Posted August 31, 2018

6 Tips for Being a Good Neighbor

Yessssssssssss, you’re living off campus (perhaps for the first time ever) and have a pad all to yourself. Look at you being an adult! OK, maybe you don’t have a pad all to yourself (Hi, roommate!), but felicitations for reaching this major milestone in your life thus far because there’s nothing more adult than paying bills.

A view of a residential city block with the Comcast building in the background

It’s important to feel as free as you like in your new space, and although you might view it as a temporary home, there’s still some things you should know about living in close proximity to your new neighbors. Practicing civility and being an all-around positive neighbor can be a great experience for both you and the community, so here’s some tips to help. 

1. Get to know your neighbors.
Introduce yourself to your immediate neighbors and say “hello” to people you see frequently. Being friendly creates a more pleasant living environment for everyone. Remember that thing we said about this may be your temporary home? Well, it’s lots of people’s permanent home, so make the effort to chat. 

2. Clean up after yourself
We get it. Sometimes, it’s hard to pick up after yourself. (You should see Nutshell HQ …) Don’t leave trash on your stoop or your sidewalk. And don’t let things in your house or apartment get out of hand because … pests. Pests are gross and difficult to deal with and affect your immediate neighbors in a not-so-good way. 

3. Know your trash days
So all of that trash you’re going to be so mindful about? Know when to put it out on the street for collection. Around campus, trash is picked up on Mondays. You can take it out after 7 p.m. on Sunday or before 7 a.m. on Monday. Pro tip: Use proper containers such as personal trash cans or sealed plastic bags. NO cardboard boxes, plz. As far as recycling, any household container (no larger than 20 gallons) is OK, as long as bottles and cans are empty. Keep in mind you can only put out four (or less, duh) containers of trash per week.

4. Parties do’s and don’ts 
Who doesn’t love hosting a party or having a few friends over to binge watch Netflix until you forget what day it is? In any case, be safe when providing or consuming alcohol. Remember, it’s illegal to have an open container outside of your residence, regardless of the drinker’s age. And be aware when you or your friend has had too much. One more thing, and we feel weird even having to say it, but don’t go to the bathroom outside. Just … don’t. 

5. Keep the peace.
One way to be a chill neighbor is to be respectful and considerate to others on your block. As tempting as it is to blast tunes and feel all the vibes, make sure you don’t violate noise laws: Sunday through Thursday, 9 p.m.–7 a.m., and Friday through Saturday, 11 p.m.–7 a.m., are quiet hours. Also, try to stay off an episode of Parking Wars and avoid inviting too many extra cars to the neighborhood that could block streets and make it difficult for emergency vehicles to get through. 

6. Be a responsible fur baby owner.
Yes, as much as it is to be a great, responsible, awesome pet mom and dad, remember to curb your four-legged bestie. The sidewalks and backyards of your fellow neighbors are not permanent porta potties. 
Wanna know more about this being-a-part-of-the-community thing and how to do it right? Of course you do. Every year, Temple organizes Welcome Wagon, where student leaders, organizations and staff from various departments across the university visit students living in the communities around Main Campus to talk about being good neighbors

Look out for the Welcome Wagon from 4–6 p.m. on these dates:

Sept. 6, 16th and Berks streets
Sept. 11, Park and Susquehanna avenues

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-Jared M. Lowe