Going to university entails plenty of preparation on the part of both students and their families. There are paper works to be arranged and signed, financial aspects to ponder about, classes to sign up for, and housing to worry about. Most universities require students to stay in campus dorms for their first year, but they are given free reign the following years. Some choose to stay; others choose to go.
For those who do not wish to live in campus dorms, there are other options to choose from. The most popular would be living alone in an apartment, which allows plenty of liberties. But recently, actual houses near the school districts have been gaining traction, too. Older undergraduates and graduate students have easy pickings, from houses for sale in the Guelph, Ontario area to those that are available only for rent.
However, students who have just completed their first year might find themselves wondering if it is worth it to live off-campus. After all, residing in the dorms comes with multiple benefits — most notably, the costs being deducted by financial aid. In some universities, students may even receive meal plans during their stay.
So, what is so attractive about living off-campus?
Independence and Privacy
While there are single rooms available, most university dorms have students rooming in pairs or triads. Living off-campus, on the other hand, gives students more privacy, regardless if they are living in an apartment or a house.
Furthermore, students have the opportunity to learn more about financial independence and budgeting. This is because residing off-campus means having to think about rent money, utility fees, as well as grocery funds.
University dorms allow students to decorate their rooms to a certain degree, but those who live in apartments or houses can do this in a much grander scale. If they can afford it, they can also bring their own bed frames, mattresses, and even bigger desks.
Most rental spaces also give tenants the liberty to make changes on the core characteristics of the space, so the students can paint the walls or replace the wallpaper if they wish.
Dorm rooms can be tiny and cramped, especially if they are shared spaces. Living off-campus, on the other hand, means more spaces to traverse while away from classes. Roommates can have their own quarters apart from the shared space, which is the living room.
Moreover, bathrooms are often communal in most dorms. Given the right housing choice, tenants do not have to worry about the mess their roommates leave after using the bathroom since they can have their own. As for kitchens and dining rooms, most dorms only provide kitchenettes, if at all. There are pantries, of course, but having the option to cook meals is an added bonus that students can enjoy with off-campus residency.
It is no secret that university students attend their fair share of social events to get away from their academic responsibilities. Perhaps one of the most attractive aspects of living off-campus is getting the chance to host their own parties. This allows students to have fun in a controlled environment without having to worry about traveling home.
No matter a student’s choice of housing, all options come with their own set of benefits. However, should a student desire more freedom and space, then off-campus residency is the best option for them.