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Buying a House

Michael N., M1

After exploring the many unique neighborhoods of St. Louis for about seven months, my girlfriend and I decided that we were ready to buy a house. We found our agent by going to a bunch of open houses in the neighborhoods that we liked, admitting that we weren’t ready to buy, and asking a bunch of questions about life, love, and local real estate to gauge how compatible we were with them. Many times, this resulted in us being invited out for a beer or coffee. After we found our agent, we began the process of looking for a home and getting pre-approved for a loan. Property values here are super reasonable, so I qualified for pre-approval on my MSTP stipend alone to buy any of the homes I was interested in. As of Oct. 25, we are the happy owners of a beautiful brick home in our favorite part of South St. Louis City! Our mortgage is less than our rent was, and we have more space than we know what to do with!!! Non-trivially, the home came complete with a bar and a stoop cat that we named Juba! Feel free to reach out if you want to see pictures of Juba or have any questions about our experience!

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Living Alone

Sid S., M1

After four years of living in dingy, overpriced jail cells masquerading as “affordable student housing,” populated by strangers and their significant others, I was more than ready to move into my own luxurious bachelor pad. Of course, living with roommates had its upsides — there was never a boring or lonely day of the week, and the fridge was always stocked with food (of questionable edibility) — but having my own space to study, cook, listen to music, and sleep is definitely an upgrade from undergraduate dorm living. I’m responsible for my own cleanliness and it can get quiet at times, but I can sleep at whatever time I want, decorate the walls with whiteboards covered in biochemical pathways, and eat ice cream for dinner without catching any judgmental glares. Rent is cheap throughout St. Louis, and I’ve never felt like I was breaking the bank by living alone in a one-bedroom apartment. My family visited for a laid-back holiday vacation and it was very convenient for them to have a place to stay. And with such an engaging med school curriculum and plenty of face-to-face time with classmates in and out of class, living alone is far from reclusive.

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Living with a Non-Medical Student

Clara K., M1

I am living with a graduate student in the Molecular Cell Biology program at WashU who I met through a summer program. It’s very nice to have a separation between school and home, and part of that includes coming home to a roommate who doesn’t share the same worries and stresses. At the same time, we both share similar lifestyles and understand the struggles of school/life balance! It helps that we both respect each others’ needs for a mix of quiet study time, cooking/baking, and hosting friends.

While I was initially worried about feeling disconnected from my class, that was not the case! Honestly, I end up spending so much time with my friends in class and studying that I never feel isolated. Additionally, my roommate and I have introduced each other to people in our separate programs so I’m always making new friends!

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Living with Other M1s

Priyanka P., M1

I knew coming into medical school that I wanted to live with other students — communal living and getting to know my roommates was one of my favorite parts of undergrad, so I wanted that experience in medical school as well. Once I got through the somewhat stressful process of finding a roommate (courtesy of a GoogleDoc that the M1 class president puts on the Facebook page for accepted students), I was doubly excited to start medical school. Living with another M1 has been an amazing decision — it’s great to go home and have a friend who understands the stresses of medical school, to take study breaks with, and to laze around with. Best of all — living with another M1 gives you a buddy for at-home movie nights and baking sessions. Getting to know my roommate has been one of the best parts of first year, and is a great way to jump into medical school and start getting to know classmates.

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Renting (for the first time)

Tiffany W., M1

If you’re like me and found ways to avoid adulting in college, maybe now is the time to start. Finding and deciding on an apartment starts off as a bit of a logistical hassle (I completely depended on the Dis-O Guide for housing advice — it’s super useful and very truthful!) and requires some combination of imagination, good humor, and fortuitous circumstance. However, you will soon find a new place to call home and start learning about those mysterious things called bills.