There are so many decisions to make when it is time to go to college and finding suitable accommodation always tops the list. It can be a daunting task so, if you are considering staying off campus, for whatever reason, it is advisable to look at the main pros and cons before actually making a final decision.
Main Advantages of staying off campus.
1. You’re likely to have more freedom, privacy, and space, depending on what you can afford and its location. The rooms won’t be standardised as on campus so there is likely to be more flexibility in what you can acquire. You can tailor the space more to your needs.
2. Off-campus accommodation can also be cheaper than college housing because of the variety that’s likely to be available. It also tends to be quieter and has fewer distractions which make for a more amenable study environment.
3. As far as amenities are concerned, it is likely that you won’t have to share bathroom, or if you do, not with as many people as on campus. You will also be able to make your own meals when you want to.
4. One main advantage continues after college in that having a rental history should make it easier to get a place after you graduate as you would have had professional renting experience already.
5. You have far more latitude to live how you like in your rented property than on campus.
1. In some instances, living off campus can actually be more expensive, especially when you have to find the security deposit, at least the first month’s rent, furniture, furnishings, living appliances as well as worry about cleaning supplies, groceries and transportation to and from college. In fact, one thing you will soon realise is that everything costs money when you’re living off campus.
2. It can be an isolating experience as it cuts you off from other college students and places you further away from college support at a time when you are likely to have more liabilities and responsibilities. Moreover, just because someone is your neighbour does not mean they will be neighbourly or available when you need their help!
3. You have to deal with everything yourself, especially basics like the actual contract where you will be tied to a fixed term lease and also the Internet and TV connections. There won’t be anyone, like on campus, to take care of such matters for you.
4. On top of your college work you will have regular chores like having to shop for yourself, which can be a bore sometimes; preparing your meals, having to clean your place often and worrying about commuting to campus at required times.
5. If you lease the place for a whole year, you might have to sub-let it during the periods you are away which is another headache in itself getting the right tenants in your absence.
If you are still in doubt, perhaps the way to make your decision is to look at your personality. If you are the quiet, shy retiring type who relishes your own company and who values peace and quiet, then living off campus might be a better idea for you. If you are an extrovert who enjoys making friends and having people around you, campus life may be more suitable.