New Year, New Post, New Housing

Happy New Year from your Ohio State University College of Optometry Student Ambassadors’ Team!
Our New Year’s Resolution for 2017? Blog more.
That said, this post is brought to you by holiday spirit, untempered motivation, and the excitement of a new semester – enjoy!

So, you love The Ohio State University College of Optometry (because what isn’t to love about a top-ranked school in a beautiful city). When you visit campus, you can picture yourself as a student – sitting in Room 22, eating lunch outside the nearby Panera, studying in the Health Sciences Library. You’ve submitted your application. You’ve attended your interview. You may have even been accepted. Everything is perfect.

Well, almost everything. The problem? You still don’t know where to live, who to room with, or how to even begin the process of answering these questions.

Moving to someplace new, whether it be down the road, into the city, or halfway across the country, can be difficult. And the three most important aspects to consider when moving? Location, location, location… at least, that’s what some expert at some point in history said.

But what location do you want? Do you want to stay near the school? Be near the best food? Be near the best happy hour? Are you looking for an apartment or a house? Roommate or no roommate? Some money or less money? (Let’s be honest, we are in grad school…) Thankfully, whether you are new the city or simply searching for a new spot, Columbus has something to offer for everyone.

The four neighborhoods most commonly inhabited by optometry students tend to be South Campus, Victorian Village, Short North, and Grandview. These all provide easy walking distances or the availability of public transportation to the school. South Campus, though more undergraduate-saturated than the other neighborhoods, offers easy access not only to the school, but also to the library, main campus, and the gym. Victorian Village and the Short North, on the other hand, cater more to those looking to explore Columbus outside of class. Coffee shops, study spots, food, art galleries, and breweries are just a few of the many attractions in these areas, and so, become the home of many young professionals and graduate students. Last, but not least, Grandview is a great neighborhood with the greatest opportunity for apartment living. Here you will find a wide variety residents ranging from students, to young professionals, to young families, to retirees – all of which come together to create a fun and convenient location to live.

To aid with the house hunting experience, here are a combination of websites to help filter out the undesirable and unaffordable locations based on personal preferences. As you begin your search, remember: Research is your friend. Set up an appointment to look at the property before signing the lease. Properties can go quickly and new properties are listed daily, so keep your eyes open!
*Shout out to Ambassador Megan Hurley for her contributions to this section!

Despite the draws of living in one of the typical neighborhoods, the challenges of braving the Columbus housing market is admittedly not for everyone, and so, a few individuals from each year choose to relive the glory days of undergraduate Greek life by living in our own EYE House. This is a unique opportunity available to 16 Opt-1 through Opt-4 students who choose to join Epsilon Psi Epsilon, Ohio State’s Optical Fraternity (which is, fun fact, the only one in the nation). The Top 7 Perks of EYE House Living are as follows:

1. Living with upperclassmen. You have questions? They have answers.

2. Easy access to all meetings, tailgates, and parties (and never worrying about driving home afterwards…) This is a win-win whether you’re an extrovert who wants to be around for every second of the action, or an introvert who needs to be able to come and go freely as the mood dictates.

3. People. With the possibility of 15 housemates, it’s pretty much impossible to go to class on the first day of school and not know anyone. Which can, admittedly, be very comforting when you’re hours away from all your family and friends.

4. Free food. From the surplus of family gatherings, to whatever that one house manager bakes when she should be studying, to the leftovers from practically every optometry related meeting, finding food is not *normally* a problem.

5. Within walking distance (aka under 1.5 miles) of the school. Want to burn some extra calories (from all the free food just mentioned)? Need a way to wake up before class when coffee is out of your budget? We’ve got you covered.

6. Cheap rent. Along the lines of $425/month – all utilities included.

7. Free parking.

*Note: For those interested in potentially living in the house who have yet to interview, come stay with us! The EYE House Guest Room provides an excellent preview of EYE House living and is open to interviewing students.

Though a decent majority of students choose to live around campus, commuting is also a very viable option, especially for those who are married or have family within driving distance. Opt-II Ambassador, Hannah Davidson, is one such commuter who agreed to share a bit of her story, along with some tips on how to make the commute work for you.

I commute an hour each way every day. That may sound insane, but I’m married and had the opportunity to live rent free – how could I pass it up?! If you are considering commuting, but are worried about it, don’t be! I am still able to participate in social activities, and have plenty of time to study. It takes a little more careful planning when it comes to your schedule, but it’s totally doable. For those commuting, here are a couple of tips.

Come early. You’ll get a better parking spot, miss most of the traffic, and can actually got a lot of studying done before classes even start.

Make friends with a spare couch. Within weeks, once people found out how far I commute, tons of people offered to let me stay if I needed to. This is a great option for nights with late meetings, parties, or bad weather.

Finding housing in a new area can definitely be a challenge, but hopefully the tips from our contributing authors (thanks Megan and Hannah!) will help you decide on the best location for you. Feel free to email to contact Megan, Hannah, or the EYE House Managers (Carolyn Chakuroff and Hannah Vollmer) with any other questions you may have.

Happy Hunting!

– The Ambassadors