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Student Life

Finding Balance While Living With Roommates

June 1, 2021

Going off to college is an exciting part of life. However, the experience also comes with a lot of challenges. For many, this will be the first time living outside of home. While living with a roommate comes with many perks, such as lower cost of living, it’s not always an easy task. We’ve all heard those terrible roommate stories that make us cringe and feel afraid of what to expect.

Whether you’re planning on living on-campus or off-campus, here are a few tips that will make your roommate experience a positive one.  

Communicate openly

 As obvious as this seems, being out of our comfort zone puts us in a vulnerable position and can cause us to clam up, especially when we’re nervous or upset. If you’re living with someone you’ve never met before move-in day, it may take some time for you to adjust! Try looking for common ground. Maybe you’re both into the same sports or have similar music taste. Whatever it is, it’ll break the ice and have you bonding right away. A great tip would be bonding while decorating your new place, making it feel much more like home to everyone involved. 

 As time passes, you’ll become more aware of your habits and theirs. If something bothers you, make sure you talk to them about it first. Ensure you don’t complain to others about it, which may find itself back to them and create unnecessary tension. For example, if you notice your roommate is leaving their dirty clothes on the floor, you could tell them you’d appreciate it if they put their dirty clothes in the hamper. They’re more likely to do so than if you make them feel attacked by exposing others to what they do.

Learn to share and also set clear boundaries

Sharing is a big part of living with someone. After all, you’re likely sharing a common area and/or bathroom, and perhaps even a bedroom. Make sure you distribute chores evenly, whether you’re living in a dorm, apartment, or house. Some colleges require first-year students to spend their first year on campus, which will make it easier on your finances. However, living with a couple of roommates in an affordable home may end up costing you the same, and it’ll free you from dorm rules and curfews.   

If all else fails, it’s essential to know when to ask for help. If your roommate is making you feel uncomfortable or affecting your health to a point where communicating with them didn’t solve the problem, it might be time to seek help. If you’re living on campus, you can reach out to your resident assistant to facilitate resources to resolve conflicts or help you switch roommates if necessary. If you’re living off-campus, make sure to communicate your concerns to your roommate first. Most issues can be easily solved through conversation. If that doesn’t work out, make sure you read through your lease before moving out and talking with your landlord about the situation, chances are they’ll either step in or be willing to have someone take your place and print out a new lease. 

Establish rules early on

Being clear on the house rules from the beginning will save you a lot of stress and problems in the long run. Think about all the small details of daily life and talk with your roommate about how you will go about dealing with them. Are you sharing kitchen items, such as plates and silverware? What about bathroom necessities? How are you splitting the costs on shared food items? Remember that you are living with a person who may have different habits than your own. Be clear about things such as expenses, food, parties, and overnight guests. 

Living with roommates with be an adjustment if this is completely new for you. Keep these tips in mind for finding balance!


Testimonial: Renter’s Insurance Covered Student’s Stolen Laundry

July 20, 2020
GradGuard's Renters Insurance covered a student's stolen laundry

In college, you may hear about a student’s bike or a laptop being stolen. But what about laundry?

Tom, a student at the University of San Diego, experienced just that. Luckily, he had GradGuard’s Renters Insurance. He shares his experience about filing a claim, and how he was able to get reimbursed for his clothes.

Insurance for the unexpected

Tom was up all night studying for midterms, when he decided to do some laundry down the hall in his dorm. 

“I had three tests the next day, and I decided, what better time to do my laundry?” Tom said. 

He said he put his laundry in the washer and dryer and then went back to studying. But when he went back to check on it a little while later, he discovered most of his clothes were gone. 

Tom had gone to check on his laundry to discover it was gone.

“There was like a trail of it on the floor,” Tom said. “So it seemed like someone had just ran in, opened the door, grabbed it all out of the dryer and had taken it.”

Filing a claim is easy

Tom had purchased GradGuard’s Renters Insurance, which is recommended by his school. He thought his policy may include coverage for his stolen clothes. He was right; about a week after the incident, he filed a claim, and soon after, received a reimbursement.

“It worked out great! Everything went pretty smoothly,” Tom said.

Protecting school essentials- even laundry

Tom is like many of the 700,000 students GradGuard has provided protection to; he purchased a policy at the beginning of the school year just in case the unexpected happened. The University of San Diego is one of GradGuard’s school partners for renters insurance, so Tom learned about the recommended policies that offer a unique student endorsement. Subscribe to GradGuard on YouTube to hear more testimonials from our members.

GradGuard’s Renters Insurance helps students protect their school essentials, like a laptop, smartphone, and other personal belongings – even laundry.  Help protect your school essentials, like your laptop, smartphone, and other personal belongings, as well as personal liability.

Health Other

These four common medical conditions affect thousands of college students

June 26, 2020
Student medical conditions on the rise

The Coronavirus pandemic has forced millions of college students across the country to adjust to online-only learning. Although the virus has disrupted classroom instruction, the reality is that every year, ordinary medical conditions lead to students leaving school and losing money. And we’re not talking about having the common cold, or making a trip to the on-campus health clinic. These medical conditions are proving to have a major impact on students nationwide.

The 2019 National Student Health Assessment from the American College Health Association data reveals some of the risks that college students and their families face today. As we all adjust in the time of COVID-19, you can see the common illnesses that have a big impact on students. The assessment surveyed more than 30,000 students across 58 different schools.

Common illnesses have a big impact on college completion

The most commonly reported illnesses that had an impact on completing a degree include concussion, mononucleosis (mono), pneumonia, and flu or flu-like illnesses.

student health conditions and academic progress

During a normal semester, most schools provide a pro-rated refund through the fifth week of classes, according to a national study from Dec. 2019. This same study reports that 70 percent of schools have reported a growth in student medical withdrawals.

The ACHA assessment confirms the scale and impact of health conditions on college completion is real. The calculations are based on a total of 8.16 million full-time undergraduate students attending four-year non-profit institutions. 

These four conditions that students report delayed their academic progress are estimated to have cost students and schools more than $1 billion annually! And that’s from preventable financial losses.

Health conditions may lead to an unexpected withdrawal

The ACHA data reveals other student health conditions that may also disrupt an academic term or lead to an unexpected student withdrawal. Nearly a quarter of students reported experiencing anxiety, followed by just under 20 percent reporting depression. Celiac disease, PTSD, eating disorders and bipolar disorder followed. 

If you’re experiencing one of these health conditions while in college, you should know that that there are resources to help you get back on track to complete your education. GradGuard’s Tuition Insurance can provide refunds for tuition and academic fees if you unexpectedly need to leave school for a covered reason.

Adulting Other

June 28 is National Insurance Awareness Day

June 25, 2020
National Insurance Awareness Day is June 28

Insurance is often one of those things we forget about until we need it. 

Here’s something that can help you keep insurance top of mind: June 28 is National Insurance Awareness Day.

The annual day gives you the opportunity to check your insurance policies and make sure everything is up-to-date. While that probably doesn’t sound like the most exciting thing to do, your future self will thank you if and when you’re ever in a tough situation and find yourself relying on that insurance coverage. 

Insurance policies exist to protect you from the unexpected, whether it’s a natural disaster, theft, damage, illness, injury or death. 

Some of the common types of insurance:

It’s one thing to know if you have insurance, and it’s another to know what the policy covers, and how exactly you go about filing a claim. Make sure you know what questions to ask!

What does this policy cover?

This is SUPER important to ask and have an understanding of. For example, if you want to have renters insurance in case someone breaks in and ransacks your apartment, just be sure that theft and burglary is a covered peril under the policy you are wanting.

How long does this policy last?

This depends on the company that you are purchasing through and what you opted to pay for the policy. If you paid annually, then the policy likely lasts for a full 12 months from the date that you chose your coverage to begin. If you are only needing the insurance for a certain amount of time, be sure to ask your agent about their cancelation process and what is required to terminate the coverage.

How much is the policy?

See if your insurance agency is charging you monthly, annually, semi-annually, or another billing option. Talk through it with them to see if there is a benefit to one billing option as opposed to another.

How do I know what my coverage limits should be?

For renters insurance, most policies come with both personal property coverage and personal liability coverage. Personal property coverage is the limit that protects your personal items that are inside of your residence, and personal liability coverage is what protects the actual structure itself. Be sure to talk to your university or rental property to see if they require any specific limits while you are living there.

How do I file a claim and how does that process work?

This is a general question with an important answer. Most people have no idea how to make an insurance claim if needed and it should be one of the top questions to ask your renters insurance agent. The claims process can be different for each agency, so just to be sure you clarify it if needed


National Insurance Awareness Day only comes once a year. So on June 28, use the day as a reminder to get a little more educated on insurance and your individual policies that you have or are interested in buying. This is especially important in college when you’re living on your own and away from home. And remember, when it comes to purchasing any sort of insurance policy, it’s very important to ask questions! At GradGuard, we’re here to help you when you have questions about your renters or tuition policies.

“Adulting” isn’t easy, and we’re here to help in any way that we can!