I decided to live off campus this year, and I have to say it is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I think it is important to have your own space to figure yourself out and make mistakes. I’m still discovering who I am and how I fit into the world. While I still have three other roommates, I now have my own room and my own space to mess up and keep as clean as I’d like. I can come home at any time without worrying about waking up my roommate (who is sleeping three feet away from me), I can play music while getting ready for school or work and I have one of my dogs!
Living off campus gives me a sense of independence I didn’t have while living in the dorms. I have also gained a lot more responsibility since moving, like paying for my light and electric bills, groceries and having to call someone if something is broken in my apartment. Although this may be tiring to some, especially on top of being a full-time student and having a part-time job, I thrive off it. I love having responsibilities outside of myself and feeling like a real adult.
Living on campus was a great experience, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world, especially how close I was to school, but this newfound freedom is fantastic. I knew I wanted to live in New York midway through my junior year of high school, so finding an apartment so fast after my freshman year of college was a blessing, and I am very lucky. The real estate market in NYC is insane, I know people who pay double the amount I do for less space. I definitely don’t take this for granted because it has been a dream of mine since I was 16.
If I did have to say a bad part about living off campus, it would have to be that my commute to campus can be annoying at times – 44 minutes on the 1 train can get pretty boring. But even then, I love listening to my playlists or reading books that I don’t have time to pick up between classes or on the weekends. In a way, I feel like a real New Yorker. Watching kids wait for their buses and parents on their way to work makes me feel as though I belong in a place that felt so unreachable for a big part of my life.
I loved my time living in the Financial District, only two blocks away from school, but living so far away has helped me be able to discover what’s past 50th street and learn more about one of the greatest cities in the world.