So, you’re thinking about moving out of that cramped dorm you’ve been living in for a while. Perhaps you don’t even consider living in a dorm and would much rather live all of your college life in an apartment. Do you finally want to take hold of your life and feel even more like an adult in college? If you’ve ever pondered this question while cleaning up after your flatmates or are generally curious about the differences between living on campus and off campus, you’ve come to the right place. As someone who has taken the decision to live off campus all of their college life, here are some pros and cons of both.
Living on campus is really one thing: convenient. You are where it is. Anywhere you’d want to go is (usually) within a five to ten-minute walk or bike ride. Generally, when you live off campus, you have a couple of ultimately time-consuming options for getting to school, depending on your overall distance from campus. Whether it be the bus, a bike, your car or a long walk, campus-living takes the cake when it comes to the convenience of getting around campus. Now, I take the bus every morning since it is free where I am, and it is a fairly short ride. This completely depends on where you live off campus and what route the bus near your campus takes.
Dorms are cramped. Simple as that. Personally, the few I toured at my school felt as if they were prison cells too small to accommodate the flowering youth that they are supposed to. This, of course, is an opinion that can be different from person to person, but overall, apartments offer you a lot more freedom than that of a dorm. Usually, you can get an apartment with your own personal room a bit larger than a dorm room, a living room, a kitchen and, sometimes, your own personal bathroom. Shared bathrooms can be quite an awkward situation for girls and guys and it can be a pain to have an RA always breathing down your neck, watching what you do.
University is one of the peaks of social experiences the most of us will ever have in their lives. Connections between college roommates and friends can last a lifetime. The best way to make these connections is to be where the action is; on campus. Now, that isn’t to say it is impossible to make friends living in an apartment complex, but it does make it harder to do so. Living in an apartment makes finding friends a challenge rather than a look-outside-your-dorm-window-and-wave-to-the-closest-person-you-can-see activity. Most of the people living with you/around you have already made a web of connections or have figured this whole college thing out, and this can make it hard to forge friendships with them.
Like me, as a college student, you probably have a limited amount of money to divvy around to your various debts and bills. Why add another to the foray? Well, living off campus is usually a cheaper way to house yourself than most dorms on campus. In Florida, dorms are about 15% more expensive than living in an apartment off campus. The convenience of having a meal plan is not included in this percentage, but if you are frugal like me, making your own food and doing your own grocery shopping can cut down costs significantly.
Overall, living off campus can be a thrilling, eye-opening experience that can really give you a taste of what it feels like to be truly independent. . Do your research, tour a few apartments and make sure you are comfortable with where you are.