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Sep 10 2017
by Katie Taylor

The Pros and Cons of Living Off-Campus

By Katie Taylor - Sep 10 2017

One of the many decisions you have to make as a college student is whether to live on campus or in an apartment off campus after their freshman year. Hopefully, this will help you make your decision by shedding light on things you might not have thought of yet.

Pro: More space.

Depending on where you live off-campus, you’ll probably have a bit more wiggle room than you would living in a dorm.

Con: Bills

If you live in a house, you have to start paying for electricity, water, cable, etc.

Pro: You share a bathroom with less people.

Finally, you don’t have to share your bathroom with your whole hall. If you’re lucky, you might even have your own.

Con: You're further away from campus.

Living off-campus probably means that it takes a while to get to campus, which can leave a lot of room for error unless you make sure to leave early.

Pro: You can host friends for dinner.

Assuming you have a kitchen, you can make your own meals and invite your friends over for fun little dinner parties.

Con: You have to bring more when you move in.

Unlike fully furnished dorms, you’ll probably have to bring your own furniture and decorations when you move in, which can really add up.

Pro: You can bring a pet.

Most dorms only allow fish, but apartments and houses probably have more flexible pet policies so your furry friends can come to college with you!

Con: Transportation

If you’re far enough away, you’ll probably have to figure out how to use the local public transportation system, which can get crowded.

Pro: Parking

There are more parking spots available off-campus which is super convenient for grocery store runs.

Con: You have to bring everything to class.

When you leave for class in the morning, not only do you have to bring your stuff for that class, but all your other classes that day as well. There’s just not enough time to go back and forth between classes.

Pro: You don't have to buy a campus meal plan.

Depending on your college's requirements, you might not have to pay for a campus meal plan. Either way, it's easier when you have your own kitchen, and making your own food is cheaper and will probably taste better.

Con: You have to go and buy groceries.

On the other hand, not having a campus meal plan means you actually have to take the time each week to go to the grocery store.

Pro: It's quieter.

Because you’re probably a bit more isolated, you won’t have to hear tons of people getting back to their dorms at 2 a.m. on a Saturday.

Pro and Con: You have time to fill in between classes

You’re going to have a lot more free time on campus between classes because it takes too long to go back and forth. Depending on how you look at it, you have a lot of time to get work done. On the other hand, you might just be bored.

Whether you decide to move off campus or keep living the dorm life, there are a lot of things to be thankful for either way. When it comes down to it, if you're living with the right people, you'll have a good time no matter where you live!

Lead image credit: Alexander Possingham via Unsplash

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Katie Taylor - University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Katie Taylor is a sophomore at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill majoring in Business and minoring in Spanish. In her free time, you can find her instagramming her dog, baking anything with chocolate, or watching Game of Thrones.

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