Posted September 25, 2020

Six tips for living off campus in 2021

For those in off-campus residences, we bring you some neighborly advice for how to be a good neighbor.

This story was updated on Feb. 5, 2021.

So, you’re living off campus.

That comes with a lot of freedom, but also a lot more responsibility than back home.

Here are some tips for keeping your neighborhood clean and showing respect for your neighbors—including your fellow Owls, local families and long-time residents—during this unusually crazy year.

Mask up every time you leave the house
As you may have heard, we’re all living through a global pandemic. Dense city living means we’re all in closer proximity, so for everyone’s benefit, make a habit of masking up every time you leave the house, even if you’re just taking out the trash or hopping in the car. 

Get to know your neighbors and your neighborhood
Saying hi and learning the names of your neighbors can go a long way, especially when we’re wearing masks and can’t see each other smile. And by the way, a wave and a hello is something you can do from more than six feet away to keep a healthy distance. As a Temple student, how you behave in the neighborhood is how our community members see us. Make us Temple proud!

Why you might want to follow the garbage truck on Twitter
It’s important to know your trash days. In a typical week, trash near campus is picked up on Mondays. You can take it out after 7 p.m. on Sunday or before 7 a.m. on Monday. However, due to increased demand and strain during COVID-19, trash and recycling has experienced repeated delays this year. Pro tip: follow @PhilaStreets to check if trash or recycling delays are expected. If so, you can keep the streets cleaner by waiting to put yours out.

It’s a neighborhood, not a nightclub
One way to be a stellar neighbor is to be respectful and considerate to others on your block. As tempting as it is to become the block’s impromptu DJ, 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. Pro tip: It’s easier to ask your fellow neighbors to turn it down and vice versa if you’ve taken the effort to meet them and learn their names.

Party do’s and don’ts 
As we all know, parties of any size are a don’t right now due to COVID-19. Do restrict in-person gatherings to members of your household and do get creative with technology to connect with others remotely. Even in your own house, make sure to 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 (which we really wish went without saying), but: don’t go to the bathroom outside. Seriously, just … don’t. 

Be a responsible pet parent
Yes, it’s wonderful to be a pet mom or dad, but it’s also a big responsibility. Please remember to curb your four-legged bestie. The sidewalks and backyards of your fellow neighbors are not permanent porta potties, and repeat offenses can really add up. Bringing plastic bags to properly dispose of your pooch’s mess will be much appreciated by everyone.

—Andrew Lochrie