On Moving to St. Louis

Roommates Kavon J. and Joni L. help each other move in.

Moving is always a pain — no one is going to argue otherwise — but if you have to move, then moving to St. Louis is the best decision you could make. While all the steps are the same no matter where you move, the process just feels easier here. Registering a car is a breeze — the lines at the DMV are virtually nonexistent and the employees are lovely, helpful people. Changing your address with USPS is easy and they will even send you coupons to use at home-goods stores! And if buying new furniture is a little out of budget, then Craigslist is very active with great deals, and your new classmates will be more than happy to lend you their truck to move a couch. When you move to St. Louis, it seems like everyone in the city is doing their best to make you feel at home, and it’s because they are.

— Emily D., M1

On Buying a Condo

Apply those Monopoly skills and become a landlord today! Do you want to know what it’s like to own land without having to mow the lawn, clean the pool, take out the trash, or lose your life savings? Well, then buying a condo is for you! Our favorite is The Wexfords Condos located a mere eight minutes (0.4 mi) from campus. That’s as close to campus as it gets, fellas! Plus, you’ll never go hungry with West End Wok, Einstein Bros Bagels, Brasserie, Taste, Wildflower, Tortillaria, Little Saigon, Pickles and FroYo all less than a minute’s walk away. With Wildflower opening at 6 a.m. and Taste closing at 1 a.m., you never feel unsafe on your walk home. These pet friendly, two-bedroom, two-bath units (perfect for having a roommate who can contribute to your financial investment and emotional well-being) come with a community pool, grills, exercise room and sauna. Each unit also comes with a solarium, fireplace, two ample storage rooms and an assigned garage parking spot or two (no need to use an ice scraper!). Get started by contacting realtors Jean Noll (314-956-9522, jeann1@mindspring.com) or Ken Young (314-713-7111, kenmyoak@msn.com) today!

— Sam H. & Sindhu M., M1

On Buying a House

A huge plus of attending medical school at WashU is that St. Louis is probablythe cheapest city for real estate that’s home to a top-20 medical school and, thus, buying a house here is actually an option for some students. If you can afford a down payment, mortgage payments in St. Louis are cheaper than rent. Thus, if your family or spouse is able and willing to help, or if you took gap year(s) between undergrad and medical school and were able to save, buying a home in the St. Louis area is a viable option. If this is you, it’s worth it to do a little research and see if you can find a good deal! I would encourage getting a buyer’s agent (they are free) and highly recommend the local family-owned Garcia Properties. Most students choose to rent apartments in the Central West End, which abuts the medical center to the north and
east. However, the CWE is relatively expensive and not as accessible for young buyers. Fortunately, there are varied, attractive neighborhoods with less expensive real estate within an easy commute to the south (The Grove, Botanical Heights, and Tower Grove), east (downtown – loft living), and west (DeBaliviere, University City, and Clayton).

— Victor K., M1

On Living Alone

“Best is life when pants you don’t wear.” – Yoda. Following in his little green footsteps, you will realize that these critical teachings are most easily followed when you don’t have a roommate around. On top of the inherent medical benefits of not wearing pants (Mathur 2013), living alone first year helps remove the stress of rooming with someone you briefly Facebook stalked over the summer. Moreover, you will be around your classmates ALL THE TIME. Living alone gives you the rare ability to retreat into your own cave and watch Netflix without people coming to find you. Your disgust and your disgust alone will motivate you to wash your dishes and clean your apartment — no roommates around to pick up after or nag you.

— Kunal M., M1

On Finding a Roommate

Best friends and roommates: Julia K. and Tori W. (M1s).

Your roommate is important. He or she is the person who helps you determine whether “home” is that apartment in the Central West End or the place where your parents live. You have three options: You can either be the person to find a place and ask someone to join you, the person to initiate a roommate match before deciding on a place, or the person to respond! All these things can take place on the class Facebook group very easily. Personally, I found a place during the second look tour that I liked (Del Co!), and went ahead and put a deposit down on a two-bedroom sometime in May. This was not risky as this is the most popular building to live in for first years. I then posted on the Facebook group and the first person who responded is my now-roommate and best friend in St. Louis. Our class eventually made a Google Doc with all the people looking for roommates and what they were looking for in a living situation. The last alternative is to email your class or the medical school at broad.

— Julia K., M1

On Living with Roommates

The three amigos pondering life at Art Hill in Forest Park

So you’re about to embark on a four-year journey into the unknown. Just kidding, you’ve spent the last year reading SDN and Reddit about what the med school experience is like, but you still have questions. One of them might be: Should I live with a roommate or roommates? Well, the three amigos say YES!!!* Of course, there’s the chance that your roommates suck, but fortunately, this was not the case for us. Medical school actually has been the start of a great bromance. We do pretty much everything together, so for brevity’s sake, we’ll list what we don’t do together: shower.** If you want to know some specifics about our fully furnished living situation, we have our own rooms in a spacious house and pay an average of $600 each including utilities. If the question of living with roommates is on your mind at all, go ahead and do it! You’ll love it!***

* If you’re into that sort of thing

** Sometimes

*** We do!

— Tom H., Paolo D. & Mat M., M1

On Not Living in the Central West End

It’s really easy to get sucked into the Central West End bubble when you spend most of your time on and around campus. Living in other parts of town will force you and your friends to explore other areas of St. Louis, and there is a whole lot to explore! For me, going home to University City feels like a necessary break from school and the general med school scene. Plus, rent outside the CWE can be a lot cheaper, and you will likely find a roommate who’s not a med student (gasp!), which can also be a welcome breather from medicine. Transportation to the CWE is relatively accessible. Depending on where you live, public transport options (e.g. free MetroLink and buses) or biking may be adequate for you. Plenty of people (myself included) prefer to drive, especially in the winter months. The good news is that most things in St. Louis are a 20-minute drive away from wherever you may be, tops. I will say, it does get a little annoying when you have to drag yourself home at the end of a late night (you will have plenty of these). However, that’s what friends are for! You are almost guaranteed to have a place to crash in the CWE if you need it.

— Seren G., M1

On Living on Campus

After spending the summer before med school living in a palm-tree and vines hut in the rainforest of Belize, I flew back to civilization with only a few weeks to work out housing for this year. To save both time and money, I took the easy path of signing a housing contract at Olin. Compared to my undergrad dorm, the rooms are a little small, so don’t bring too much stuff. You won’t have your own bathroom either, unless you end up on a floor like mine where no one seems to utilize the showers. Ping-pong tables, the gym and a piano are just a few of the other benefits. Overall, it’s turned out to be a good decision, although my opinion was inevitably going to be favorable in comparison with a hammock strung up between trees infested with tarantulas the size of dinner plates. (Disclosure: moving off campus next year.)

— Lucas T., M1