These are the opinions of writers and not the opinions of RentTampaBay.com or any of our advertising partners.
It's no secret we live in uncertain times with safer-at-home mandates being more reactive than proactive. It makes it tough for anyone to be prepared or adjust at the flip of a switch. As the new school year rolls around and the moving season is in full swing, now's the time to prepare yourself in any way you can. Below are some amenities that make your life easier or that are more desirable in the age of social distancing and safer-at-home orders:
Furnished Apartments to Ease Moving Stress and Budget
Opting for a furnished apartment might be a smart move this year, since the start of the pandemic forced the implementation of shelter-in-place. The greatest concerns during these times are health and safety and you really want to do anything you can to stay away from people and save money. Having a furnished apartment eases the stress of having to hire and interact with movers, trying to get all of your furniture to school and into your new apartment. It's easier on the wallet as well since you're not spending excess money buying new furniture or hiring movers this time around. You don't have to purchase new couches, desks, or beds for the year! This also comes back full-circle as you are doing your part to promote social distancing by not going out to shop at Ikea or Target where there are typically large groups of people around, especially during moving season at the University of South Florida.
Community Amenities to Keep You Busy While You're Stuck at Home
If you plan to physically return to school, you should find USF apartments that offer some relief outside your apartment. These amenities should still be within the community so you don't have to travel far or into crowds but can still enjoy your time either at home or under the Florida sun. My top choices would be to secure units with patios and balconies. A little bit of fresh air and a step outside the apartment could be life-changing. I know many folks who didn't have a balcony or backyard to access during the heat of COVID and they went stir crazy quickly. No matter how small, just look for a little area outside to call your own. Having the window open is one thing but actually being able to stand outside is another. Think about that glass of wine or meal you can enjoy in the evenings in the privacy of your own outdoor nook.
If you can't find or afford a unit with a patio/balcony, then see if you can find something with water views. Being able to look outside and see anything but another building is enjoyable and calming for the soul. Most of the time it's very private and can distract you from anxiety. Plus the water provides a nice breeze in the terrible Florida summers. Being able to hear the tide or fountain can act like white noise where your mind can just drift away from wherever is going on, whether it be COVID or school work.
Another option for a quick, exclusive escape could be renting apartments near USF with swimming pools! I can't speak for every single apartment complex, so make sure to check with your leasing agency to confirm if the pool is accessible or not. Some community pools are open to residents with guest restrictions, but others still remain closed until COVID gives an all-clear green-light due to safety concerns. Either way you're winning because you either have a pool to lounge around in to escape the heat and/or an apartment management team that cares about your safety. Make sure to review tips and recommendations from the CDC on public pools during COVID.