Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Info Post #6: Living (The Apartments)

So I thought it was about time I write another info post, seeing as the last "official" info post I wrote was October 27. About that...

I think I covered the various steps of the application process pretty well. I wish I had enough knowledge to write info posts about what to pack/how to prepare to travel down to Orlando and check-in day, but... well, I don't. There are a lot of packing lists floating around the Disboards College Board, and Marina wrote an absolutely fantastic and detailed post about her check-in process.

So what else is there to think about before your program besides the application process? Where you want to live, of course! There are four housing complexes for the College Program, but one (The Commons) is only open to international students. So that leaves you with three choices: Vista Way, Chatham Square, and Patterson Court. (At least I think it's called Chatham square - I'm so used to calling them Vista, Chatham, and Patterson that I'm not sure of Chatham's full title!)

Vista is the oldest of the complexes, with smaller rooms and cheaper rent. It also has the reputation of being the "party" complex and very social. However, since it's the oldest, it's a bit run down compared to the others. And I think the crazy-party reputation is, like many rumors and reputations, at least a bit exaggerated. Vista features 2 and 3 bedroom apartments.

Chatham has the biggest rooms and 2nd most expensive rent of the 3. Generally, whereas Vista has this kind of crazy "Disney Gone Wild" reputation, Chatham is quieter. There are parties, but they aren't as, shall we say, rambunctious. It's a good middle ground between Vista and Patterson, socially. However, it IS more expensive than Vista and has this weird green carpet, if that's an issue for you. You can keep the price down by trying to get a 3 or 4 bedroom - the 4 bedroom apartments in Chatham even have 2 fridges! Chatham features a full range of apartment sizes, from 1-4 bedrooms.

weird green carpet

Finally, Patterson is the newest of the complexes and therefore considered to be the nicest by many. Its rooms are a bit smaller than Chatham's, but the rent is higher because, well, it's newer. It's known for being very, very quiet. It's also important to know that, unlike Vista and Chatham, Patterson does not have its own bus stop. If you have a car, that's fine. If you don't, it's a potential issue.

Here's a diagram I found to illustrate the difference in size between Vista and Chatham (I haven't found anything for Patterson, sadly.)

For the official word on the "Living" experience of the CP, check out the Housing section of the CP website. (And try not to cry when you remember that the application page is still all sad and down.) HOWEVER. Those lovely decorated bedrooms they show you in the 360ยบ tour? Yeah, not allowed. You're allowed one bulletin board per participant or something like that, and many of the inspectors are very, very strict about this rule - you can fail housing inspections for having a single extra thing up (even something like a calendar), from what I've heard. There are still ways to make your apartment cute and livable, even with one measly bulletin board for decoration.

Personally, I'd love to live in Chatham for my program, in either a 3 or 4 bedroom - thank goodness they put two fridges in the four bedrooms!


Jenn said...

At Chatham I believe the 3 bedrooms have 3 bathrooms, and the 4 bedrooms have 2 fridges. So you really can't go wrong with either! :)

Abigail Nora said...

ooh i think i like the idea of 1 bathroom per bedroom SLIGHTLY more than the 2 fridge idea...

Ashlie said...

I live at Patterson right's GORGEOUS, clean, and perfect.

My room isn't small at all (I thought it would be) and I have a palm tree right outside my window. Patterson is the only complex to have palm trees...that I've seen anyways :)

Abigail Nora said...

yeah, i think chatham is the biggest but it's not like the other apartments are closets. i doubt it's a HUGE difference.

but i do enjoy that chatham is slightly cheaper... :)

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