Every student who decides to attend a post-secondary institution must make a huge choice that will affect their lifestyle significantly. They need to decide whether they will be living on campus, living off campus or commuting from home. The majority of students decide to stay on campus and live in a dorm. Some prefer living off campus. There are pros and cons to getting a place off campus and you should examine them carefully before you make your decision.
One of the benefits of living off campus is that there are fewer restrictions. This doesn’t mean you can throw parties every night and do whatever you like. Instead, it means that the restrictions that a landlord imposes on you will be much more flexible than those imposed by a university. Universities often don’t allow you to bring small electrical appliances into your dorm. This is not an issue when you rent an apartment. Likewise, most landlords are much more flexible when it comes to pets when compared to most universities.
This additional freedom comes at a price because renting an apartment is often much more expensive than living in a dorm. Dorms are intended as a low cost housing option for students. Apartments are not. You don’t need to pay for utilities when you live in a dorm and there is often a shared kitchen. This means you don’t need to purchase your own appliances. Most dorms also come with a desk and a bed. This means you don’t have to spend money on furniture.
Dorms are also much closer to your school than apartments. Dorms are located on campus and most of your classes will be within walking distance of the dormitories. If you live off campus you will need to find a means of transportation to get to school for your classes. However, if you have a job off-campus it may be better for you to find an apartment which is located closer to work. It really depends on whether you need to leave your campus frequently, and where you will be going.
Finally, by living off campus you will miss out on the dorm experience. Living in a dormitory is a great way to make friends. By the end of your semester you will probably know quite a few of the people on your floor. These people will all be in your age group as well. In contrast, the people who live in your apartment complex may not all be students.
If you can afford it, and you have no desire to get the full college experience, then living off campus may be the way to go for you. However, I would strongly recommend trying at least a semester in a dorm before choosing to live off campus. Oftentimes people are anxious about living in a dorm and instead decide that they would prefer to have their own place. I recommend trying dorm life before giving up on it entirely. It’s a great way to meet new people while attending school, and it’s also much cheaper than other forms of housing.