by ALESHA SMITH
To live on campus or to live off campus? That is the question student’s face when we first enter college. Despite our choice, both living situations have positive and negative aspects.
In high school many of us probably couldn’t wait to go off to college and live the college experience that we have seen portrayed in Hollywood blockbusters like Pitch Perfect, American Pie: Beta House, and National Lampoon’s Animal House. We thought living on campus would mean no curfews and going to amazing frat parties.
When it comes to living on campus, there is the dreaded or exciting roommate ordeal. Some people wonder if they will get a roommate that they won’t like or if they will get a roommate they will become best friends with. There is always the possibility of not having a roommate by living in a single dorm room, but that may be impossible as a first year student.
When it comes to living off campus, there is no wondering about the mystery roommate because students can choose who they want to live with, if they want to live alone, or if they want remain at home for a few more years. Living at home can be more economical and allows students to save money and possibly get their own place by their junior or senior year. People who live off campus also have the perk of having more privacy than those who live on campus.
People who live on campus have some advantages and perks over the people who live off campus. One of the biggest perks that most people who live on campus don’t have to worry about is chores because they have a housekeeper.
Another perk that people who live on campus have is the meal plan, so that they can get their three meals a day. They don’t have to worry about buying groceries to make meals, just snacks, quick fixes, and stuff to drink for when the cafeteria isn’t open. Students must buy groceries so that they can eat, since they don’t have meal plans, unless they purchased one for lunch purposes.
Living on campus may also seem like the better choice since you don’t have to worry about monthly bills and furnishing an apartment. Another perk, according to USA Today, is that there are no additional costs for utilities, like water, heating, electricity, Wi-Fi and cable since they are included in the college’s tuition charges. Even though bills are due every month for those students who don’t live on campus, it could still be cheaper to live off campus because some places could include utilities with the rent so the monthly bills may not cost as much.
A downside to dorm living is that not many people probably think of their personal intimate lives when it comes to living off campus. Colleges may have a limit on the number of nights one’s significant other is allowed to stay the night in a dorm room, according to the USA Today. When having a significant other over, it could lead to some discomfort if you have a roommate, so you have to make arrangements with your roommate if you want alone time.
Living off campus, however means you don’t have to worry about making roommate leave while your significant other is over, since you will have separate bedrooms. It’s your apartment and your rules, so you can have whoever you want over for as long as you please. There are no restrictions on your dating life, so that is a major perk for all those who live off campus.
Making friends maybe easier for students living on campus. Usually after high school our friendships become distant and sometimes become nonexistent. College is the place that allows people to make new friends, but it may be difficult for off campus people to do so.
Living on campus makes it easier to make friends and meet people around campus. They aren’t restricted to only meeting people they have in class. Living on campus fosters involvement in university life since it is more of a convenient.
Senior Helen Shore said that living on campus allowed her to meet new people easily, and she had no worries getting to class on time or attending co-curricular events. “Since everything was within walking distance of my dorm it wasn’t hard to become involved and get to class” Shore stated.
Living off campus makes it difficult to get involved on campus because students may have to go right from school to work, and they won’t have time to do anything else on campus due to their tight schedules.
Junior Cheyenne Wright who lives off campus, said that her two biggest struggles are making friends and completing personal development hours. “I have been at TU for three years and I have hardly any friends. Since I work second shift at the hospital, it’s really difficult to go to events on campus since they are held in the evening or even get involved,” she said.
One of the final things to address is safety and security, which most colleges provide to their students. TU has their Night Watch program and everyone has their own key to their room in order to make themselves and their possessions safe. For those that live off campus there is no security that patrols their building, so the only security measures they can take is by making sure that their apartment doors and windows are locked and hope that no one breaks in.
What it really comes down to is the individual, and what he or she is comfortable with. If someone prefers his privacy and wants to save money by not living on campus,that might just be the best option living on campus doesn’t mean a student is missing out on the college experience.