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.
Top photo: Boston Commonwealth Avenue on Wikipedia
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.