So you're going to college and are ready to experience some of the freedom and responsibilities of life on your own. One of the major choices for students while in college is housing. These are the top 10 things you should know if you're considering living off campus.
#1 If you are a freshman maybe you should reconsider
Almost anybody that has lived in dorms can tell you that living in dorms freshman year was critical for them to feel included socially. Many people meet their best friends or even life-long friends while in the dorms freshman year. Sources say that living off campus while transitioning into the college lifestyle has lead students to feel isolated and excluded socially. It is a better idea to start looking into alternate housing once you have established yourself in college for a year.
#2 Remember that your bills do not end with rent
In college a lot of things are taken care for you if you live on dorms, if you live off campus it is important to calculate expenses for things like groceries, laundry, etc. Living off campus can be less expensive if you are careful and smart about your expenses. Sharing an apartment with a roommate can also be a good option to cut down on expenses.
#3 It will allow you to have more personal space and freedom
If you enjoy solitude or just the consistency of being able to guarantee a a neat space for yourself then college dorms may not be a good option for you. In dorms you have to share space with many other young adults that may not have the same opinion on organization or neatness so choosing roommates in an apartment can guarantee that your space is as messy or as clean as you like it.
#4 Great freedom comes with great responsibilities
Though you have the freedom to do things in your apartment that the college or RA may not allow on campus, it does come with responsibilities that you do not have in the dorms. You have extra expenses to manage on a monthly basis and you are responsible for whichever roommate you choose, you can't just complain to the RA about your pesky roommate. You need to make sure that you are mature enough to have a lot of adult responsibilities once you choose to live off campus.
#5 It can make your grades better!
Often times college dorms can be loud or disruptive to a student who is trying to focus on their studies. While surrounded by parties and your peers that just want to have fun it can be hard to focus on the reason why you're there, to learn. Living on your own can provide a good way for an individual to have a quiet work place that they can come home to every evening.
#6 ...Or your grades could get worse
If you are not a self-motivated type of person, you could struggle without the consistency of living on campus. People who thrive off of the encouragement of their peers and the accessibility libraries, teachers and tutors may have a hard time staying focused on school when off campus. Ultimately you just have to figure out if you are encouraged or discouraged to do work by dorm living.
#7 Your commute will probably be much longer
When you live on campus all that you have to schedule for is how long it will take you to get from your dorm to your class but if you live off campus there is a good chance that you will have to drive or take public transport each morning and then get around on campus.
#8 Living off campus may be safer for valuables
While living in such close quarters with so many broke peers one can see how theft can be very common. If you keep your valuables in your apartment and you choose your roommate wisely they will be much safer there.
#9 It may be cheaper... or more expensive
Depending on where your college is located you may be able to save A LOT of money by not living in the dorms. In other cases, if your college is somewhere where rent is really high it may be cheaper for you to stick with the dorms. Do your research to see how you can get the best deal!
#10 Check your neighborhood
If you're going to school in the city you might only be able to afford an apartment in a dangerous neighborhood. Do your research on what neighborhoods you can afford to live in so you can keep yourself and your potential roommate safe.
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