Switching gears. No longer looking for an apartment or room in town, now looking for a car. While living on my own would be nice, having a cool car is pretty sexy, too. Road trips, quicker to get around town, can go where (and when) the bus doesn't, etc.. etc.. Having a car and living with my folks while studying astrophysics adds up to more coolness than living in a student house and having no transportation except my feet and my bus pass. Especially a cool car. Not looking at baby-doody Corollas or Civics. (An EL maybe, even though that's a glorified Civic.) No, looking at older rigs with boldness and character. It's OK if that means a few more trips to the garage. The old Ninety-Eight I used to have was in the garage all the time, but I loved it - so did passengers, even when the electric crap in it wasn't working. Wouldn't buy that platform of car again, though - weak brakes for the size.
Now will I be irritated that I have to spend money on a U-Pass that I'll only use for partying and bad weather? Not at all: my contribution will help those that need the U-Pass more than I will. And I once sorely needed it - that $300 I saved each year it was available came in handy in years when I was already skimping on textbooks.
The only bugaboo is insurance. But I'm already insured to drive the rigs here, so extending that to a third rig, especially at my age (27), shouldn't be a huge screaming deal.
I mean, there are tradeoffs no matter which way I go. There isn't going to be a perfect, compromise-less solution, and I shouldn't be looking for one.