What I’ve Learned About Living Off-Campus

Maybe it’s just from personal experience, but since signing my lease in the beginning of my Sophomore year, my friends and I began to plan what our house was going to look like once we lived off campus. We thought of the different parties we’d hold for our friends, the kinds of foods we’d make for dinner. Upon touring the house for the first time, I already had started imagining which room I wanted and how I wanted it laid out. However, finally moving into our house and living with four other people showed my friends and I that the way we set up a room isn’t everything. The things we imagined our house to be wasn’t even the full picture. And since living in this house for over a year, it’s safe to say we learned a lot. 

 

1. You’ll realize how messy you actually are 

Living in the dorms is one thing-you have a maintenance staff who makes sure the trash cans are emptied AT LEAST twice a week, including taking cardboard. They also just rinse down all the bathroom appliances. DO NOT take these services for granted. It’s painful when they are gone and suddenly you’re caring for a shared kitchen and bathroom that sees so many visitors per day. Also, once you cook for yourselves and have late night binges, you realize how lazy you’ve become (or at least I have).

 

2. Losing your key is a lot worse

Good Luck! A house doesn’t come with an RA on duty or a master key. It comes with being locked out of your house until someone comes home/wakes up OR calling your landlord on Father’s Day because you can’t get in. You might as well just superglue your key somewhere you’ll remember it. 

 

3. Cooking sucks

Okay, so this one only counts part of the time. I love to cook when I’m in the mood to. If it’s cold and I’m lazy and feel like campus is three miles away (it’s actually a block and a half to the dining hall), I’m stuck with feeding myself. And since I never have money for fresh produce, I mainly make myself pasta. But this can get boring and I can run out of topping ideas very fast. 

 

 4. Laundry gets worse

In my experience, every washer and dryer off campus works differently, depending on the house. In ours, we use quarters every time we use the machines ($1.50 to wash and $1 to dry). Royal no longer works and you have to find quarters every time you want to wash your dirty clothes. Loose change has now become a blessing in disguise. 

 

So these are just some of the many things my housemates and I have learned since moving off campus. Granted, I know we’re all so lucky to even have the opportunity of doing so and am not knocking the fact that we are allowed the experience. It’s just opened our eyes to being more independent and starting to transition to adulthood.