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5 Things I’ve Learned from Living Off Campus

1. Pack your bag the night before.

I try to always pack my bag the night before classes to make sure that I don’t forget anything. Once I head out the door, I won’t be back until the end of the day. It’s time-consuming to have to head back because you’ve forgotten your homework or textbook. In addition, I always make sure my laptop charger and my earphones are packed because they’re crucial to my day.

2. Search campus events for free food.

I now don’t have a campus meal plan, so I sometimes scour the campus events website to see what options are going to have free food. Most of the time, these events have some refreshments, and since you’re paying so much to go to school, you might as well take advantage of all the free food you can get.

3. You never want to be the person by the doors in a packed train.

Commuting to campus is one of the things you have to take on as an off-campus student. Rides on the train, or T in Boston, can be very uncomfortable especially during rush hour. Although being in the middle of a packed train is stressful when you need to exit, being right in front of the doors is much, much worse. You have to deal with passengers coming off and stepping on, and you constantly have to dodge and make room for people.  If space will allow, try and squeeze into the middle to avoid that.

4. Buy only what you need at the grocery store.

Yes, grocery shopping can be fun, I’ve learned to always make a list and pick up only what I need. If you’re an off-campus student, you’re going to be cooking meals a lot more, but make sure you pick up just enough to get you through the week. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten groceries and ended up throwing most of it away because I didn’t use them and they spoiled.

5. Buy store brand.

Speaking of going grocery shopping, I’ve learned to always buy store brand if that option is available. The product is identical to the brand-name option for a lot cheaper. Additionally, I gravitate toward grocery chains like Stop & Shop that offer a lot of store brand products.

Journalism major at Emerson College. Coffee and clothing enthusiast.
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