Finding Housing from Afar | Post 14

Rachael Kroot
Updated June 2017


Graduate School HousingThe second I made my decision to attend MSU, I was overcome with relief. Yes, I had struggled with the thought of moving to Mississippi… but once I knew it was happening, I embraced the idea. It was going to be an adventure, for sure. I never pictured life moving me to the south, and hey… when else I would get the chance to give it a try? This was going to be one of those crazy things people look back at years later and say, “that was supposed to happen, I just didn’t know it yet.”

The tricky part was actually finding a place to live in my soon-to-be new home town of Starkville, MS.  You might have noticed that I never wrote a blog post about my visit to MSU. That’s because I never visited. I have never been to the state of Mississippi. Not once. Not even to drive through on my way to somewhere else.

How can you find housing in a city you’ve never even seen? That’s where living in the digital age comes in handy. Thanks to my good friends Google Search, Google Images and Google Maps, I had a head start.

My top choice was to live in the Cotton District, a historic part of downtown with a lot of southern charm. I checked out at a bunch of different houses and apartments online. Some I found through the MSU website, some were posted on Craigslist, and others were recommended to me by a current MSU grad student. Whatever your source, I have one tip for looking at a house from afar: find it on a map and look at the street view. It will give you an idea of how safe the area looks, what is in immediate walking distance, and what general condition the house is in.

For me, it was also important to be close to campus – and if I could, I really wanted something fully furnished. I wasn’t going to fit my bed in a Honda Accord, and I wasn’t keen on the idea of renting a U-Haul (or buying everything new when I got down there).

Through Dr. B, I got in touch with another incoming grad student looking for a place to live. She was coming from far away and wanted someplace fully furnished as well. So, we decided to look together. It was great having another mind to bounce ideas off of. Best of all, she seemed really nice. I was excited to know my potential roommate and I might get along!

Together, we both decided that our best option was going to be a fully furnished, off-campus apartment complex for students. It is affordable, convenient, and a good place to meet other students. I get my own bedroom and bathroom, plus access to the community pool. It is a little bit further from the Cotton District than I would prefer. I will have to drive to things like restaurants and bars. But when you’re moving, some compromises always need to be made – and for the most part, The Pointe hit the nail on the head.

My lease starts in August, and I can’t wait!


Rachael has a B.S. in Geography from the University of Maryland and is currently applying to graduate school for broadcast meteorology.
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