, where you are exempt from any further responsibility of the property and you transfer it to a different person.  Thus you can always make an agreement to sublease your apartment to another student for this fall or release your apartment and look for another housing opportunity this spring. Maybe rent a house with your friends that also stayed home? (* TIP 5 Spoiler alert)

4. Take a Semester Off or a Gap Year

Talk to your advisor about the possibility of taking some time off. During this time, you can get a new job and get some work experience, try and start your own thing (maybe a mask business) or just simply enjoy some time off, stress free. This could enable you to refocus and get some extra time to figure out how you want to go about college during a pandemic.

5. Rent a House/Apartment with Friends!

You can socially distance yourself from the crowded dorms by renting an apartment or even a house not too far from college. This means you can avoid communal bathrooms, laundry rooms, and kitchens. Also, you limit the number of people you interact with, thus increasing your safety!

So how are you dealing with housing this fall? Are you staying home or coming back to the dorms? Also, don’t miss out on part III of the going back to college series! I will be talking about getting the best out of your college experience while keeping safe. Till next post, my loves!

About the Author

Hi, there! My name is Daniela Vulpe. I am a junior majoring in Health Sciences at UCF. I am a proud Moldovan, Jiu-Jitsuer, founder of OrlandoAgainstCorona and intern at Healthy West Orange!

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