Picking where to live while in college can be tedious. On Maryland’s campus, there are options ranging from North and South Campus residence halls, Commons, Courtyards, the View and Varsity amongst so many other choices.
So, what’s the best way to figure out where to live?
“Pick what’s most important to you,” Junior Hearing and Speech Sciences major Amy Schultz, said.
Schultz lives in a house off campus in the University Park area, where she finds more space to relax and enjoy her surroundings.
“The neighborhood is filled with families so we get to do fun things like trick or treating for the kids and other community activities. The neighborhood is gorgeous and really pretty to walk around. I feel that I am more a part of the local community then when I lived on campus,” she said.
Living in a house means that there is no affiliation with the university. Instead, Schultz and her roommates have a landlord who they consult with personally.
Sophomore Special Education major Rachel Norris also lives off campus. She is a part of the Delta Gamma sorority, and decided to move into the group’s house to live alongside her sisters.
“It’s nice knowing that I’m not confined to just a little dorm room, and instead am able to walk around my house…it’s also nice knowing that the 39 other girls who live in the house with me are all people I feel comfortable with,” she said.
Living in a house allows more freedom to move around, because there is more space. However, there are some disadvantages when living in a place that is not fully sponsored by the university.
“One disadvantage is definitely the distance from campus. Crossing Route 1 in the morning to be on time for class is like a very hectic game of frogger, and if you have trouble waking up in the morning like me, it can be a scramble to get to class,” Norris said.
Courtyards, a complex that is a privately-owned school sponsored property, has a bus route that runs from the apartments to campus.
Junior General Biology major Stephanie Malac lives in Courtyards. She loves having the space of an apartment, while getting some of the perks of living in an on-campus property.
“A bus runs all day during the week that exclusively runs from courtyards to campus and then the purple line stops here at night every day of the week, and we’re also close enough to walk if you want to,” she said.
Though Courtyards does have some of the perks of on-campus living, it still does not have all the conveniences that living on North or South campus could provide.
Access to food is one thing that distinguishes on-campus from off-campus living.
“The biggest annoyance about living off-campus is not having the diner anymore and having to grocery shop and cook,” Malac said.
As Schultz mentioned, though, a person has to pick and choose what is most important to them when going through the housing process.
“There will be pros and cons no matter what decision you make, so realize that no situation will be perfect and figure out what matters most to you,” Schultz said.
Photo Credit: Mia Simon