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Living Guide 2017

THE Spring 2017 OU DAILY

The Living Guide

Find positivity in decoration Dorm design can decrease stress, boost your mood

The college lifestyle can be seemingly stressful to just about anyone involved. Believe it or not, the interior design of your living space could be impacting your subconscious in many ways and possibly contributing to your anxiety and stress. Proven studies show that setting up your living space in a more positive way can boost your mood and moral overall. “When we are in a supportive, nurturing, and energizing space, we just feel better,” says Reiko Gomez, a New York City-based

interior designer and feng shui expert. When you feel better and your mood is boosted, you feel more productive and make better life choices and decisions.

“When we are in a supportive, nuturing, and energizing space, we just feel better.” REIKO GOMEZ, NEW YORK CITY INTERIOR DESIGNER

There are many actions students can take to increase positivity in their living spaces. These actions can be

simple five-minute tasks, or more involved projects. A few quick and easy things you can do would include lighting some of your favorite candles, turning on your favorite music, and cleaning your space to promote a more positive atmosphere. If you have some extra time on your hands, hanging up paintings or posters that you really like or adding soft materials like rugs and pillows to your space, can be very beneficial. One of the biggest impacts students can make to their apartment or home is done by painting the walls. Often, leases do not allow tenants to paint, but more temporary solutions such as removable wallpaper or

wall art can help as well. Lighter, neutral colors like gray and blue can induce calmness and serenity, according to _. Making a space more welcoming and calming can help students with focus and managing their stress while at home. You’ll find that your living space can impact your mood and subconscious more than you think. Therefore it is so important to maintain a positive energy at all times to help with stress and anxiety. You can use all these tips and ideas to spark your own creativity and help create a more positive energy using your own style. Dylan Huber


The Living Guide THE OU DAILY

Spring 2017

Finding disability friendly housing Thank about what you need, make it happen

CONSIDER A ROOMMATE AND ROOMMATE AGREEMENT If you are planning to live with a roommate, discuss accessibility issues with them before signing a lease. Make them aware of potential problems and come to an agreement about what to do in case or emergencies or other issues.

Living on your own as a person with a disability can be difficult. Finding and moving into a new place can be even more difficult. Here are some tips that can help. MAKE A LIST OF YOUR WANTS AND NEEDS Like any renter or buyer, make a list of everything you want, everything you need, and everything you cannot live with. Use these when searching for a house or apartment, as well as when you’re speaking with a landlord or property manager.

Maria Deal

American with Disabilities Act (ADA)


If you aren’t sure about what you should be looking for, has a section on their 2010 Standards for Accessible Design that can help you find what will suit you and what you should be looking for. Many schools have readily accessible housing that follow ADA regulations. Check with your disability representatives, like OU’s Disability Resource Center (DRC), to see if an ADA dorm room is right for you.

If you have any mobility issues, bring them up when you’re speaking with a landlord or property manager. Look for apartments on the ground floor or housing with a single floor. If stairs won’t work any time, you could be in danger during a fire. During a fire, the elevators will be shut down. If you can’t go down the stairs when the elevators are on, you probably won’t be able to go down them in an emergency. CONSDIDER YOUR LOCATION AND WALK TIME If you can’t drive, figure out the walking distance to reach the places you would need to go such as the grocery store or pharmacy. Then you can adjust your schedule accordingly if there are times you don’t have a ride TALK TO YOUR OWNER ABOUT A SERVICE ANIMAL If you have a service animal, discuss this with the landlord or property manager. In some circumstances, service animals can be denied if you are renting a house in a single occupancy situation. When discussing these issues, get everything in writing in case there are issues during the rent or lease period.Do some research and talk with the owner. Don’t settle without what you need.


Disability Resource Center Address:

IF YOU DRIVE, CONSIDER YOUR PARKING SITUATIONS If you can drive, make sure the parking situation is accessible to the house or apartment. Garages are great, but sometimes they can have stairs, depending on the foundation. Slight inclines or declines and bumps from the doorjamb should be noted if you have dificulty with steps. This is a good reasont to visit before you sign.

VISIT THE PROPERTY OR COMPLEX BEFORE YOU SIGN Make sure you visit all of the areas of the property before signing a lease or other paperwork. Many houses have steps to the porches, meaning they don’t actually have wheelchair access. Very few non-public buildings have wheelchair ramps. Keep an eye out for things that could be problems in an emergency.

730 College Ave, Norman, OK 73019 Phone Number: (405) 325-3852 Email:

THE Spring 2017 OU DAILY

The Living Guide

Budgeting, searching and signing

Looking for a place to live on your own can be daunting. There are a few things to think about when making a decision such as renting a house. Here are some tips and a budgeting tool to help you through the process. CREATING YOUR BUDGET First thing’s first, figure out what you can afford. Make sure you are covering all your bases on where you spend your money. Be realistic, you know yourself. You need a place to live so that needs to be your priority in budgeting. Only look at places in your budget, you don’t want to be swayed for something you cannot comfortably afford. School is stressful, don’t add on additional stress you don’t need because your rent is more than you can afford. To help you figure out what you can afford for rent, reference the chart on this page.

HOW TO SEARCH Once you know how much you want to pay every month and who you want to live with, you can start searching. First, take into consideration location. How close do you want to be to campus? What neighborhood do you want to be in? Think about what other amenities do you want in a house, like closets, outdoor space, and appliances. Some landlords provide every appliance, some all but the washer and dryer, others none. Which ones are you willing to buy or live without? On websites like Zillow and Trulia, you can apply specific filters for location and features like number of bedrooms and bathrooms, if the house is pet-friendly, square footage, cost, and more. This makes it eaiser to find exactly what you’re looking for in your budget. You can also drive around to see what

houses are for rent or check listings in the paper. This is a bit more time-consuming, but contacting the landlord after collecting information can help with scheduling and touring houses and making informed decisions. WHAT TO CONSIDER WHEN SIGNING THE LEASE Before you even think about signing a lease, visit the property you’re looking at in person. Pay attention to storage, room size, quality of appliances, and the condition. Once you’ve found a place you like, you can start talking to the landlord about signing a lease. Make sure to read through the whole document first. You don’t want to be caught by surprise by anything. Pay attention to fees like safety and pet deposits, and be sure to get anything else the landlord promises you in writing.

OTHER THINGS TO THINK ABOUT One of the most important things to consider (apart from price) is who you’ll be living with. Think about people you get along well with and who you can count on. Remember that sometimes the best people to live with aren’t your best friends. Also think about the kind of environment you want in a house. Are you okay with a lot of noise or do you want it quieter? Or do you want to live alone? Also think about the age of the houses you’re looking at. Old houses can be cute and charming, but repairs and issues can arise. Newer houses often have fewer problems and better insulation, but can be more expensive. Alexandra Goodman



Monthly income (include any and all forms you can count on getting every month) How much do you put into savings every month? Monthly expenses: School payments (tuition, books, etc.)


Car Payments


Loans (credit card, student, and/or other)


Insurance (car, renter’s, health/life)


Cell phone bill


Groceries and eating out






Subtract all expenses from monthly income. This amount will be what you can put towards your monthly rent. Remember to keep in mind utilities (water, gas, electric, and cable/Wi-Fi) and living with roommates. 9

THE The Living Guide OU DAILY

What’s your type? AJ WACHTER

Know your type. Think about who you are when picking roommates and choosing a place to live. MUSICALLY INCLINED If the highlight of football season for you is that it’s marching band season, for the love of your neighbors, don’t settle for someplace with thin walls! If you can swing it, team up with your fellow instrumentalists and find a house with good insulation. A garage can always be helpful for those crazy percussionists, but don’t forget to be mindful of your hours of practice. In addition, if your lugging your large instruments, think about stairs, parking, and storage.

ANIMAL LOVER If you have “kids” with four legs, finding a good living situation with your animals can be difficult. Luckily, there are many rental houses on the north side of town that provide amenities such as spacious backyards and a close proximity to the dog park located at 12th Ave NE and Robinson. If you’re more of a cat person, a lot of apartments simply require a deposit—just be sure to ask if it’s refundable or if you’ll have to pay additional monthly rent for your furry friend.


Spring 2017

SOCIAL BUTTERFLY If you’re never at home on a Saturday night, your best bet is to jump in at a student apartment. You’ll pay rent on a furnished space where you have your own room and up to three new friends (you don’t even have to come with your own roommate as many of these places will try to match you with like-minded people). Plus, if you’re not already within walking distance of campus (and thus Campus Corner), many of these apartment complexes will have shuttles that run throughout the week to get you into the action.

ART GEEK If you love to create and have a passion for art, your best bet is to find a place with some sort of covered outdoor space such as an apartment with a balcony or even a rental house with a garage. Oklahoma weather is unpredictable and the last thing you want to do is fill your lungs with fumes because it’s raining outside. Open spaces for you to work can also provide inspiration to create your art. Plus, Norman has plenty of spaces for you to enjoy, or showcase your work. Be sure to stay on the bus route so you can maintain easy access of Fred Jones Art Museum and the Jacobson House on campus, along with the Norman Firehouse Art on Flood Street.

THE Spring 2017 OU DAILY




If going to the gym is less of a resolution and more of a lifestyle for you, traditional apartment complexes and student apartments will be your perfect match. Most traditional apartments have gym equipment in a recreation room and a seasonal swimming pool whereas student apartments often have a fully-loaded gym, a seasonal swimming pool, and other outdoor amenities. For example, Millennium Apartments boasts a fitness center, volleyball court, and “mini soccer field”. The Reserves provides a fitness center, a bike share program, and volleyball and basketball courts. With roommate matching, your new roommates may even prove to be good workout partners.

If you’re not a fan of having other people in your space or having to deal with roommates, your best and most affordable option is going to be a cozy studio, onebedroom apartment, or a converted apartment. A former house converted into an apartment will give you the security of an indoor entrance, a place to do laundry on-site and will feature quirks you won’t see in a traditional apartment setting. You’ll have neighbors a little close, but the setting is ideal for hiding out with a cup of tea and binge-watching your favorite show. Unfortunately, you’ll have to watch out for the little red “For Rent” signs or surf Craigslist, because these sorts of places get snatched up fast.

If your backpack weighs an extra ton from your reading materials and your favorite spot on campus is Bizzell, you’re going to love living north of Main Street in a rental house. For starters, you’re close to the central branch of the Norman Public Library and you’re also more likely to find a house with built-in bookshelves. That’s right. Built. In. Bookshelves. Just go on a few tours of rental properties and you’re bound to find the perfect bungalow.

The Living Guide

The Living Guide THE OU DAILY

Spring 2017

How to be a good roommate

Five tips that can help you be a good roommate and neighbor this year

At the beginning of every new semester, people’s living situations tend to change. Whether it is a change in living space, or simply a change in roommates, almost everyone has adjustments to make. Those that will be living with new people, essentially strangers, will have to adjust to and consider a host of new circumstances and features of everyday life. No one wants to be a bad roommate or neighbor, but in the blur of the school year people can be indirectly inconsiderate, especially when they get into an everyday routine. To aid this, here are some simple rules to follow that should keep you from being that roommate that everyone gripes about. RESPECT YOUR FELLOW ROOMMATES’ SPACE No one wants their personal belongings used or tampered with by someone else. Treat your roommate’s space as you would want your own space to be treated, and in the event that you somehow don’t mind your belongings handled by other people, assume that your roommates do. It doesn’t hurt to ask before borrowing someone’s stuff, even if you think they’ll say yes. DON’T ENDLESSLY BRING PEOPLE TO YOUR ROOM You and your roommate should set ground rules for guests in your living space. The dorms have rules for guests, but talk to your roommates about when you can bring people to shared spaces. You and your roommate likely have different schedules. If you are consistently bringing people into the space that you two share, you will likely distract your roommate and disturb their rhythm. If you don’t already have a roommate contract, and you’ve come across an issue like this, try meeting with your roommate to create a contract. This will help both parties and can keep further issues from happening.


SPEND TIME OUTSIDE OF YOUR LIVING AREA If you and your roommate are sharing a single room, do not spend all of your time in there. You are sharing a space with someone else, and they likely do not want you there all the time. And Even if both of you get along, conflict can eventually arise. Head this off by spending time in places outside of your shared living space so that you are not at each other’s throats by midterms. Doing so can help both you and your roommate.

BE AWARE OF YOUR NOISE LEVEL The same goes for being a roommate, but it applies somewhat more so when you are a neighbor as well. Your neighbors are not in the same room as you to tell you to tone it down, and if your noise levels are getting out of control then likely everyone in your room is involved. Most dorms have quiet hours, so to speak, but the same is not always true for apartments. Simply be aware and considerate of your actions and volume. You don’t want to recieve a noise complaint.

FIND A STUDY SPACE Midterms and finals are stressful for almost everyone, not to mention the many tests and papers that are due throughout the semester. You and your roommates may get along, but you should find a place you feel comfortable studying that is not your living space. This allows you to respect your living companions’ space and needs, while also having a backup in case your living area is too distracting. David Gower

THE Spring 2017 OU DAILY

The Living Guide

Parking problems: There are options OU student parking and commutting options BUSES The CART public bus system can be used to take students all over campus, with stops at the research campus and Lloyd Noble. These buses depart every 30 minutes and operate free of charge for students with a validation sticker. OU’s official smartphone application can be used to track buses in real time and check schedules. FLEET SERVICES The university offers an alternate means of transportation for students without their own vehicles. Students can rent cars at OU Fleet Services. This service also

gives students access to maintenance and repair services.

PARKING Driving on campus is the most common way students get to their classes. Commuter and residential parking passes are available for purchase through OU Parking Services for students. Parking Services also sells one-day parking permits for rainy days and emergencies, as well. If you’re looking for free parking options, students can park their cars at Lloyd Noble Center at no cost. Shuttles run continuously from Lloyd Noble to the stadium. Whether students are looking for a cost-effective way to commute or searching for a perfect spot near your classes, Parking Services has solutions for students driving to campus. If you’re simply running late and need to find a place

to park, the Union Parking Garage, on Asp Avenue, offers parking at an hourly rate. If you decide that OU parking isn’t flexible enough for you, local churches surrounding campus often sell year long parking passes for their lots. The perks to these lots are their location and the fact they don’t oversell their spots.

OTHER OPTIONS There are many different types of transportation students can use to get to campus. Parking on campus is an option, but public transportation and apartment shuttles can be used as well. If you’re looking for a way to get around and you have a little extra time to enjoy the campus, check out the premade Walking Map Guides provided to students by Healthy Sooners.

Where is Parking and Transportation Services? Address: 1107 Elm Avenue in Stubbeman Place Hours: The office is open from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Website:

Casey Thomas


The Living Guide THE OU DAILY

Spring 2017

Think smart and safe this school year Four things that can help you be safer and healthier this school year A student’s first year in college is a difficult time, but it can also be one of discovery and fulfillment. Taking proper precautions and knowing what to do in case of emergencies and other issues can reduce stress and make a student’s first year more enjoyable. Here are four tips to get you started:


remain alert, try to walk with a friend SOMETHING WILL BREAK, CALL common of dorm disasters. If something you does go wrong, don’t panic. Just call your if possible, and always know exactly where IN AN EXPERT. building’s Maintenance number, which you’re going. Most students at OU have had to do their time in the dorm buildings at one point or another. Some fared better than others. The one thing, however, that unites all students in the dorms is the seemingly universal breakage of bathroom appliances and dorm beds. Yes, no matter how hard students try, there’s just something about the dorm bathroom that seems slated for destruction. Overflowing toilets and falling sinks are among the most

students can find online or at the RA desk.

TRY TO AVOID BEING OUT ALONE. Make sure someone knows where you are and when you’re supposed to be back, and make sure you do the same for your friends. Never being out alone at night is impossible, with night exams and upcoming deadlines and such. Just be sure that

When walking alone at night, try to avoid having headphones or earbuds in. Not only do those keep you from hearing approaching footsteps in directions beyond your line of sight, they also keep you from hearing approaching cars.

GO TO GODDARD… JUST GO. Goddard is OU’s health center, located on the fine arts side of campus behind

THE Spring 2017 OU DAILY Buchanan Hall on Elm St. There, you can get medical help or see a therapist, or find assistance from any of a host of other kinds of medical professionals. Goddard is there to make sure you survive long enough to graduate. Sickness spreads faster than you think, especially in the dorms. Drink your Vitamin C, but also go to Goddard the moment you feel poorly. Your mental health is important, too. Call, make an appointment, and talk to someone. According to National Alliance on Mental Illness, about twenty-five percent of adults suffer from a mental illness. Also, Goddard has free flu shots for anyone with a valid OU ID.

LISTEN TO YOUR INSTINCTS. Your instincts are there for a reason. If you have a bad feeling about a place your friends are trying to get you to go, politely decline. If you feel like you’re being followed, call a friend and stay on the line until you feel safe. That little voice in the back of your head is there for a reason. Listen to it.

Also: try to have your ID and your keys in your hands when you approach the dorm building, that way you don’t spend more time out in the open than necessary. The dorms do lock after a certain time at night, so you’ll need your ID not only to get into your hall, but also to even get into the building, itself. Also, get a bus pass if you find yourself traveling away from campus regularly, and then memorize a bus schedule that works for you. Just be smart about your life. College is a great time, and some of your best friends in the world will be your dormmates. Make sure that you remember who your allies are, don’t take unnecessary risks with your safety, and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. OU is packed with resources for its students. All you need to do is ask, and most are just a Google search away. Be smart, be proactive, and be safe. But, most importantly, have fun!

OU HELPFUL CONTACTS University of Oklahoma Police Depatment Emergency Number: (405) 325-1717 Non-Emergency Number: (405) 325-2864 Email:

Norman Police Department Phone Number:

Finlea Baxter

The Living Guide

(405) 321-1600

Goddard Health Services Phone Number: (405) 325-4611 Address: 620 Elm Avenue Norman, OK 73019 Email:

OU SafeWalk Phone Number: (405) 325-WALK

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THE The Living Guide OU DAILY Spring 2017

THE Spring 2017 OU DAILY

The Living Guide

Where could be your next home? Let this guide show you a couple housing options that might be a good fit for you. DO YOU WANT TO BE WHERE THE PEOPLE ARE?



We get it, you like to be where the party is. Whether it’s summer break or a nice sunny Saturday, you want to walk outside and have a good time by the pool or on the lawn of the club house.

Forget about the living space, you’re all about what the complex has to offer. Check out these options with great amenitites, both indoor and out.

If you know anything, it’s that school is your top priority. These options can help you stay focused and progress your academic career.



THE COTTAGES amenities:



porches, vallet trash, fire pits, resort style pool with cabanas and towel service, campus shuttle, study space

2.7 miles

media lounge, rooftop terrace, private turf outdoor BBQ area, outdoor poolside TVs

options: 2/3/4/5 BDR

ASPEN HEIGHTS amenities:

volleyball, campus shuttle, house style living, dog park, study lounge and computer lab, california style pool


2.2 miles

parking garage, dog park and spa, study spaces on all floors, mini soccer field, campus shuttle

studio, 2/3/4/5 BDR


1.4 miles

OU student housing, putting green, pool, two locations with bus stops to campus, onsite computer lab/printing

options: 2/3/4 BDR






1.3 miles

Bike Share Program, Onsite Officer, 24-hour emergency maintenance, 24-hour study room, computer lounge

studio, 2/3/4 BDR

1.4 miles options: 2-4 BDR





location: 1.3 miles options: 2/3/4 BDR


THE The Living Guide OU DAILY

Spring 2017




First time living alone

Independence can be difficult, master with time

So you’ve packed up, you’ve said your goodbyes, and now you’re at the University of Oklahoma living on your own for the first time. Whether you are an incoming freshman, just moved out of mom and dad’s or a new transfer student, the first time living on your own can be difficult. Everyone deals with independence differently. Living on your own can be overwhelming at times, especially when you have to deal with exams and projects that make doing chores like laundry, preparing food, and cleaning difficult to fit into your day. Each student has to figure out their own balance between social and academic priorities. Now, not all regimens are the same and what works for one student doesn’t always


work for another. Everyone needs to figure out a schedule for cleaning their bedrooms, taking out the trash and doing the dishes. Living on your own isn’t just about how you organize your living space, but how you organize and prioritize your time. There are a lot of responsibilities a college student takes on, and each credit hour and job hour is a responsibility. Being a successful college student means to make enough time to study and complete coursework, staying healthy, and having fun. Being independent can be difficult in the beginning, but it takes time to create your personal schedule. The first step towards successful independence is being aware that there is a lot to handle. The quicker someone realizes how much they need to do the easier it is for them to plan and get ahead, making room in a schedule for spare time. It’s

important to plan ahead because time is precious, and being able to schedule your responsibilities just right will allow you to have that spare time we all desperately look forward to. Whether you’re living in a dorm, apartment or house, living on your own takes time to master. Falling behind can be hard to recover from, but taking time to keep your space clean and work on finding a balance can help. There are so many great opportunities in college to live your life to the fullest and you can’t afford to be behind in any of your responsibilities. Living on your own gives you the freedom to excel if you let it; all it takes is some dedication and self-discipline.


WRITERS Dylan Huber Maria Deal

Peter Reilly

Alexandra Goodman AJ Wachter

David Gower

Finlea Baxter

COPY EDITOR Peter Reilly

Rachel Schaub

Living Guide  

OU Daily Living Guide Design Editor

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