Default image

Buying a Condo

Reyan C., M1

Since I am an MSTP student and St. Louis has affordable real estate prices for our living stipend, I decided that I would purchase a condo near the Central West End before I started school. I contacted a real estate agent in April and I was able to view several properties in May. I closed on a two-bedroom condo in the historic DeBaliviere neighborhood, a short five-minute MetroLink ride away from the medical school. This has proved to be a great decision and I’m happy to have made this smart financial investment!

Default image

Finding a Roommate

Nikita S. and Gopika H., M1s

Roommates Nikita (left) and Gopika after our White Coat ceremony.

If you are looking to room with another M1 but don’t yet know anyone in the incoming Class of 2024, don’t fret! Many of us are successfully rooming with peers we met at Second Look, through mutual friends, or through the housing spreadsheet.

Nikita and I (virtually) met via the housing spreadsheet that WUSM posts to the admitted students’ Facebook group every April. The spreadsheet allows you to input things such as living preferences, hobbies/interests, and price/location ranges. It also contains information about housing options throughout the Central West End (CWE) and the Grove based on recommendations from current M1s and M2s. Nikita and I had similar interests and living preferences. Although we had not met before moving in, we talked on the phone before committing to live together and messaged back and forth over the summer to find and start furnishing a place. Most will be studios or one- or two-bedroom apartments. If you’re looking to room with more than one person, a place outside the CWE may be your best bet. While finding a random roommate can be a gamble, just make sure you are clear about your living and studying preferences, and be willing to adjust to each other’s needs. Living with another M1 can be a great way to find a lifelong friend and study buddy (and someone who will wake you up when that pre-exam alarm doesn’t)!

Default image

Living Alone

Haley S., M1

I currently live alone in a studio, and I couldn’t be happier! Specifically, I enjoy setting my own schedule and organizing my apartment according to my own preferences. For example, I am quite the early bird, so I like being able to study, cook, and clean in the mornings without worrying about waking up roommates.

If you are considering living alone, you may be worried about rent or meeting people. The cost of living in St. Louis is very affordable compared to most big cities and suburbs; I lived with four roommates in a small apartment in San Diego, and I actually pay less now for my studio in St. Louis! With respect to socializing and meeting people, I live in the CORE with many of my classmates, so it is very easy to hang out and make plans. If you are social and are concerned that living alone will hamper your interactions with your class, I would highly recommend living in a building that is popular among medical students (e.g. Montclair, Park Royal, Del Coronado, the CORE). In short, living alone can be great if you like having your own space, and it is very affordable in St. Louis!


Default image

Living with a Medical Student

Nikita S., M1

Before coming to WashU, I had always lived with a roommate, and it was definitely something I was looking to continue in St. Louis. I found my roommate through the Facebook group of admitted students, and I am so glad to be living with another M1. Especially during orientation, it was really nice to have someone to go to events with, and to always have a familiar face during those first couple of weeks. Even now, I’m able to come back home and have someone to talk about my day with or motivate me to study. Because we have a lot of overlapping friends and similar social schedules, we’re able to host pre-games and movie nights all the time without worrying about bothering one another or taking up space. The only drawback I can think of is that sometimes when the two of us are dealing with exams at the same time we maybe aren’t as on top of our chores as we should be … but other than that, I would definitely recommend living with a medical student if you are looking for a roommate!

Default image

Living with a non-Medical Student

Caroline S., M1

While there’s nothing wrong with living with another medical student, the alternative has its perks. It makes it much easier to develop friends outside of school, which can be surprisingly difficult. It’s so nice to come home and not feel pressured to talk about school, and your roommate(s) can help you remember that there is a world outside of WashU/school in general (which can also be surprisingly difficult). Since they’re not on the same schedule, they may be able to help you out (groceries, cooking, etc.) when you have a crazy week. It’s always nice to have another perspective around!

Default image

Renting for the First Time

Colin M., M1

I’m not going to lie, renting for the first time was terrifying. I’ve lived at home, then went to the dorms, then back home again because I couldn’t rationally pay to live in the same city as my house. The prices to rent in St. Louis are very reasonable, even if you are starting from scratch; I pay less than $750/month and know plenty of classmates that pay less. I would recommend exploring and to find potential places to live, and if you’re trying to save money, consider living in a place that is just an apartment, not an apartment community. Additionally, there are always people getting rid of furniture on Facebook Marketplace, so try checking it out before resigning to going for the “Apartment by Ikea” look.