Dorm living comes with the territory in college but many students prefer to choose a place off campus. Regardless of the reason, there are both advantages and disadvantages to picking this type of lifestyle.
As with most things in life, it’s usually best to plan ahead before committing to something and in the case of off campus living, it’s worth taking the time to weigh the pros and cons in order to find out whether this route is the best suited or if you should fall back on a plan B.
The Good: Complete Freedom to Choose a Roommate
Because money often is a huge factor, almost all college students wind up living with a roommate, especially off campus. Unlike dorm living, those wanting to live off campus have the ability to choose whatever method they want to find someone compatible enough to live with.
For the extremely lucky few, the option to go solo is a huge luxury that students in dorm rooms can only dream of.
The Bad: Difficulty Finding a Trustworthy Roommate
While having a roommate assigned to you in the dorms isn’t always a picnic, finding someone to be a good roommate using your own methods also comes with its own set of challenges. There are a lot of crazy people out there and with a much wider pool of individuals to choose from, it can be scary trying to find a person that you feel comfortable sharing a living space with.
With dorm roommates, if there is a problem, there’s always the alternative of switching roommates. Such a solution isn’t as readily available to those living off campus.
If things don’t work out and a roommate ends up leaving, you’ll be financially responsible for the rent until you can find a replacement.
The Good: Stay As Long as You Want/Need To
Having your own place off campus means enjoying shelter year-round. In the dorms, students are forced out every semester, which means moving back home or seeking other alternatives until school starts.
Depending on what your lease is, students living off campus can choose to stay put for a few months or a few years.
The Bad: Extra Bills
Living off campus usually means paying not just rent but utilities. This means budgeting to accommodate more financial obligations, which can be hard on any student’s wallet. Unless you’re able to find a great deal, it may not be wise to choose off campus housing if you know it will end up becoming a financial burden.
The Good: Be Your Own Boss
It’s no secret that living on your own means your schedule, your rules. Without a dorm room monitor, you really can do as you please without worrying about breaking any rules or guidelines that come with consequences.
The Bad: Out of the Loop
While not always the case, living off campus does put students out of touch with the latest happenings at school. If you have a job that also keeps you off campus when not in classes, this could also lead to a disconnect with your fellow peers and school organizations.