Apartments give students new ‘lease’ on freedom

What do you do when somebody stands too close? Step back, right? The number of people who can honestly say they enjoy others in or near their personal space are far and few in our culture. These same feelings of preference are equally as common when referring to an individual’s living arrangements.

Upon moving from our childhood homes into the jungles of Walker County, freshmen Bearkats know little about where to live and what’s best for their specific situations. With the exceptions of a Web site, brochures and the one time visit when you enrolled, a student is left to make a six-month (minimum) commitment with virtually complete ignorance about their surroundings.

Local apartment complexes, such as Cornerstone, The Arbors and Ridgewood West offer student specials and easily lure in newcomers with their close proximity to the university, security gates, crystal clear swimming pools and hot tubs and free internet access. More practical shoppers may also find local apartments that include a washer and dryer or amenities such as free cable and water included in cost of rent.

The cost of rent for two bedroom apartments at these places range from $560 all the way to $920, each with their own deposits and lease conditions.

Unfortunately, these places still have a few major setbacks. Common problems associated with apartment living include lack of parking, especially for visitors; towing and loud noise

But what if you really just want a little space? Not so much an acre where you need to buy lawn equipment, but enough to where you can remember your neighbors when you see them and nobody lives above and below you.

Where can one find these kinds of accommodations? There are options available right here in Huntsville.

The Castlewood Apartments on Cline Street is where junior Julie Colwell lives in her one bedroom, one bath.

“I’d recommend them to a friend just because I got two closets,” Colwell said. “There may not be a garbage disposal or a phone outlet in the living room but still, I’ve got two closets and it’s $375 a month with my water included.”

Graduating senior Dina Meinardus said she lived in some duplexes on Vicki Lane before finding a small house outside of town on Gazebo Road. Her current house sits on land so that one cannot see in the neighbors’s windows from their own.

She said although she likes the privacy a house provides, in some ways apartment life was easier.

“I love the space for my dog to run but that’s it. Everything is old and breaking and my maintenance man lives out in Montgomery,” Meinardus said.

“I just want an apartment outside UPD jurisdiction with a maintenance man on the premises daily,” she said.

Junior Casey Talent said he enjoys living at the new Elkwood Duplexes on Vicki Lane in a two bedroom, two bathroom for $715 a month.

“I lucked out because all my friends live right next door; I’ve got my own driveway and there’s always milk or a good time behind one of these doors,” he said. “Don’t get me wrong -, I love The Arbors pool, but too many people go to jail over there.”

Many students learn an important lesson quickly. The life of a SHSU student is not necessarily one of convenience, and choosing between living in an apartment or a house is not an easy decision.

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