I'm Having Trouble with Housing Decision...

<p>Here's the skinny:</p>

<p>My grandma lives in San Francisco and is willing to give me free room and food (grandma's cooking is always the best). However, I don't know if accepting her offer is such a good idea. I figure that if I live with her, I'm going to have to take BART everyday since I have school M-F (no way in hell I'm paying for parking AND commuting). I've been in a similar situation before and know how difficult it was. If I needed to meet with a study group (dont know how common these are as everyone is competing with each other suppposedly) or just wanted to study at the library I would not be able to because the last BART train leaves Downtown Berkeley station at 5:55 pm! On the plus side, I wouldn't have to find money to pay for room, food, etc and all my friends are in San Francisco.</p>

<p>If I try hard enough, take out a few loans, and suck it up, I think I can manage to find somewhere to live in the Berkeley area. The obvious downside is that I would have to take out loans and probably work while going to school. On the other hand, school would not be too far away and if I needed to get help from a professor or someone it would be much easier.</p>

<p>I am doing two majors (psychology and music) which means I am going to be pretty busy. </p>

<p>I'm definitely torn between both sides and need a nudge in the right direction. Any advice?</p>

<p>
[quote]
I would not be able to because the last BART train leaves Downtown Berkeley station at 5:55 pm!

[/quote]
</p>

<p>That's not true. It is true that after 5:55, you can no longer take a direct "Red" Milbrae-Richmond line between SF and Berkeley. After 5:55 you just have to transfer trains at 12th St (if you are going from SF to Berkeley) or at MacArthur (if you are going from Berkeley to SF).</p>

<p>Or take the 51B-Rockridge Bart bus to Rockridge Bart and it's a direct line into SF, no transfer needed .
Cheaper than departing from downtown and same price as departing from ashby.</p>

<p>Transfer or not, you won't be SOL if choose to leave campus at a later time.</p>

<p>I'd just live with your grandmother. This is a lot of dough you're saving, and I'm sure you can find some way to make it work when we're talking about $10k+ of savin'.</p>

<p>It really depends on your classes and your study habits. If you need to access the library later at night for a research paper, it might be good to live nearby. If you need a study group, stay close. Sometimes spending the money (or borrowing it) can buy the convenience you need to keep you dedicated to studying. Study groups are common, and the competition does not stop people from forming them. Everyone (from students, to professors and gsi's) assumes that you live nearby, so they will schedule study groups and office hours at practically any time during the day. You're already at a bit of a disadvantage because of your combination of majors (they're located across campus from one another, and the schedules don't always work well together). You'll find, for instance, psych classmates scheduling stuff while you're in music class, or vice versa. You might miss out on daytime meetings because of this. And you might also miss out on evening meetings if you have to go back to SF at 8 or 9 pm. I say save the grandmother option for a summer, or a semester with a light load. Or, you might want to consider renting a place for just the weekdays. I found a few of those while I was looking around for housing. Either way, take advantage of the free food! It can get pretty pricey around here.. Good luck!</p>

<p>You can do the dorms for your freshman year and make a decision after the first semester - if the grandma option seems workable then, they can usually find an incoming student to take the dorm room, letting you out of the spring commitment.</p>