When you’re going to college, you have to think about whether to live on campus or off campus. Some colleges have a mandatory policy that you have to spend some of your college years in the dorms, but if not, or that time is up for you, you might possibly be thinking about getting an off campus apartment. Below, are some things you might want to consider.
Some cons about living in an off campus apartment might be some of the following. It may possibly be a con of living off campus if there’s a distance between where you live off campus and where you go to school. You should try to rent an apartment as close to campus as possible in most cases, or distance might become an issue with it taking time to commute to and from campus and also the cost involved with transportation, whether you might be taking public transportation or driving your own car. It’s simply easier and less expensive(especially if money is an issue for you, as it is with many college students), to have an apartment close to campus so less time and money are invested in going back and forth. However, rent may be higher at times in apartment buildings close to campus that are known to be an automatic draw for students. It might seem cheaper to live further away judging just from the rent payment, but how much time and money it’s going to cost you in getting back and forth between where you live and campus should also be looked at.
Another issue involved in having an off campus apartment being a con is you may feel less part of the college community than if you were living on campus. That’s not important to all students, but some students may really want the feeling of being part of a community, and may miss out on that if they do not live with their peers in the dorms. It may also be harder to make friends if you live further from campus, whereas when you live on campus you may spend more time on campus, and be around fellow students more often, resulting in more chances to get to know people and make friends.
Something else to consider when thinking about getting an off campus apartment is maybe the most important one, money. This can easily end up being a con of your living off campus experience, if you’re not careful. It maybe more expensive to live off campus and harder to finance it. When you think about paying rent every month, even with room mates, and also paying utility bills, cable or internet bills individually, rather than just paying a lump sum for all those things when you’re living on campus, the numbers add up. If you don’t have an on campus meal plan, you will have to buy and prepare your own food, to a extent and that can be costlier and more time consuming than living on campus and having a meal plan. Money may be too much of a con for many people to consider living off campus.
Also, exactly how you going to pay for it? Some have parents who will pay, and/or part time jobs. But for those more reliant on financial aid, it may just be easier to live on campus. This is because you can have the college directly apply financial aid, whether Pell Grants, and other free aid, student loans, or scholarships, directly to a bill for living in the dorms and for a meal plan. Otherwise, you have to in many cases, wait for a financial aid check, which can take awhile, and which won’t often wont appear at the very begining of the school year. Meanwhile, you have to pay first month’s rent and a security deposit. If your parents can pay this or you can, that’s great, but if not, it may make more sense to live on campus.
A final con with living off campus may be noise or room mate issues. Both these issues may be more easily resolved if you live on campus, and the Residence Life office or the RA can deal with room mate issues or noise that fellow students may be making. If you live in apartments where other students tend to live, it can be noisy, and although you obviously can say something to the apartment management, if may not get resolved as quickly than if there’s an RA just down the hall. You can choose your room mates if you live off campus, unlike on campus at times, but if you have problems with one or more of them, it’s up to you, not the RA or Residence Life to resolve it.So it’s much a greater responsibility to live off campus.
But, there’s also some pros to living off campus. A major one is, more freedom and independence and privacy to do what you like without being observed by fellow students or RAs. You can more easily do what you like when you like you live in off campus apartments. You will get a greater sense of independence and being on your own than you would in a dorm. This may be the first time that you’ve been able to live on your own or with room mates in a real apartment and much better prepares you for handling the challenges of living on your own or with room mates after college, than living in a dorm or on campus apartment would. This can be invaluable experience to have, particularly if you’re a senior or in your last years of college. You can learn to pay bills, deal with apartment management, deal with fellow tenant who may not be college students, and learn about being a renter, a position you may often be in later in life. This an education they don’t teach in any college class, you have to live it.
Also, another pro to living off campus is it’s much easier to get away from college and feel like you have a life separate and apart from being a college student than if you live on campus. This can be healthy and may help you do better in your studies, because you may be more able relax and have a wider perspective and view than feeling like college is all around you(which it is if you live on campus), and that there’s a lot of pressure and collective stress to do well. Having more space is a definite pro to living off campus in an apartment. Even if you have one or more room mates, there’s more space in an apartment than a tiny, cramped dorm room. As well, your bathroom is much more your own and you won’t be stuck using vomit covered facilities or waiting to take a shower, as you might in a dorm sometimes.Having more space can help you feel better about yourself and your life, when you’re in an environment where you are free (to more of an extent than when living in a dorm room) to decorate to your tastes. It maybe much easier to choose who you want to live with when living in an off campus apartment. Perhaps you want to live with a boyfriend or girlfriend, for an example. An off campus apartment maybe the best choice. Overall, it maybe more more likely that you are living where you want to live, and with who you want to live, if you choose to live in an off campus apartment.
Another pro to living in an off campus apartment is being able to have your own furniture and things around you, which goes to back to having more space mentioned above. You won’t be using dorm room furniture and may have more beloved possessions around you due to more space which can make you feel at home and comfortable. This can result in you feeling more at home at college and thus doing better in your studies.You’re also more able to eat when you want and what you want, if you live off campus and don’t have a meal plan. If you don’t have to worry about missing certain meal hours or eating food which may not be that good at times or to your tastes, you maybe more comfortable and happy and able to get good grades. So these are some of the pros and cons to living in an off campus apartment. Think carefully and think of more than one pro or con when making a choice as to whether to live in an off campus apartment or not. It may make the difference between a great year at college and a bad one.