It’s the beginning of the new year, which is also that time when college students start organizing second year housing plans and go apartment hunting. While some colleges allow you to continue living on campus your second year, other colleges require you to move out of your dorm and find off campus housing. If you’re a freshman currently living in a residence hall, you might either love it due to its close distance or you might hate it due to its strict rules.
Living off campus and going through the process of apartment hunting may seem like a daunting task that brings you one step closer to adulthood and independence, but there are some real perks of living off campus.
1. Furniture Shopping
A huge part of the college experience is finding yourself and expressing who you are. What better way to do that than to design your own room? Almost all apartments are unfurnished, so you have the freedom of buying furniture that suits your needs and appeals to your aesthetic. Shopping for furniture doesn’t have to be pricey. You can easily thrift furniture pieces and polish them up to your taste.
Living in a residence hall means your RA is watching over you to make sure you abide to the hall's regulations and quiet hours. In an apartment, you can do whatever you please from staying out until the wee hours of the night (although, this is not recommended) to inviting a group of friends over for a study party. You also have the liberty to choose the housemates you want to live with, as well as decide whether you want a roommate or an individual room.
Living in a residence hall meant dealing with noise penetrating through paper-thin walls, sharing the lounge and using communal bathrooms. When you live off campus, either in a house or an apartment, you can choose to have your own room. Having your own little area to retreat to whenever you need to study for that huge exam next week or simply relax is a wonderful thing.
Most freshmen fall victim to the dreaded Freshman 15, which can be blamed on dining hall food. When you have your own apartment, you can load up on healthier food options because living off campus means you will have an entire kitchen to experiment with your cooking skills. Either whip up some late night ramen or channel your inner Gordon Ramsay and prepare yourself a fancy meal.
5. Adult Experiences
Living off campus is not only a liberating opportunity, but it is also an educational opportunity. Keeping up an apartment, such as budgeting, paying rent, grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning are all incredibly useful life skills that you can learn sooner rather than later. Understanding financial matters is going to prepare you to transition into real adulthood once your graduate and head off to your first job.
6. It's Cheaper
Living in a residence hall on campus is going to be a lot more expensive than it is to live off campus in an apartment. This is because residence halls include furniture, university electricity and wifi and a meal plan in their price. While living in an apartment requires some initial setting up of internet and electricity services, the overall cost is lower.
You've been through the dorm experience; now it's time to move on to the next one. Happy apartment hunting!
Lead Image Credit: Gabriel Beaudry via Unsplash