By Katrina Stroedecke
For most first-year college students, moving out is the first step towards a new life. For instance, when entering college, a student may live away from their parents, buy their own groceries, and create their own schedule and life. As a person slowly moves into the first years of true adulthood, where they live is an important factor to consider. Thus, the question is posed- where is the best place to live?
Living in a dorm is the easiest way to acclimate to campus life. However, many upperclassmen desire to eventually move off campus and get their own apartment. So, what are the positives and negatives of living on versus off campus?
There is something to be said about living in a college dorm. It places a person in the middle of campus life. When a student is in the middle of campus life, it makes it much easier to become involved in the community. Starting with a roommate, meeting people in dorm buildings and other commonplace habits, such as grabbing late-night meals in the cafeteria, gives dormers the opportunity to easily branch out and meet new people. Likewise, I think we can all agree that taking an 8am class is much more desirable when it is just a three minute walk across the Green and not a 30 minute commute sitting in traffic. Even further, living on-campus means that a person does not have to worry about paying for separate utilities, such as water, heat, or internet.
However, living off campus has benefits as well. The space itself is bigger, and some units might even have their own private bathroom and/or kitchen. Having a room to yourself also means more privacy, as well as personal place to study and not be interrupted. This personal space also gives someone the chance to become independent. Whether this is through buying groceries or calling the plumber, taking these small steps while still in college gives a person the time to learn and figure out what works best for them. But having these responsibilities include saving money and probably getting a job to pay rent. Additionally, living in your own apartment space means that there are no mandated rules. Thus, a person does not have to worry about RAs coming to knock on your door if you have music playing at 2am.
While it is great to have all of this personal space to yourself, a person may start to feel detached from their friends depending on where they live off-campus, which can affect how someone spends their time. Similarly, having the responsibility of paying rent will possibly lead to the necessity of acquiring a job. Depending on their schedule, someone who lives off campus may be exhausted after a busy day of classes and work, making hanging out with friends even less appealing. As such, not having friends living right next door can change how someone socializes with their peers. For example, if someone needs to walk ten minutes to an apartment, they may start to leave campus earlier to avoiding walking home in the dark rather than hanging out with friends.
Overall, living on-campus and off-campus both have their perks. For dormers, it is extremely easy to become involved in the community and socialize. Meanwhile, living off-campus eliminates having to abide by the university’s housing rules and helps someone become more independent. Thus, with both options having their upsides, it is truly up to you to figure out what living situation works best for you!
Contact Trina at email@example.com