One of the toughest decisions an incoming university student has to make is to choose where they are going to live while completing their studies. Are you going to live on campus or be living off campus? Do you take your chances in a dorm, or do you look into an apartment? To aid you in your choice, keep reading for the pros and cons of living off campus.
Pro 1- You will have independence.
Who’s the boss? You are. If you choose to find off-campus housing, you are in charge of your destiny, not your RA. For those who are old enough, it is absurd that you cannot drink a glass of wine after a hard day of classes if you choose to live on campus. You can keep candles or lights in your room, if you choose. You learn to be an adult and care for your own place. You don’t need to wear shower shoes. It is an unimaginable sense of freedom.
Con 1- You will have to pay rent and utility bills.
Bills, bills, bills! What’s that line again? Oh yeah, with freedom comes responsibility. With an off-campus apartment, you will be in charge of paying your bills if you aren’t lucky enough to have your parents pay for them. I recommend you find a place that includes utilities in its price to help with this.
Pro 2- You have your own, private space.
Space is not just a word made by someone afraid to get too close Nick Jonas… When you live off-campus, the biggest pro is that you have your own space. You have your own room and you don’t have to share a bathroom with your entire floor; those can get messy! I have heard horror stories about nasty bathroom scenes—I’ll spare you the details—especially after Thirsty Thursday. You don’t have a roommate on top of you, so you do not have to bear witness to any sexcapades (it will be a word one day) …
Con 2- You will miss out on some aspects of campus.
The FOMO will be real at times. A lot of students living off campus may feel as if they are not receiving an authentic college experience. It all depends on how your school is set up. Some off campus housing is still close enough to student life that is doesn’t matter, others not so much. If you are here to meet people and have what you think is the “college experience” that you are supposed to have, then definitely live in a dorm.
Pro 3- You get to cook your own meals.
Awaken your inner Julia Child. I personally cannot eat the same food every day. I need variety; it is the spice of life, and we know Dansbury severely lacks it (both variety and spice). Therefore, living off-campus allows you to prepare your own meals. You save money by not getting a meal plan, and if you are a student working at least 20 hours a week, you qualify for food stamps. You will know what will go into the making of your food and you can stay away from any illnesses being passed on (stomach flu apocalypse of ’15 anyone)?
Con 3- Getting to class is more of a hassle.
Parking wars. Or worse yet… having to walk if you don’t have a car. Every off campus student knows how utterly impossible and annoying it is to find parking on campus, and how much longer it takes to walk to class than we initially assume. You will cry, curse, and contemplate dropping out of school just because of the parking; that’s the reality. There is also a commuter lot across from Dansbury as well, so check that one out from time to time.
When it all comes down to it…
Heavily consider your different options and situations before deciding on your living arrangements. Bad housing can make your semester that much more stressful. ESU also has the UAs and the Ridge, as well as traditional dorms, so look into those too if you can’t make a decision.
What are some other pros and cons of living off campus? Comment below and share this article with friends!
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Jenny Bront is a senior English Major at ESU. She loves literature, writing, and latin dance. Her biggest goal in life is to set the record for craziest cat lady.