It’s the time of year again when students are forced to start planning for the year ahead.

Scheduling and registering for fall classes, making sure you’re on track to graduate and finding internships can be very stressful. But we can’t forget one of the most stressful parts of planning for the next school year: housing.

Some students are lucky enough to have good roommates, decent rent prices and no need to move, but for the rest of us finding a place to live can feel impossible. Whether you are looking for an apartment, a studio or even a house, The Nevada Sagebrush is here to help.

This is News You Can Use with tips to finding housing.

Talk to Friends, family and mentors 

The best way to get started is to just ask! Let your friends, family, teachers or mentors know that you’re looking for a place to live. Having more than one set of eyes looking for opportunities will make your search a lot easier, and you never know which one of your friends might also be looking for a place to stay.

Social media can also be a powerful tool in your search for housing. A post on social media is able to reach a lot more people, including old friends you wouldn’t otherwise remember. Your friends and family will also be able to share your post with people they know! Just make sure you don’t include too much personal information online, privacy is important.

Do an online search

While you network with friends and family you can start searching online. You could start with a simple Google search, but the massive amount of results and information you will get back is overwhelming. Focusing your search, and only using a few search engines will help you find reliable information, and keep track of what you do find.

The University of Nevada, Reno’s website links to a lot of great search engines recommended for students to find housing. Generic search engines like Apartment Genie, Apartments Guide and are often recommended, but there are many websites specifically tailored to college students.

College Rentals is a good website for students to search by specific criteria like whether or not the apartment allows pets, whether the apartment is furnished, the price of the apartment and the apartment’s distance from campus.

Craigslist can be a great resource for students looking for housing near campus. Despite the stigma built up around the site, it is possible to find the perfect solution for your housing needs. Maybe you don’t need a lot of space and would like to rent a room or a guesthouse. Older homeowners often turn to Craigslist first when looking for tenants.

While you search take note of the average prices of apartments, studios and houses. This will help you to establish your budget and will give you a good idea of how much you will need to save for rent and utilities each month. Of course, make sure you take caution online, don’t share too much with online personas, and watch for scams. Trust your gut! If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.

Take a drive

Oftentimes the best housing opportunities are found when you aren’t even looking. If you ever find yourself with some time to kill, hop in your car and take a drive around town. Drive through neighborhoods you like, or would want to live in and keep an eye out for ‘For Rent’ signs. Make sure to pay extra attention to houses on your daily commute as well, and ask some friends to do the same. If you see something that intrigues you, move fast! Housing is very competitive the closer to campus you are.

Check UNR’s website

While you may be hoping for an off-campus apartment or house, don’t forget about the options UNR has. Living on-campus, or in off-campus apartments specifically tailored to students can eliminate a lot of stress that comes along with traditional off-campus housing. UNR has two residence halls for upperclassman, and there are new student apartments popping up around the University all the time. If you are involved in Greek life, consider living in the fraternity or sorority house.

Also, it is worth remembering that ASUN offers free legal services and advice to students, so if you aren’t sure about an element in your lease, or need help dealing with a landlord, Legal Services holds office hours between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. All you need is to fill out the Legal Services Request form.

Good luck with your housing search!

Emily Fisher can be reached at efisher@sagebrush.unr and on Twitter @NevadaSagebrush.