Congratulations, you have finally been accepted into a university. Many debate on whether to go to a university out of state or to stay in their hometown. After several weeks of decision making and evaluating your situation, you have yet another choice to make. Will you live on-campus or off-campus?
Several factors will likely weigh in on your decision. If you don’t have a dependable means of transportation, then this decision may be evident. However, in the case that the decision is solely up to your personal preference, there are a few components that you should consider. It may benefit you to grab a yellow legal pad to write down the pros and cons, but this article would be a great start. Here are a few factors that you should consider when deciding where to live
This will likely be the most crucial factor to consider if you enjoy your sleep as much as I do. Living off-campus can be a nice breath of fresh air from the demanding nature of college life. However, you must consider traffic to and from campus. In Houston, you may need to leave your home as early as 6:30am to get to your 8am class. This doesn’t take into account extra time for coffee and breakfast. If you live on campus, you can pretty much roll out of bed 15 minutes before class and make it on time. If you choose to live off-campus, I suggest scheduling all of your courses on 2-3 days out of the week to reduce the headache and money spent on gas.
It is said that a person will likely acquire their life-long friendships during the college years. This will be much more difficult when you live off-campus. You will probably miss several events that come up last minute, or you may not feel like driving across town to attend them. There is also the possibility of a bond being formed between your roommate and yourself. Many people become close friends with their roommate over time. However, the opposite is possible, and you may hate your roommate and thus hate your life. Yikes!
There is nothing like a midday nap in between classes. If you live on campus, you can casually go to your dorm and revitalize. If you live off-campus, this becomes a bit more complicated. If you live close by, then I suppose that you can take a quick road trip, but you’ll most likely lose that great parking spot you got. The option is to take a nap in the car, but this is not quite as satisfying. This also pertains to food. If you get hungry, you can get a quick snack from your dorm. When you live off-campus, you will constantly need to purchase food. If you choose to live off-campus, then you should definitely look into a meal plan package.
Living on-campus can be very expensive. Dorm rooms are not included in the already hefty tuition cost. You can definitely save a few grand staying at your parent’s house, but some would argue that you aren’t getting the full college experience. What you save in money, you will make up for in time. Parking and gas must also be taken into consideration. Parking passes aren’t cheap, and gas money can add up quickly, so choose wisely.
Living in a dorm can be a lot of fun if you have a roommate that you get along with. If you dislike your roommate, it is certainly not as fun. Dorm rooms aren’t huge, so if you guys don’t get along, it can quickly become intolerable. There are also RA’s to consider. RA’s will do random room checks that your parents will most likely not do. Then again, that depends on your parents. Also, universities require students to move out during summer breaks and at some campuses even during the winter break. Moving is a real pain to most people, so keep this in mind when making your decision.
There are definitely pros and cons to living on or off-campus. Living on-campus will likely better resemble the college life that you saw on television growing up, but this isn’t possible for everybody. The important part is that you get your degree. So, pick what works best for you and do what you got to do.
Featured image by Jiselle Santos