Last Friday, Washington Post columnist Donna Britt went into Gaither Gym nasium.

The school year is coming to a close, and nearly everyone is making plans and scheduling classes for the fall semester. While many students will be in the classroom next semester, some fellow Rattlers will have graduated, and will be preparing themselves for the “real world.”

Some may live at home for a while before venturing out on their own, but those getting their own places get the pleasure of paying rent.

Not only must they pay rent, but there are also phone bills, lights, water, and heat, along with all of those student loans to pay back.

For those students fresh out of college, money can be very tight, so it is important to spend wisely, especially when it comes to paying bills.

Some students may choose to live in houses, but most start off in apartments because they can be more practical.

Sue Groeniger, the property manager at Carolina Square Apartments said, “An apartment for someone just starting out is not as costly as house. They would not have to worry about things such landscaping, and repairs. Living in an apartment can also be safer sometimes because you have a lot of neighbors.”

While finding a place can be a chore, one must remember the bills they must pay after they move in. Some places include water, sewage and garbage collection in the rent, but with other apartments, the bills are separate. Once you’re on your own, keeping your bills down should be a top priority.

While it is certain that you will have to pay bills, some students keep them down by being more efficient.

Karytha Jackson,19, a freshman pharmacy student from Fort Lauderdale said, “To keep my bills down, I turn off lights when I leave the room, and I don’t leave things on unattended like the TV. I also refrain from using the dishwasher because it runs the water bill up.”

There are also other ways to keep your bills from skyrocketing.

Try to live in apartments that have electric air conditioners and heaters. If you live somewhere that uses gas, you must keep a careful watch on things.

To keep your air conditioning bill down, make sure you change the filter about once a month. Have someone come every few months to check for gas leaks, which could leave a tremendous bill and possibly be dangerous.

As for lights, using bulbs with a lower wattage can keep costs down, according to employees at Oliver Electric. If you like to run your air conditioner during hot summer days, you can still find other alternatives.

You can use a fan sometimes, or open the window and get a whiff of fresh air. Keeping your thermostat at sixty can also cut down on high light bills.

Coming out of college can be a big adjustment, especially financially. For those that really want to save money, cable can be optional, and only get the basics for your phone.

Instead of having three-way, *69, or caller ID, just get call waiting so that all of your calls can come through.