At some point in your undergraduate college career, living off campus will be a no-brainer decision. The benefits of living independently from campus dorm rooms will change your college experience for the better. Whether you’re beginning your sophomore or senior year, the upsides of living in an apartment, house or townhome are tremendous.
While some universities require incoming freshman to live on campus, dorm life is the classic way to kick off your four years. But once freshman year is over, you can and should become an independent student. Here are seven reasons why:
Living off campus is one of the best ways to network with non-student residents. Meeting neighbors who can teach you about the surrounding community is a great way to become more involved.
For example, college towns often have different religious groups, food banks, local shops, markets and other community events. Bonding with people of all ages in the same community is a gratifying feeling.
And of course, familiarizing yourself with student neighbors is great networking, too. As more and more universities switch to suite-style dorms, students are having more difficulty getting to know their hallmates. In an off-campus setting, becoming acquaintances with other students is more common.
2. Cheaper Alternative
As if college tuition isn’t already burning a hole in your pocket, living on campus and paying for a meal plan adds up to an even bigger hole.
According to a 2013 case study, the cost to live on campus since 2008 has risen by $1000. On average, room and board for on-campus living equates to $11,571, while off-campus housing is $9,669. This means students living on campus are paying about $2,238 more per year than those off campus.
Living off campus also allows you to properly budget your money depending on your different needs each month.
3. Year-Round Housing
In most cases, landlords allow you to stay in your house or apartment during holiday breaks and vacations. Many landlords will also give you the option to re-sign your lease before other students have the chance, so you could even go multiple years without moving.
4. Roommate Control
There’s nothing worse than being stuck with a bad roommate — one who never washes the dishes, comes home late at night and is too loud to notice the people around them. It’s never a fun time.
With off-campus housing, you have complete roommate control. It’s up to you whether you want three roommates or none. You can pick and choose if you want to live with friends or a common acquaintance. Choosing someone who is compatible and responsible is in your hands.
Off-campus apartments and houses typically have more amenities than dorm rooms. You’re provided a full refrigerator instead of a mini fridge that can barely hold a gallon of milk. Cabinet space is more abundant, and luxuries like dish washer, washer and dryer might even be included.
Living independently could also allow you to be closer to stores, parks and night life.
The freedom of living off-campus is one step up from residential dorm living. You’re no longer supervised by the infamous Ras, and people can longer tell you what to do. Not to mention, catering to a roommate is now a thing of the past.
You have the freedom to invite more than three people to your room at once, and there’s no curfew. As your own boss, you can come and go from your apartment as you please.
The freedom you feel living independently also gives you a sense of accomplishment and preparation for the real world. In the likely case you’re still supported by your parents, you’ll slowly pick up more responsibilities by living alone.
7. Alone Time
Having a designated living space all to yourself is essential for some much-needed seclusion. The stress of wondering when your roommate will come home and whether they’ll bring their significant other is no longer a worry.
Living off campus also gives you privacy from disturbances. You’ll be able to sit down for a night of studying or relaxing to watch a movie without dealing with roommates, RAs and any other unneeded distractions.
What Are You Waiting For?
It’s smart to start searching for off-campus housing options early in the school year. Most college students begin signing leases a year in advance to receive the best prices and lock in their roommates. If you wait too long, availability may be limited, and the prices could skyrocket.
Start your search now at Property Management, Inc. to explore your own off-campus housing options.
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Benefits of Off-Campus Housing