Posted April 5, 2019

Won't you be our neighbor: tips and resources for living off-campus

You’re an adult now. You’ve already made your best friend and weeded out your flaky friends who said they wanted to get a place together off campus, but actually had their eyes on Temple Towers. You now fully understand what “utilities” are. While all of those things are v. real parts of your living off-campus journey, there’s another big one we need to talk about: Everyone else that lives around you. 

Mister Rogers soaking his feet with Officer Clemmons near the Bell Tower.

Remember this scene? Your dad struggling to carry your IKEA lamp up the stairs, and your mom—equipped with her gas mask—standing bravely in your new pad, ammunition locked and loaded: Windex, Bounty and Clorox. Hours passed and then your parents were off celebrating your ascent to adulthood at the Draught Horse while you were left questioning whether you’d get your security deposit back if you thumbtacked your John Belushi poster above your foldable chair. 

You did it anyway.

But now what? We’ll tell you: Recognize where you are. You are in a neighborhood with … wait for it… non-Temple students! That’s right, our beautiful North Philly neighborhood is a place we share, which means before you blast “Mo Bamba” on repeat at 2 a.m., think about your neighbors. 

Here are few other ways to show some love and respect to the place we call home and the resources you can tap into to take action. 

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. Need more intel on the recycle front? Check out this guide to know what to recycle, and what not to

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. 

-Nicholas Eiser and Jared Lowe