Pros And Cons For Living Off Campus

As we get to the second half of the spring semester, some of you are starting to think about what to do over the summer and perhaps even planning for the fall semester. If you’re currently living on campus, considering possible housing options is a must. Here are some pros and cons you should consider if you’re thinking about striking out on your own --or with some friends-- and living off-campus.

Cons

Commitment

This one is arguably a pro depending on who you are. When you move off campus, you’ll likely have to sign a lease, meaning you’re committed to a spot for at least a year. If you live on campus, you may be used to committing for a semester at a time. While it’s great to have this flexibility, you’ll have a bit less if you live off campus. However, it does give you the opportunity to really make your space your own. Settling in and getting comfortable can be a really fun experience as well.

Transportation

If you’ve lived in the Hampton Roads area for any amount of time, you understand that traffic can be an actual nightmare and you may, in fact, die from waiting in it for hours. When you live on campus, class is just a short walk a way. Regardless of the time of day, you only traffic you’re likely to encounter is an angry flock of geese. However, when you live off campus, you’ve got to factor in your commute time and the possible traffic caused by rush hour. Sometime, this may even require that terrible thing that most of us hate: getting up extra early.

Community

On a small campus like Regent, everybody knows everybody. When you live on campus, there’s always lots of people around that you at least sort of know. Once you leave campus and venture into the world, you’ll probably be surrounded by neighbors who you don’t know. Some of them will be awesome and friendly, some you’ll hardly ever see. And others will be super annoying and tell you they’re going to call the cops if you keep grilling burgers on your porch (looking at you lady in 201). Neighbors are a mixed bag that aren’t always as easy to live with when you move off campus. However, you can now choose to avoid freshman drama.

If you live on campus, you’ve had a taste of responsibility, finding your own food, cleaning, keeping track of classes. But if you decide to move off campus, get ready to take on more. If you’re signing a lease, you’ll need proof of income, which means you definitely need a job. Also, instead of paying all your housing expenses together at the beginning of the semester, you’ll have to keep track of paying your bills separately. You’ll need to keep track of rent and depending on your situation, things like water and utilities. Have no fear, this isn’t actually to difficult. You can easily set up reminders or automatic payments which can help keep you organized.  

Pros

Freedom

Regent has some pretty nice dorms, but that’s what they are: dorms. While you’ll have to deal with the cons of adulting, you’ll also get the pros. First off: your house, your rules. This means if you need to study, or play Dungeons and Dragons, or what-have-you late with mixed company, you can. No worries! You also get to pick your roommates, so you can have as many or as few as you like and you can stay over summer break for your job or internship. So go ahead, play True American until all hours of the night!

Enjoying the Finer Things

If you’re of age and looking to be super classy, you can now become a wine connoisseur in your spare time. Living off campus provides you the opportunity to kick back with some pink wine in if you so choose. It will give you the opportunity to create your own space, decorate, entertain, and explore in more ways than campus life can.

Pets!

Perhaps my favorite pro: you can adopt a kitty! Or you can adopt a doggo or a snek or a lizard or whatever. Pets are awesome! They provide you with unconditional love, snuggles, and sometimes they wake you up at 3 am by sprinting around your room knocking stuff over. Whoever you adopt, you’re sure to have a wonderful time sharing your life and your personal space with a little friend.

Level Up!... Your Credit

Whether you choose to strike out on your own now or later, building credit will be important for your long term financial success. While it may sound scary, small things like making rent and utility payments on time will help you build credit. If you plan ahead now and move off campus with some friends, you’ll have a great opportunity to show your financial responsibility. You’ll build credit and gain some important experiences when it comes to finding apartments, leasing, and managing personal finances.

Photo Credit