Byline: Joshua Wartena, Opinions Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org
You’re finally at college Congratulations; you got through high school and are stepping onto the path that likely determines the rest of your life. You have to live somewhere for the next couple years, but Orem sure doesn’t look like a college town. Where are the dorms, fraternity houses, and apartments?
There are no dorms or on-campus housing here. There are several apartment complexes close by, namely Wolverine Crossing and the Ventana Apartemnts, but compared to other universities its size, UVU has a very different student-housing situation.
Go over the hill to BYU; you’ll find hundreds of freshmen crammed in dorms like so many sardines, using the cafeteria and communal showers. Step off the Y campus and you find yourself lost in a maze of apartment complexes and houses available to rent. A huge portion of Provo is dedicated to housing BYU students: the Brandbury Complex, the Brittany Apartments, Glenwood, Raintree Commons, Riviera, Wyview, Wymount, the list goes on and on, all BYU-approved housing.
Chances are, as a UVU student, you’re living at home, with a relative, or commute to school. If you’re single and need a place, you can probably find somewhere relatively close to campus for $300-400 a month. Sure, it’s not going to be the traditional college experience; you’ll be in someone’s basement, a four-plex, or just a regular apartment in the middle of a residential area, but it works.
Now, if you’re married, it’s a whole different headache. Gone are the days when you could split the apartment rent between four people, crash in one-room studio or continue living with mom and dad. Now you’re looking at married housing. Buckle up.
My fiancé and I are apartment hunting right now. Here’s some advice: Get out of Orem. No, really, Orem is ridiculously expensive. We thought we found a great one-room, 400 sq. ft. apartment. Then they told us rent is $750 a month. That’s just not possible for two students. So we went to Provo, looking for a nice, clean place in a good area for $600.
We found a small basement through KSL classifieds in a 100-year-old house for $500. Awesome, right? Except that the ceilings were only six feet tall, the walls were cinderblock, the bubble-glass windows didn’t open, and the heat was an old gas radiator with the pipes running a foot below the ceiling. It was a cross between a cave and a prison cell. Maybe we’re just looking in the wrong places, but if you want to live in a decent are in a decent apartment, you’re going to have to pay through the nose for it.
The housing problem is just another aspect that makes UVU so different from other universities. We’re struggling to grow from a trade school/community college to a full-blown university with more than 30,000 students, and the infrastructure is being thrown together as fast as it can. Here, you might not ever know a campus that isn’t under construction, or ever have an easy time finding an affordable, convenient place to live.
You can get upset or look for another place to go to school, or you can use the state of affairs to grow. You aren’t living in a dorm with 300 other freshmen eating at a cafeteria; you’re in an apartment with a one-year contract deciding for yourself what to eat, when to clean, who comes over and when, and what to do with your life. You have the chance to choose something difficult and fail. UVU isn’t the easy way out, especially when it comes to housing. However, it is the best place to learn to be an adult and decide who you’re going to be.