Graduation brings struggles of juggling jobs, housing

Baylor graduate Taylor Beightol moved to Dallas after graduating from Baylor in May. Beightol wanted to stay in Texas after graduating instead of moving back home to Washington.

By Trisha Porzycki | Reporter

Most Baylor students spend their first year in one of the university’s dorms, followed by three years in apartments or houses. Most can find living options from word of mouth, making the process simple for some. But once they graduate, finding a place to live is a whole new game.

For many Baylor graduates, Dallas is a hot spot to live. The numerous alumni connections, large companies and lively atmosphere draw in young adults.

After graduating from Baylor in May 2020 with a degree in journalism and public relations, Taylor Beightol signed a lease for an apartment with her longtime boyfriend in the West Village District of Dallas.

“During the fall semester of my senior year, I knew I wanted to stay in Texas, even though my parents wanted me to come home to Washington,” Beightol said. “All of my friends were deciding who they were going to live with in Dallas, and I could not miss out on the opportunity to have fun with them while starting my career.”

Entering the real world, college graduates are responsible for knowing about monthly rent payments, security deposits, renters’ rights and broker fees. Growing up comes with new and hefty expenses.

“Because of COVID-19, my parents have been helping me out with my rent, but since I have been able to find a new job in Dallas, I will be responsible for paying my portion of the rent while my boyfriend pays his portion,” Beightol said. “I am so grateful that my parents were able to help me, as I know a lot of recent graduates had to do it all on their own.”

This is the case for Kilgore senior Abi Cervantes, who will be responsible for paying all of her rent when she graduates in December. Cervantes said she hopes to get a full-time position in Waco after graduation.

“My current Waco lease is a one-year lease, so if I can’t find a solid job after graduation, I will stay in Waco for those remaining months of my lease,” Cervantes said. “Currently, I have a retail job, so I would have to work more hours there or an internship to pay my rent, and that will be hard.”

Beightol said finding the perfect place to call home can be difficult, especially after leaving a small community like Baylor.

“We used a locator, which essentially is a realtor estate agent for apartments, which made finding a place in Dallas a simple process for us,” Beightol said. “They asked us what we were looking for in our home and what our price range was. Plus, we didn’t have to pay them a separate fee because they receive a commission from your apartment when you sign.”

Beightol said even with the difficulty, it’s a right of passage for growing up.

“There was no discussion with my parents. It was my decision – I felt like a true adult,” Beightol said.