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8 Struggles You Wouldn’t Understand Until You Move Off Campus

As a freshman, living in a cinder block dorm room while arms distance away from my roommate, I dreamed of the day when I could move off campus and be free from the dorm life struggles. No longer do I have to walk down the hall in my towel in front of strangers after a shower. Unfortunately, living off campus comes with its own new set of challenges. 

Feeling seriously disconnected from your friends that live on campus

As a junior, most of your friends still live on campus in apartment complexes where all the action is. No one wants to volunteer to walk blocks up a steep hill to come visit, so you find yourself making the trip back onto campus to be able to hang out with friends. The dream of having the happening house where everyone wants to throw a ‘rager’ slowly dies. You begin to miss that group of freshman boys that would run down your hall at 3 am and bang on your door as they break the exit signs with their heads. 


Having to carry furniture up three flights of skinny stairs into an apartment with no air-conditioning in the summer

This struggle may be on the personal side, but everyone that moves off campus can relate on some level. Most apartments off campus are old and sectioned off to squeeze as many people in as possible, so you end up living in a renovated attic where the ceiling makes sharp angles that assault your head. Of course, there would be no central air! Who needs to be able breath when carrying that oddly heavy dresser from Ikea up three flights of stairs?

The struggles of Wi-Fi

I have never had to set up internet and cable before, but how hard could it possibly be? The answer – very exasperating. The set up required a four-hour phone call with internet support and two trips to the store. Every time there is a power outage, the internet dies and the struggle continues. I miss the easiness of campus Wi-Fi.


The challenges of grocery shopping

Planning out the weeks’ dinners worked for a while, but now it has come to eating frozen pizzas and Eggo waffles. With the little amount of kitchen storage, I have to keep groceries to a minimum, but then I find myself missing key ingredients for simple meals that I can actually cook. One pro is that after grocery shopping, carrying the bags and bags of groceries up three flights of stairs can double as cardio.

Jersey girls should not have to pump gas

As a girl from New Jersey, I have never had to pump my own gas and unfortunately, I have had to learn very fast as I do go to school in Pennsylvania. You learn which gas stations are sketchy no matter when and which ones are ok in the day light. Every time I go to get gas, I have to make sure that I have an experienced gas pumper with me incase even the slightest issue arises.

Signing legal documentation when you cannot understand it

I would like to believe that I am an adult but moving off campus has killed that belief. I find myself calling my parents for any questions from understanding bills to how to get hot sauce stain out of a comforter. Signing the lease was the largest struggle. I had no idea what all that legal talk meant or even how to go about getting renters insurance. Thanks mom. You are still the only adult in this relationship.

The “I’ll do it later” pile of dirty dishes

I’ve gotten into the great habit of cooking the majority of my meals, but I have not gained the skill to keep the dirty dishes and pots/pans to a minimum. The sink ends up filled with the “I’ll do it later” pile, which does eventually get done. That is usually when there are no other pans or forks and it is panic mode.


Living next to strange neighbors

You no longer live next to fellow peers and friends, but random other people. Throughout the first couple of months, you learn which neighbors are normal and which ones wait for you to come home from school, so they can say hi as they sweep the road. Yes. This happens, but I guess he means well.


Even though there are struggles that come with moving off campus, there are so many wonderful opportunities of adulthood, responsibility, and personal growth. You have the opportunity to choose your own furniture, decorate it how you please, cook what you like, etc. all along side of your besties. I wouldn’t trade this lifestyle for anything!

Sarah Gordon

Scranton '20

Sarah Gordon is an exercise science major with a concentration in nutrition and she will stay at The University of Scranton for graduate school for physical therapy. She hopes to specialize in pediatrics during that time. Sarah is infatuated with dogs and will go out of her way to say hi to them. She has traveled to Europe to study her art passion, which she hopes to incorporate into her career.
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