If you are a freshman or a returning for a new year and need a place to live or you just have a good memory you probably know how stressful and hellish finding a place to live near UCF can be. However, it seems like this year it is extra stressful. The last thing I want to do is add to the stress of finding housing, however, there is a reason why housing is even more stressful this new school year.
Before I get into that let me explain how I found my housing for this past year. My good friend and fellow Odyssey writer Joely Hart got her acceptance letter for UCF sometime around January and had a place at The Verge lined up by March. Well, it wasn't until late March that I got my acceptance letter and my heart hadn't been decided until mid-May to early June that I wanted to go to the University of Central Florida. It wasn't until around late June or early July that we found a place, The Verge. For any incoming freshmen or parents reading this, The Verge is the number one in terms of safety, as rated by an orange county police.
However, it's full. In fact, a good majority of the places are full. Like I said I am not trying to freak anyone out. But this is a fact. Even the places with 2.2 reviews that claim that this the worst place to live is filling up, looking at you Campus Crossing.
As I am writing this I spent my whole day yesterday driving around properties, getting tours and asking questions. I am female and living alone in a city far away from my parents and anyone I know, I have four friends up here that I have known for more than three months. Saftey is extremely important to me. I have to know that I can sleep without a knife under my pillow. Which for the parents and other girls looking for a place, Campus Crossing is terrible. Take a look at the reviews. Then while you're touring ask what they are doing or have done to protect their residents.
Campus Crossing answer is not in anyway satisfactory. Their best advice for keeping safe is not hanging out with shady people. Which, sure, but what about my roommates who are all strangers? How do I police their friendships? Comparing that to the Marquee, whose reviews and reputation is just as bad, who stepped up and placed cameras in every corner and added an entirety security team 24/7 on their property. The Marquee is where I am hoping to move into. So come back in a year and I'll let you know how it went.
Here's the thing: looking for a place to live wasn't this stressful last year.
There are a couple of reasons for this, the main one was that: last year my parents were in the country, and helping me search. My mom who is a wizard at reading reviews helped me sniff out good products. However, my mom and dad are in Brasil, where we are all originally from, to see family. Which means that research and number crunching has fallen on my shoulders. Which I don't particularly mind considering that I am now a step closer to being an adult. Honestly, I almost want to post all the information I have about rooms and money and placements and safety everywhere titled: Look I Am An Adult!
The other big reason as to why it's a pain to find a place this year is because UCF has kicked out the students living in the on-campus housing at Towers, and in all student-housing for returning students. Now the reason why, which is based on the rumor mill coming from those living at Towers, is that they need to accept new students. Those living there were told enter into this raffle so they can stay or find a new place off campus. This means not only are new incoming freshmen looking for places then so are returning students.
Now, I am not living in Towers so I don't have first-hand information. But it makes a lot of sense to me that the reason there are so few free spots this year is that not only are we adding incoming freshmen but also everyone at Towers who did not win the raffle.
The area around UCF already has a small amount of student catered housing that is safe and affordable. In fact, there seems to only be about three that I know of that meet this qualification and they are basically full. Personally, it seems like UCF has dropped the ball on living situations. There is a lot that UCF does that is great, much that they need to improve, nevertheless it seems as if very little thought has gone into students living situations, both in terms of where students and how much it will cost students.
UCF as of 2017 has 66 thousand students. Many of which are students living in Orlando, most, like me, are coming from different parts of the state or the country. Just in tution, UCF makes $4,478 in total UCF makes $22,254. Living somewhere, have a safe place to sleep effects everything. Not just in terms of student productivity but also in terms of their health. Regardless of how difficult or 'impossible' to have a place for 66 thousand students UCF needs to provide. To say that they are not responsible for their students' health and safety is ridiculous and negligent. If UCF cannot house their students then perhaps they should not admit so many.