Is It Better to Live On or Off-Campus at FSU?

Starting college could very well be one of the biggest transitions you’ll experience. Leaving home, learning to live on your own, embracing all the responsibilities and all is pretty daunting. But the transitions don’t just stop after freshman year. A big transition I am currently undergoing as a college sophomore is going from my quaint little dorm room to a sizeable apartment off-campus. They both have their ups and downs, posing the ultimate question: Is it better to live on or off-campus?

The biggest comparison between a dorm and apartment? Location, location, location. Maybe the best thing about living on campus is how close you are to all your classes and everything the campus has to offer. You never have to check how long your commute will be or how bad traffic is because you’re just steps away from everything. Living off-campus, while taking a bit longer to get to class, allows for a change of scenery. Campus can become overwhelming and you find yourself needing time away from things every once in a while. I find that living in an apartment gives me the time away I’d like every now and again while keeping me close to class, campus events, and campus resources.

Courtesy: West 10 Apartments

Another key factor? PARKING. Parking is something any Florida State student can agree is a major issue. I find myself leaving an hour before class starts just to guarantee a parking spot. Living off-campus does make this a slight burden when planning your daily schedule. However, dorm life does eliminate the stress of fighting for parking sometimes. I think it really comes down to how often you leave campus if you do live in a dorm, or how often you commute to campus if you’re an off-campus resident. 

The thing that appealed to me most about living off-campus was laundry. It’s safe to say no one likes the uncertainty and frustration that comes with trying to score a dryer in the communal laundry room in the dorms. And paying for laundry? Don’t even get me started. Having my own laundry unit in my apartment is definitely a win over laundry in the dorms.

Courtesy: FSU Housing

Both dorms and apartments offer amenities. Whether it’s the campus rec center or your complex’s pool, you’re bound to have some luxuries here and there. I find that off-campus housing offers some of the same range of amenities you get with on-campus housing, but more luxurious it seems. FSU has designated places like the Leach Center and the Rez which offer students similar luxuries to an apartment complex’s clubhouse with a pool and gym.

At the end of the day, it’s a personal choice. Some people like the proximity of the dorms and their simplicity. Others like their home away from home to be separate from school altogether. Personally, I think everyone should have the experience of living in a dorm at least once. Some of my favorite college memories thus far have been in my freshman year dorm room. That being said, I have grown to love the freedom of having my apartment and getting away from the hustle and bustle of the main campus every now and again. Everyone prioritizes certain things, and that is what will make your college experience your own. When it comes to housing, you can never go wrong, so long as you’re able to build a routine that suits you, and you have a space to grow as a Seminole.

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