Cramped living spaces, disagreeable roommates, shower shoes and unappetizing meal plans commonly characterize the freshman residence life experience. After having to endure that year of what may seem like torture, many college students are screaming “never again” by the the end of the year, practically running for the off campus living experience. However, few stop and consider both the pros and cons to living off campus. College Gloss is here to provide some perspective on the issue.
1. Social Scene
One of the perks of living on campus is that students are always surrounded by the social scene. Once students begin to commute, it aids in laziness. By the time classes are done and commuters head back home, driving back to campus for an event or to study in the library can be a hassle. While sticking around and waiting is an option, it can become a bit draining as well.
2. Meal Deal
Although some meal plans can be unappealing, they can be beneficial when the food fund is running low or there simply is no time to grocery shop. Living on campus can make it much simpler to eat three meals a day, considering the fact that freshmen and sophomores are generally required to purchase a meal plan, even if the food isn’t too tasty. While living off campus doesn’t necessarily mean forfeiting the meal plan, it does mean additional fees. Make no mistake! There are perks to being off campus, one of the best being that meals aren’t time restricted.
3. The Search
While certain cities may have apartments with a rent that is lower than campus living, it definitely varies. In a college town, prices for rent could be steeper; safety will also cost extra and so will big cities. Look into the cost for renters insurance and average utility prices to see if that additional cost coupled with money for gas and food are cheaper than the costs of living on campus before assuming it will be cheaper.
4. Rule Benders
Even though parents aren’t there to enforce house rules, there are still restrictions in college from dorm directors. Living off campus gives a better sense of freedom because there’s no one to answer to, just as long as rent is paid by the first of the month and there’s a mutual respect for neighbors. Goodbye curfew for visiting cuties!
5. Keep Quiet
Dorm life may create an urge to pull out hair around exam time in frustration, when there’s the some residents on the floor who don’t quite comprehend “quiet hours” and run through the halls at all hours of the night; or maybe even a roommate who is inconsiderate of study habits. Living off campus can provide a quieter setting. However, be certain to check with current residents in any prospective neighborhood to ensure that it isn’t like moving from one dorm to the next due to noisy neighbors.
6. Get Out, Grow Up
Living off campus forces students to take on the additional responsibilities of paying rent and other bills. This could be viewed as a pro or con, depending on the person. Some may enjoy that sense of responsibility because it gives them a somewhat realistic depiction of the real world, while others may want to focus their attention on studies and socializing, alone.
Although times can get tough when sharing a 14-by-14 living space, with little to none of the eloquence or handy furnishing of home, don’t write it off so quickly. Whatever choice is made, be sure it’s not rash and uninformed simply because the slightest thought of freshmen year is shudder-worthy.
By: Kiarra Sylvester | Image: Source
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