10/19 Thrifty Student Housing Solutions

Synapse, UCSF student newspaper

Rental prices in the Bay Area are high enough to send any student into cardiac arrest from sticker shock. Before moving to San Francisco, I remember telling my parents the average price of rentals on PadMapper and hearing their shocked voices respond that my older sister had paid about half that amount to live in a house during undergrad…

In an attempt to better understand the financial burden that Bay Area living places on students, the UCSF Office of Institutional Research (OIR) recently sent out a “Cost of Living Winter 2015 Student Survey” which asked respondents about rental costs, transportation costs, and the average amount they spent on books, supplies, food, and child care. I will be using much of the data from that survey to explore housing options for students trying to be more frugal in paying for shelter.*

1. University Housing: UCSF offers both on- and off-campus housing options…

[skipping down to #6]

6. Downsizing: The Tiny House Movement has exploded across the US and the Bay Area has not been spared. For those unfamiliar with the concept, the definition of a tiny house is subjective, but many consider a home of 400 square feet or less to be “tiny.” I spoke with Jennifer Lee, a fourth year medical student currently taking a gap year, about her recent obsession with tiny homes and the possibility of building her own before graduation….

By her own account, the most surprising things she has discovered throughout this process are the extent of personal development that takes place during tiny house planning and the large community driving the movement. Jenn says, “My impulse was to rebel and become a hermit. But what I discovered in this process was that … it’s not necessarily about the money, though that’s a huge part of it … it forces you to re-evaluate the way you live your life and that by giving up so many possessions … it forces you to really get to know yourself, one, and then two, you open up so much space for all the things you really care about in life, like your family and your friends and your community.”

Read more http://synapse.ucsf.edu/articles/2015/10/19/thrifty-housing-solutions

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Elaine Walker