The Pros And Cons Of Living Off Campus

This past school year, I decided to get my own apartment with my boyfriend. We found a gorgeous garden-level studio apartment with exposed brick, utilities included, and parking. Add in a reasonable monthly rent, neighborhood, and proximity to public transit, we were golden. But we did have to give up a few things for this gem. Like, our apartment doesn’t have an oven. This wasn’t a problem as we don’t use it to cook very often and invested in a toaster oven. Also, we don’t have a real bathroom! This is a bit awkward when guests come over since the shower door opens straight into the kitchen and there’s a sliding door that hides the toilet and sink. But, the pros outweighed the cons.

Now that I’ve lived in this apartment for nearly a year, there are some things I miss about dorming.

Some of you may ask, what is the cons of living off campus?

1. You have to pay for furniture

When I moved into my apartment, I had nothing. This was a major cost that doesn’t often appear when you first start calculating living expenses. There’s a huge difference in furniture costs to the slipcovers and blankets you put on the ugly provided furniture.

2. Buying household essentials

Some things are often included in the cost of dorming. When I dormed, laundry was free, cable and internet was included, and toilet paper was delivered. Now that I live off campus, laundry is $2 to wash and dry, cable and internet is $60 a month, and toilet paper is not included in rent.

3. No guaranteed security

Oftentimes when you dorm, there is front desk security. You often have to have a key or card to enter the building and verify any guests you have over. This is both a pro and con but mainly a pro when you live in a big city. When living off campus, you have to be your own security.

4. Commuting

Depending on where you choose to live, you may have to commute quite a bit. There’s a big difference between a 10 minute walk and a 30 minute train ride.

But to be reminded, there is a reason why I moved off campus despite all these perks.

1. The location matters

Honestly, I did not like where my school’s dorming was located. Grocery stores were far, there weren’t too many great coffee shops or restaurants, and public transit was a bit further than I would have liked. This motivated me to look elsewhere.

2. It could be cheaper or the same

For what I’m paying in rent and living expenses for a full year, it about matches to what I would pay dorming for the school year. I also couldn’t stay at my dorm during winter or summer break and this really barred me from committing to any serious jobs or internships.

3. You have a lot more freedom

When you dorm, there is a lot of rules. You can only have guests over for a limited amount of time, you aren’t allowed to really decorate how you want to, and you often have in-suite rules with your randomly-assigned roommates. When you move out on your own, you decide all of these things for yourself.

4. Your own space

When you dorm, you have roommates even if you have a single room. Depending on what you plan when you live off campus, you may still have roommates and your own room or even your own apartment.