PhDToBe

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I was wondering two things:

1) Does anyone have any personal experience or know anyone who lived with another student in their cohort or program? If so, how did this work out? I think it could be good, because we could help/support each other, but think it could also be bad, because we wouldn't know each other at first and may not get along, and we would be spending a lot of time around each other.

2) Are there any online forums/message baords/sites to find a graduate roommate? The law school at my school has a message board, but only law students can use it. I'm sure craigslist has something, but I'm trying to save that as a last resort. :cool:

One of the apartments I found requires you to have your roommate already, and no one has expressed interest in the two-bedroom apartments there, apparently.

Thank you!
 
Jan 12, 2010
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in my opinion I would stay away from classmates as roommates... I find school can be really demanding and it is great to have a space where you can go where school is not the the focus... I am not sure if you are currently in a program and thinking about current cohort members but I would be hesitant if you don't already know them and their personality.

Depending on the program you can email the DCT or the secretary and inquire they have had anyone ask about a roommate. Often they will send out an email to incoming students with such inquires...
 

McClinas

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I recently bought a 3 bedroom condo, and to help defray some of the costs, I'm getting two roommates: 1 from my cohort, and 1 from another program. So, I guess I'll find out...

I'd still like to hear what other people have to say about this
 

PhDToBe

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I recently bought a 3 bedroom condo, and to help defray some of the costs, I'm getting two roommates: 1 from my cohort, and 1 from another program. So, I guess I'll find out...

I'd still like to hear what other people have to say about this
How did you find your roommates?
 

McClinas

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Craigslist.


Can you provide reasons or anecdotes for why it's not a good idea to room with cohort?
 

aly cat

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I live with someone from my cohort and it is an excellent arrangement. We have the same assignments so we study and work at the same times (so, for example, she does not have guests over etc. when I am trying to study or get work done). We carpool to school, saving us each about $20/week in gas. I have someone I can ask questions to if an assignment is unclear to me, discuss articles to gain additional insight, and best of all I live with someone who understands the demands and stress of a doctoral program.

We have friends outside of each other, and do not spend every minute of our free time together. I was hesitant at first because of the great deal of time I would be spending with her, but I don't think any other arrangement could possibly be better.

That said, if you take a chance and you don't get along, it could be miserable, but you take the same chance (a bigger chance IMO) when rooming with someone off of Craigslist, etc.
 

kbean

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This interests me too. I'm starting school in the fall and some of us in our cohort are exchanging emails and talking about possibly rooming together. The way I see it, if I'm going to have a roommate, I'd rather it be someone I at least met before (at interviews) than someone COMPLETELY random...but now you guys are starting to make me wonder!

ETA: aly cat, you made me feel a little better about it!

Also, for what it's worth--in the years since I've graduated from college, I've lived in several places/with many roommates that I found through craigslist. I think it's a great resource for anyone who's in an area large enough to have a lot of postings on there.
 
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Mar 8, 2010
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One argument for not living with cohort-buddies is that it is nice to go home and leave the stress of school behind. When you live with someone who knows all about the program and what is going on, it is hard to leave it behind when it gets stressful.
 

RejectClinical

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I've run into students who have roomed together--2 out of 3 were were positive. One involved two girls from the same program sharing a place, but they were in different years. I think this might be a better idea than sharing a place with someone in your cohort as both of you would be understanding of the other's graduate situation, but you wouldn't see them all the time. So...I think the best bet would be to find others who are in graduate/law/med school, but not in your cohort and especially not anyone who is both in your lab and cohort.

I agree with what other posters said before--you may want an escape from your everyday life when you come home.
 

bmedclinic

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Hey All-
I made a business deal with my parents (I realize most cannot do this) and went in with them and bought a 3 bedroom house. I use craigslist to find roommates generally, but the last two years, I've had people stay with me and they've ended up liking the house and its proximity to the university and ended up being my roommates/tenants.

My univ. has a Clinical PhD and a M.A. in Experimental. One of my roommates is a 1st year Experimental Masters student, and the one who will move in shortly is going to start his first year in the clinical program with the same advisor as I had. I still really like the advisor, but he's not my advisor anymore technically bc of departmental politics.

Anyways, I've really enjoyed it. Lot of good benefits if the expectations arent that you're supposed to be best friends. I help him with some stuff and he keeps me in the loop about his advisor, who has been MIA much of this year and is on my prelim/dissertation committee.

Note: I have a really good relationship with my parents, otherwise I would not have entered into such an agreement.
 

PsyDWannabe

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I personally am using Craigslist which is completely a last resort. I didn't even know what it was till a few months ago. But I've tried most other avenues and they're just not cutting it. Still, everyone I ask about Craigslist gives me the "Sure its a good place.....to get MURDERED!!" response but so far, everyone seems civil and I've had no problems/creepy experiences. Its not like its full of Hannibal Lecters but as with any public anonymous forum, you have to be careful lest you end up in a well in someone's basement.
 

krisrox

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I personally am using Craigslist which is completely a last resort. I didn't even know what it was till a few months ago. But I've tried most other avenues and they're just not cutting it. Still, everyone I ask about Craigslist gives me the "Sure its a good place.....to get MURDERED!!" response but so far, everyone seems civil and I've had no problems/creepy experiences. Its not like its full of Hannibal Lecters but as with any public anonymous forum, you have to be careful lest you end up in a well in someone's basement.
I've had nothing but good luck finding apartments on Craigslist. I personally prefer listings that link to professional sites.
 

Therapist4Chnge

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I'd advise against living with people in your program....maybe another grad programs, but it is nice to have a break from school. I lived with a friend and we had a "no shop talk" at home. It worked great, partly because neither of us understood what the other one did.
 

PsychPhDStudent

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I've seen it go both ways. Personally, I'd recommend against it -- if there are other people in the program you like, you can move in second year. But if the roommate situation gets tense, you're stuck around them ~20 hours a week. I found my roommate on craigslist, but my university also has an online board where you can find a "match".
 

psychgirl05

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what about living by yourself? anyone have any input on this? I don't really wanna do the whole "i have no idea who are you and now i'm living with you" thing! in college i lived with friends...but now that i'm moving to an area where i literally know zero people i don't really want to live with a stranger. fortunately i am in a position where the cost of living will be cheap and i can afford to to have my own apartment...but any thoughts on this would be much appreciated!
 
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I lived alone for a bit until my boyfriend moved to join me. I felt much more comfortable alone rather than having a roommate I was unfamiliar with. It was only about a year. I personally am a fan of downtime and alone time, it is a big part of my self-care. I also found it nice when it came to studying and working on projects, you dont have to go to the library cause your place is quite.
 

PhDToBe

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I personally wouldn't live alone, unless I had a big dog...maybe. :D I am pretty paranoid and would question every noise. I definitely think grad students should room with other grad/med/law, etc. students, and probably just one. As long as you have your own room, I don't see how another studious roommate could cause you to have to go to the lib to do work.

So besides craigslist, no one knows of any other sites or forums to find roommates? I have contacted my program's secretary for the names and e-mail addresses of the other people in my cohort...
 

skipsy

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I moved pretty far for a program where I knew no one. I was very against living alone, as I always lived with lots of people in college. However, I was also wary to live with someone who I didn't know from the program, given I'd spend countless hours with them at school for the next 4 years. In the end, I decided to live alone, which has been great. I like being able to have my own space, peace and quiet, and freedom to watch bad TV in the living room without being judged! Now that I have a solid group of friends at school that I see I get along well with, I'm planning on splitting a place with them next year.
One of my friends decided to live with someone from the program she didn't know the first year, and it turned out to be a disaster involving a boyfriend and numerous pets that were always at the apartment. One moved out a few months later. I don't think their relationship is an issue now, but it's still a bit awkward...and probably will be until we all go our separate ways to internship.
 

psybee

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I personally wouldn't live alone, unless I had a big dog...maybe. :D I am pretty paranoid and would question every noise. I definitely think grad students should room with other grad/med/law, etc. students, and probably just one. As long as you have your own room, I don't see how another studious roommate could cause you to have to go to the lib to do work.

So besides craigslist, no one knows of any other sites or forums to find roommates? I have contacted my program's secretary for the names and e-mail addresses of the other people in my cohort...
I thin it depends on where you live--in my city Craigs list is where you look for apartments/roomates, so I wouldn't even think of another online resource that could be better. Bulletin boards around campus, FB posts, emails to friends and acquaintances also help.

I would also caution against living with someone from your program, and would further say, especially if you are living in a small space, to differentiate a cool person from a good roomate. I've lived with many super awesome people who had lifestyles or at-home personalities that were just not compatible with me. So try to be clear about what YOU want ou of this experience--make friends and expand your social circle, quiet place to unwind after school, low key social environment, or just a place to do your own thing but you need somene to split the rent with (so you're looking for a quiet, super busy person) and go from here.

good luck!
 

JockNerd

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I lived with another person in my program for my first year, and it wasn't a good experience. He tended to take his work home with him and was really mopey. But, then I lived for a few months with a cohortmate and it was great; we got along very well and were able to do both work and have fun. I currently live alone and enjoy it a lot, but it's expensive and I'm going to cut my rent in half in a month by moving in with a buddy. I'm looking forward to it; living alone is nice, but I find that my workaholism tends to keep me in more than I'd like, as I can start working and then before I know it it's 11 pm.

As far as roommates, I really think it's important to know the person before you start rooming, at least a little. That first situation for me was super annoying but the second was great.
 

PhDToBe

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Another thing to keep in mind is that a lot of these apartments LOOK nice online, but are horrible in reality!! I have been using apartmentratings.com to help me narrow down my list. I'd strongly recommend it.

Also, stay away from living too close to campus, because that's where the undergrads/parties are (not saying all undergrads party, but they are usually less busy and have mroe free time...)