The Benefits of Living Off Campus During College
You should live off campus while you’re an undergrad in college.
Whether you’re first setting foot in college or a returning senior, one of the big decisions we usually have to make at some point in our college career is whether to live on or off campus. While it seems that underclassmen tend to stay on campus and upperclassmen may be more inclined to get off, it’s undoubtedly an important decision.
There are incredible upsides to each–but from my experiences, here are the top five reasons to live off campus:
If you’re one of the lucky ones who happens to live in a campus dorm where a kitchen is available, congrats! But is it everything you hoped for? Do you often times have to wait for the person in front of you who is baking cookies for his/her club? Or the other person having trouble boiling water as they try to cook ramen?
As a commuter, you’ll always have access to your own kitchen. You won’t have to worry about going to your local dining hall or waiting to use the oven in an on campus kitchen. Instead, you can bring out your inner-Martha Stewart and cook yourself something delicious (well, at least you can try).
As a bonus, you might be closer to local restaurants. This sometimes makes life a lot easier, especially when you’re looking to go out for a friend’s birthday or treat yourself.
When living off campus, you’ll never have to be supervised by the infamous RAs or cater to a random roommate. Whatever you do in your house is your business.
Want to watch a movie? No need to worry about your suitemates who have six friends over tonight. Want to go to bed early? Don’t worry about your roommate, who comes home at 1 a.m. as the wind from an open window slams your door shut.
Living off campus can truly be liberating! There is basically no one to tell you how you can act or what time you should be home. It’s your life–live it!
Adult life experiences
Living off campus provides students with the opportunity to become an adult.
I think off campus students have many more responsibilities than most on campus students; besides the work they have for school, off campus students are usually responsible for paying their monthly rent, cooking, cleaning, and taking care of other financial matters regarding their living space.
This truly gives students a chance to be welcomed into the real world. With this new experience they will be prepared to rely on no one but themselves.
Living off campus gives you that alone time with friends that you may not have on campus because of residence hall separation.
There’s nothing better than staying up late having a random conversation with a person you thought you would have never gotten along with. Having the chance to experience these one-on-one moments with people can lead to much stronger bonds in the future.
Also, you get the opportunity to meet and network with non-student residents who could teach you new things you might not have known! Meeting others and learning about the area that you live in can be one of the most gratifying things you’ve ever done in your life!
Having a designated area that is all yours is perfect for much-needed seclusion from time-to-time and studying for your biggest tests.
As some may know, college can be a little stressful. Sometimes, all a person wants is a little alone time. Having your own room that you can escape to isn’t always available to students who live on campus.
Your own place can also be a great location for studying! While the library is usually the ideal location to write that 15-page research paper or cram for your test next weekend, you might find yourself more productive at your own desk in your own space.
OTHER SIDE:The Benefits of Living On Campus During College
Top photo: Boston Commonwealth Avenue on Wikipedia
Written by Steven Molinari
Steven was a student assistant in the Office of Communications of the State University of New York in summer 2014. He is an undergraduate political science student at Binghamton University.
A college experience can be the greatest time in a student’s life for the reason being, it is a new path the individual is taking to pursue his or her future career. While pursuing a career, every student has his or her own personal preference of whether or not to live on campus. Deciding where to reside seems to be the topic that runs through every college student’s mind. Whether it is to live the college lifestyle filled with events and social opportunities that go hand in hand with rooming on campus, to simply staying at home or living nearby and keeping a peace of mind and building up financially.
Living on or off campus can be a difficult decision to make for many, but depending on the college experience you prefer to have, it can be made into a simple decision. Living on campus can have many perks and positive aspects that will have many students eager to attend. Gas prices are through the roof these days in our economy and not having a gas bill can be a very efficient and effective way for saving more money.
Having more money in your pocket is always beneficial. When living on campus there are many numerous ways to get to class faster and time efficiently such as biking, skateboarding, longboarding or simply just walking. Getting more exercise and time outdoors is a just another perk of living on campus and getting the real feel of the campus lifestyle. Also, living on campus can be time efficient when making your way to class that way you are not tardy.
Another positive aspect of living on campus is being a part of the organizations, fundraisers, concerts, sporting events and other fun activities that take place on campus giving you a stronger feel for the lifestyle of the college. Being more involved in your college can lead up to many positive outcomes whether it is meeting new people to hang out with or growing as an independent individual because you are finally on your own. Even though there are many positive aspects to living on campus there are also negatives.
When living on campus there is a big price to pay. Around average it is $7,500-$9,000 depending on whether it is a public or a private university. For a bachelor’s degree and living on campus for all four years is estimated to be around $32,000 and that’s just for room and board. With that being said that is a very large cost to pay for never having privacy. Having a roommate around can have its own negative perks all in itself whether it is from personality conflicts to having simple differences and opinions.
For example, while a student might be trying to study or do homework, the other student might be trying to socialize with friends and listen to music which can lead to large conflicts. Having opposite personalities or schedules might be an issue for some students. Living off campus is a whole different experience as a student than living on campus. For instance, you can live a more of a private lifestyle; having your own room and personal space can be essential for a great learning and studying environment.
Living off campus could mean living closer to family and relatives, who can be a great support group and give inspiration in any college barrier you, may come across. Also, living at home with Mom and Dad can save you a plethora of money, which means more money in your pocket, and like I have said before that is always a plus. Even though living off campus has its ups it can also have its downs. Living off campus can seclude you from the college events and the overall feel from the college community and lifestyle.
Missing those types of involvements can really dampen your overall college experience and outlook of the college lifestyle. Also, depending on where you live if it is a big city college or small community college can determine the commute and what kind of transportation you are going to take. Bus passes can add up to be expensive and cars take up a lot of gas especially when driven daily and our gas prices today do not help. Riding a bike or skateboard is not always an option depending on where you live and how far away your location is from the campus.
What can also have a negative effect to living on campus is the traffic that can cause you to become tardy to classes. Even when driving a personal vehicle you are not safe from tardies you still run the risk of car trouble, a full parking lot or traffic. Public transportation can also become a hassle; the reason being you cannot control the bus driver, if the bus is delayed or missed it can lead to problems with being on time. According to statistics shown by various sources indicate that students who live on campus tend to complete more semester hours and attain higher GPAs than the students that live off campus.
Even though that is the case, Angelo State University reported that 80% of students still prefer to live off campus. (Jones, 2004). According to USNEWS. com “of the 1,259 schools that provided campus housing data to U. S. News, an average of 48 percent of the undergraduate student body lives on campus. Ten of the schools that provided data on campus housing in 2010 said that their entire undergraduate student body lives on campus, while 52 reported having no undergraduate students living in campus dorms”. (Wecker, 2011).
When making the decision of living on or off campus make sure to always keep in mind the pros and the cons of each living scenario and the consequences that each come with. Although both living styles have there ups and downs they are both very beneficial to the college lifestyle in numerous ways whether it is being a part of the college experience and lifestyle to trying to save money and being more conservative with your money. The key is knowing yourself and what college experience you wish to pursue and prefer and that can make the decision of living on or off campus a simpler one.