New roommate matching software easy to use

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A lot of Student Apartment Communities advertise that they do roommate matching. Despite the exaggerated claims, for many of them, this means no more than spending a few minutes figuring out who are the smokers and who can’t stand to be around pets.

At Athens Ridge, we use sophisticated software to find your roommate. After you’ve been approved and signed your lease to reserve a bedroom, you will receive an online prompt to create a profile through our roommate matching system.

This is kind of like a low-key social network where you will answer some basic questions, like how often you clean, (or party!) and write a paragraph about yourself.

Once this is done, an algorithm will process your data along with data from everyone else who has completed their online profile. Then, you will see a link called “My matches” at the top of your screen. These matches are calculated by percentage of compatibility.

You can review your matches, and the system will allow you to send emails and invitations to meet with your prospective roommates.

Sound complicated? It really isn’t. So we’ve decided to put together a step-by-step guide for you. This way, the idea of using the software will be a little less intimidating.

Step 1: On the Athens Ridge website you will click “Apply Now.” This will take you to our online guest card where you will fill out your basic information and create your login.

Part of this basic information is which floor plan you have chosen. Make sure this information is correct as you can only be matched to people who have chosen the same floor plan.

Step 2: Remember your login! It sounds obvious, but this is something you should write down or put in your phone. You will be asked to log in after you finish the guest card, so you want that information handy.

Step 3: The next screen you see will ask you to prioritize other floor plans. This is just in case all of your first choices have been taken. The choice you selected on the first page should already have a “1” beside it.

Step 4: Fill out your profile information. You will have to answer a set of predetermined questions about yourself and your ideal roommate.

These are usually questions about cleaning and cooking habits, how quiet of a person you are, if you have a pet, and smoking and drinking habits. Beneath these items you can prioritize how important these items are to you.

For example, you can mark that it is more important to you that your roommate does not have a pet than whether or not they watch as much TV as you do.

Step 5: Fill in the custom fields. These are the “About me” and “About my roommate” sections. It can be a little time-consuming to write a paragraph about yourself and your ideal roommate, but these custom fields allow us to pull more information to find your best possible roommate.

The custom fields are a huge advantage to our software because they help generate more matches and make the software feel more like a low key Facebook. Basically, this gives students a way to pick their own roommates after the software generates a set of possible matches.

Another plus is you can choose to make these fields private so that other students searching through the system can’t see what you don’t want them to. You choose how much of your profile is public.

Step 6: Generate matches. Once you’ve entered your information, our software will begin generating matches. You will see a “My matches” tab on your screen, and when you click it you can see how many people fit your profile and what percentage of a match they are. From here you can view their profiles, send messages, and send invitations to be roommates.

Once you’ve decided to room with someone and they accept your invitation, our staff will receive an alert and make it official.

It’s fast, low key, and easy. We don’t want you to stress about finding a roommate. Let us help you make a new friend and make college that much more enjoyable.

Take some time to recover from the holidays

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After the holidays it can be hard to get back into your normal routine. The break is a nice reprieve from school and work, but sometimes you can get lost in the fantasy of never going back.

The blend of good food, great family, and holiday cheer propels you into a fantasy world where you think you can stay home forever.

Unfortunately you can’t. So, we’ve put together some tips to help you transition back into your normal routine.

Take it slow

Relax. Enjoy the break. Binge watch Netflix. It’s important to make the most of your break, especially with turkey and ham still in your stomach.

Then, after you’ve had a full break, start transitioning back to your normal routine.

Make a list

There are a million things to do before the spring semester starts. From getting your books to packing back up, the tasks that need completing are almost never-ending.

The best way to deal with this is to make a list of what needs doing before returning to school. By breaking down your to do’s into smaller, easier to manage tasks, you will avoid back to school stress and get more done.

Prioritize

Some tasks on your list will take precedence over others. Getting your books, for example, is probably more important than returning an unwanted gift. So as you pull yourself out of the throes of a turkey-coma, remember to assess which tasks need to be completed first.

By prioritizing, you can reduce back to school stress and have a much more enjoyable transition away from the holidays.

Take a breath

You have a lot to do, but you can’t work away the end of your break. Stop and take a breath. Small breaks will keep you from getting burned out, and you will be more productive overall.

Just do it

It can be hard to rip yourself away from all of the holiday cheer and joy to go back to classes. The easiest way to make the transition is to just do it. Don’t procrastinate. Make the transition back to your studies and set your eyes on summer vacation. It’s only a few months away.

Home for the holidays: Survival skills for dealing with your family

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The holidays are a great break from school, and an awesome excuse to go home to spend time with family.

However, for some people, that blissful family times is eventually replaced with arguing and annoyance. Sometimes, it seems, absence really does make the heart grow fonder.

In light of that, we’ve put together this list of tips for surviving the holidays.

Put on your smile

No, seriously. If you have a relative that grates on your nerves every year, just keep smiling. Some people call it killing them with kindness, but know that your determined smile will be enough to irk an unpleasant relative without the messiness of verbal confrontation.

Not only that, smiling actually makes people feel happier, so you may find it’s not long until a genuine smile is spreading across your face.

Don’t engage

We all have that relative that asks about grades and significant others in veiled tones. These are the uncles you dread seeing, but they can be stopped.

When you are on the receiving end of a trap question, just smile and turn to someone else to change the conversation. Do not engage with these relatives. It’s not worth it.

Eat the fruitcake

For you, this may not actually be fruitcake. It could be some sort of vegetable casserole your mom spent hours making. She insists you like it, and you insist you don’t.

Sometimes, it’s better to just eat it and avoid the fight.

But don’t compromise yourself either

During the holidays we walk a fine line between avoiding conflict and becoming a doormat. It is so easy to revert to your child self and stammer through questions related to school or your part time job.

We would encourage you not to do that, at least not completely. While it is good to avoid fighting and go with the flow, sometimes you have to stand up for yourself.

Whether you’re facing your problem relative for the tenth time at dinner or a bossy older sibling gone too far, decide what your limit is and don’t let anyone overstep their bounds.

Ignore negativity

It’s an unfortunate truth that some people are bitter around the holidays. These are the relatives that don’t have an ounce of cheer and want to bring down the party.

The easiest way to avoid negativity during the holidays, is to avoid these people. You don’t have to be rude. You can just politely distance yourself from that person.

Get some rest and have fun

Finally, sleep off that big meal and have some fun. The holidays don’t have to feel like a chore. Every day of break, get up expecting to make your own holiday cheer.

Be prepared to force yourself into having a good time if circumstances are not ideal. Ignore those rude relatives and focus on the spirit of the season.

Third resident wins free rent for one year

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A third person has won free rent for one year at Athens Ridge. The third of four renewal dinners was held at 5 p.m. on December 15th.

Saucehouse BBQ catered the event which was also themed for the holidays.

The newest winner of the free rent is Damion Stinson. Stinson had just finished a final exam when he saw Athens Ridge staff outside his home. He said he was focused on getting some sleep until he saw them and knew he’d won the free rent.

“I’ve won the check!” he said of his thoughts at the time. Stinson didn’t get to go to the dinner because of his final, but he was one of the first people to renew his lease with Athens Ridge.

“I knew I wanted to live here for one more year,” he said, “When I heard about the promotion, I knew I needed to renew fast.” Athens Ridge staff said that Stinson was the third person in Athens Ridge to renew, a reminder that those who haven’t won previous drawings still have a shot.

Stinson went on to say that his roommates and friends were very happy for him, and Athens Ridge staff also showed him some love when he won.

“It’s just been a lot of love and support around here. That’s why I love Athens Ridge,” Stinson said.

Stinson decided to surprise his mom with the news on Facebook. He posted a status and tagged her in it. After they spoke he said that she “was really moved” by his win.

“It was a great present at the end of Finals Week,” Stinson said.

Contest Rules 

  • Renew your lease between December 16-January 15, and you will be entered into the last drawing, with one chance to win. 

When you can win 

  • Athens Ridge will host four Resident Appreciation Renewal Parties where the drawings will be held. Athens Ridge held renewal events in November and December, and the last chance to win free rent will be January 15th.

Residents must be present to win, unless a prior arrangement is made through the Management Office.

There is still time to win! The next and last renewal dinner will be on January 15th and will have additional prizes. Athens Ridge will also be serving food, and one more person will be winning FREE rent for one year.

Software will give residents better roommate matching experience

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Many college students have experienced a roommate match gone wrong. Sometimes it doesn’t start badly. You show up to your dorm or new apartment for the first time, and you meet someone you think is relatively nice.

Then, a couple of weeks have passed and you find yourself convinced you are living with a demon. One minute you are saying hello for the first time, and the next you are finding dirty dishes under your couch!

This is in part due to a tendency for apartment communities to stick your roommate matching questionnaires in a drawer or cabinet for months until it is time to do a match.

When the deadline for filling apartments looms over a staff member, they start throwing students together based on superficial interpretations of the roommate matching forms.

This is how you get a nightmare roommate.

At Athens Ridge, we don’t do that. Instead, you will be asked to go through an online process to find your best possible roommate.

How it works

At Athens Ridge, we use sophisticated software to find your roommate. After you’ve signed your lease and are approved, you will receive an online prompt to create a profile. This is kind of like a low-key social network where you will answer some basic questions, like how often you clean, and write a paragraph about yourself.

The information in that paragraph can reflect your interests or dislikes, and really anything is ok in that field as long as you conduct yourself in an appropriate manner.

After you’ve finished filling out information about yourself, there will be a tab for you to click to answer questions about your ideal roommate.

Once this is done, an algorithm will process your data with date from everyone else who has completed their online profile. Then, you will see a link called “My matches” at the top of your screen. These matches are calculated by percentage of compatibility.

You can review your matches, and the system will allow you to send emails and invitations to meet with your prospective roommates.

Getting to know them

Once you’ve met your matches, you want to spend some time getting to know them. Find out their interests, and have them talk more about their ideal roommate.

It’s normal to feel a bit isolated in college, and by taking the time to get to know your matches, you will undoubtedly meet a new friend even if you decide not to live together.

Get all of your information straight

 It is important to note that when you are filling out your online profile, make sure to fill in the custom fields, such as the “About Me” box. It can be a little time-consuming to write a paragraph about yourself, but these custom fields allow us to pull information beyond whether or not you smoke to find your roommate.

The custom fields are a huge advantage to our software because they help generate more matches and make the software feel more like a low key Facebook. Basically, this gives students a way to pick their own roommates after the software generates a set of possible matches.

Athens Ridge is more than a student housing community. We want our residents to walk away from her with more than three or four years of townhouse living. We want you to make friends.

If you haven’t found your roommates yet, take advantage of our software. You may just walk away with your new best friend.

Resident wins FREE rent in Cyber Monday promotion

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Kelsy Gibson won her free rent in Athens Ridge’s special Cyber Monday promotion.

Another Athens Ridge won FREE rent for one year in a special Cyber Monday promotion on November 30th.

Kelsy Gibson is the second resident in Athens Ridge to win her rent for next year in a drawing.

All students who renewed their leases during the promotion received $50 Amazon gift cards, making for a busy Monday in the office. Athens Ridge provided snacks for the day, and the next renewal event will be a dinner on December 15th.

“We had quite a few people that day just for the Amazon gift card,” Elizabeth Beall, Resident Relations and Marketing Manager for Athens Ridge said.

“When something happens, people want to jump on it,” she continued. Asked where the idea for the promotion came from, Beall cited the popularity of Cyber Monday and the excitement of Athens Ridge owners.

“It was definitely the owners,” she said, “With the popularity of Cyber Monday, they wanted to do something fun.”

“Having the drawings definitely encouraged me to resign my lease for my senior year earlier rather than later. And now that I have actually won, I think it is very worthwhile living here, because the homes are great and the amenities are amazing, so not having to pay anymore is just an added bonus,” Gibson said.

Gibson went on to say that the free rent drawings made her more excited to renew her lease early.

 

“I probably would’ve waited until the end of the semester to renew if it weren’t for the contests! Even though only four people can win the free rent, it still feels good to at least have that possibility so I definitely think people are motivated by it!” she said.

Gibson went on to talk about how the townhouses are her favorite things about Athens Ridge. She noted that the size of the homes allow her to feel like she has her own space, and she calls her townhouse her home.

“People love coming over to visit, and I love inviting people over. AR townhomes don’t feel like apartments or rentals at all,” she said.

Contest Rules 

  • Renew your lease between November 16-December 15, and you will be entered into the two remaining drawings for free rent, giving you two chances to win.
  • Renew your lease between December 16-January 15, and you will be entered into the last drawing, with one chance to win.

When you can win

  • Athens Ridge will host three Resident Appreciation Renewal Parties where the drawings will be held. The first event was on November 13th. The next events will be December 15th and January 15th.

We will have food and music at the parties. Residents must be present to win, unless a prior arrangement is made through the Management Office.

There is still time to win! The next renewal dinner will be at 5 p.m. on December 15. Athens Ridge will be serving food, and one more person will be winning FREE rent for one year.

It’s true that there is no sure way to know you’ll be the winner, but Gibson also wasn’t sure she would win.

“I think not having expectations made it even more exciting to win because I really didn’t see it coming,” she said of the competition. So, renew your lease for a chance to join Gibson and William Drennon as the winners of FREE rent.

Surviving Finals: Snacking, sleeping, and avoiding Netflix

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The bane of college life has finally arrived. Finals Week.

This is the week when students start to question if they even learned anything all semester. Frantic studying begins and quickly devolves into Netflix binging sessions. Then test day arrives, and you start to panic as you kick your brain into overdrive. This is ultimately followed by feeling like you have been drained of all your knowledge and energy.

It sounds horrible doesn’t it? We’ll, there is a better way. Here are some tips on how to survive Finals Week.

Snacks

Have you ever tried studying on an empty stomach? It’s almost impossible. One minute you are dutifully looking over your notes and enjoying a cup of your favorite coffee, feeling very responsible and studious.

The next minute you are emulating the people in those Snickers commercials. The hunger beast is loose, and you start to think about anything and everything you can put in your stomach. McDonald’s? Sounds great. What about Taco Bell? Awesome. Studying can wait for twenty minutes. And two hours later you’re in front of the TV binge watching Netflix, taco wrappers on the couch beside you.

So, take our advice. Take some time to snack. Athens Ridge will be providing snacks, coffee, and hot chocolate beginning the week of December 7th. Come to the office and get some snacks before you pick up the remote.

Find the right place

Some people just can’t concentrate in the library. Especially when it morphs into the homeland of all the students on campus. So, if you are one of those people that can’t study in certain places, that’s ok. You just have to find your place.

Your room is always an option. Studying at your desk may help you feel more focused. But then you have your roommates and the TV to contend with.

If you know you can’t be trusted, you’re more than welcome to come to the clubhouse and use the study lounge. Wherever your prime studying place may be, find it and use it for the sake of your sanity.

For the love of sanity, take a break!

It’s a fun notion to think you will devote every waking moment to your exams. A lot of people fool themselves into thinking it’s possible. But it isn’t.

If you don’t take a break, your risk of burning out increases. So, take a minute. Get up and move. You could even check your Snap Chat. And after about ten minutes you will hit the books again, feeling refreshed.

Limit distractions

Ok, when your break is over, make sure it’s really over. You should try to limit distractions. One episode of your show is probably Ok. Ten episodes are definitely not OK.

So, close those rogue browsers on your screen and set your phone aside. Your final grade will thank you for it.

Get everything you need

Make sure you have all of your supplies. Blue books, Scantrons, pencils, and pens should all be backed in your back pack for the big day.

You don’t want to be walking to the test and realize you’ve forgotten something.

However, if you do forget something, Athens Ridge will be giving out test supplies during finals. Stop by and get what you need for your test.

Get some sleep

Now, I know what you are thinking, and an all-nighter is NOT a good idea. All the Red Bull in Athens won’t help you if you aren’t getting enough sleep.

Sleep will leave you feeling refreshed and keep your mind sharp. If you find yourself lying on your books, you might as well go to bed. At that point your brain is done taking in information. You can always do a five minute review before you leave for the test.

So, take care of yourself through testing. The holidays are just around the corner, and the semester is almost over.

Stay strong. You’ve got this.

First resident of Athens Ridge wins FREE rent for one year

 

20151113_201647On November 13th, Athens Ridge held the first of three renewal dinners.

“We had a pretty good turn out,” Elizabeth Beall, Resident Relations and Marketing Manager for Athens Ridge said. Cali N Tito’s catered the event, and at 8 p.m., the first drawing for free rent next year was held.

At the drawing, Kelly Mahoney, co-owner of Athens Ridge, mixed up the names of residents who renewed their leases and reached deep into the cup of names to pick the winner.

“We had a few renew at the dinner,” Beall said of the residents, “but a lot came in earlier on Friday.”

The winner of the drawing was William Drennon, and according to Beall, “He was the last one to sign a lease.”

Contest Rules

  • Renew your lease by November 13, and you will be entered into all three drawings, giving you three chances to win.
  • Renew your lease between November 16-December 15, and you will be entered into the two remaining drawings, giving you two chances to win.
  • Renew your lease between December 16-January 15, and you will be entered into the last drawing, with one chance to win.

When you can win

  • Athens Ridge will host three Resident Appreciation Renewal Parties where the drawings will be held. The first event was on November 13th. Athens Ridge also held a Cyber Monday drawing on November 30th. The next events will be December 15th and January 15th.

We will have food and music at the parties. Residents must be present to win, unless a prior arrangement is made through the Management Office.

 Holiday Cash

We appreciate that you have earned our loyalty in return for yours. All residents who renew their lease by December 15th will receive one half of their security deposit back by December 18th, just in time for the Holidays!

Don’t miss your chance to have your loyalty to Athens Ridge rewarded. Renew your lease and have a chance to be one of the three lucky residents who will live in Athens Ridge rent-free next year.

Thanksgiving Potluck wraps up canned food drive

 

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The spirit of giving is taking hold with the holidays just around the corner. Athens Ridge just hosted its annual Thanksgiving Potluck and the Athens Ridge Cares Canned Food Drive which ended on November 19 at the dinner.

“I think it being close to Thanksgiving, it’s in everyone’s minds a little more,” Elizabeth Beall Resident Relations and Marketing Manager for Athens Ridge said.

The food drive was promoted to Athens Ridge residents as both a way to give back and also a competition between the streets.

The street that raised the most food was Redwood Lane, and their prize will be a pizza party after the Thanksgiving holiday.

The food will be going to local churches that will make sure through food bank programs that the food goes to help local Oconee and Athens families.

The dinner portion of the event was very low key. Athens Ridge provided turkey and ham, and residents brought sides to share.

“We had several houses. It was good,” Beall said, “Several people brought sides, and there was everything from homemade dishes to popcorn.”

The event was very casual, and was more of a chance for residents and Athens Ridge staff to hang out than a formal event.

Athens Ridge prides itself on being a community rather than just a place where students live for three or four years like a dorm or traditional apartment.

Events like this casual Thanksgiving potluck help students to feel like they are part of this community, and it gives students the chance to bond with the staff.

Residents had the chance to celebrate Thanksgiving with their Athens Ridge family before going home for the holiday, and that’s something that Athens Ridge values.

Thanksgiving Potluck slotted for Thursday

 

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As the canned food drive rolls into its final days, the annual Thanksgiving Potluck keeps getting closer and closer.

This year’s dinner will be at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, and Athens Ridge is providing turkey and ham. Residents are asked to bring a side dish. The festivities will take place at the clubhouse.

“Teresa [Suarez, Athens Ridge Property Manager] said last year was a lot of fun,” Elizabeth Beall, Resident Relations and Marketing Manager for Athens Ridge said.

The dinner is a way for Athens Ridge residents and management to come together and celebrate the holiday before residents leave for home.

The dinner is also the deadline for the canned food drive. By having the deadline on the same day as the dinner, Athens Ridge hopes that it will be more convenient for students to donate their canned items.

This year, the food drive is a competition between the streets at Athens Ridge. The street that raises the most food will be awarded a prize, and the competition will be measured by percentage of food raised per street.

This means that although Redwood Lane has the most houses, they may not necessarily win the competition. The amount of food will be measured against how many houses are on the street that raises the food. Then, a percentage will be taken, and that number will determine the winner.

“Basically, we just wanted it to be fair,” Beall said, adding that currently Redwood Lane is in the lead with Black Oak in second place.

The prize will be a free pizza delivered to each house on the winning street.

So, come on out to the Thanksgiving Potluck. Give thanks, and break bread with your neighbors. And if you haven’t already, bring some canned food for those less fortunate than you.

There is still time to help your street win the competition, and there is always time to help someone in need.