Five Things to Know Before Living Off-Campus

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Saige O’Rourke
A computer graphic featuring three icons on a pink background – a school building, a location icon, and a set of keys.

Living off-campus compared to on-campus housing has been an extremely unique experience. When living on-campus, you walk almost everywhere, and if it isn’t within walking distance then you question whether it is worth visiting. Living off-campus you drive EVERYWHERE, but the opportunities are ENDLESS; you now live in a completely different city on your own with so much freedom at your disposal. Here are 5 things I wish someone would have told me before living off-campus.

Wider Radius of Exploration

Starting out, you don’t need to go to campus for everything known to man. Although this is what you’re used to, there are other areas to visit or shop in besides the ones that are supplied for on-campus students. You are used to living on campus, and more than likely you haven’t explored what’s available in the area. Students are introduced to a sanctuary inside of a big city, so living off-campus gives you the ability to EXPLORE. I promise you there are other spots to study around town besides the library, find them!

Roommates Don’t Have to Be Your BFF

Finding people to live with can be stressful, but it’s important to know that you don’t need to be best friends with your roommates. At the end of the day, everyone just needs a place to lay their head at night. Although living with people you are already friends with makes the process easier, it isn’t necessary! We all have our own lives, and living with people you aren’t entirely acquainted with allows you to preserve your alone time.

Take Advantage of Easier Parking

Now that parking isn’t an issue, I recommend that you take your weekends to explore the city! There are beautiful places in all areas that the world offers us, and they are just a Google search away. Take the extra time you might have in your schedule and learn about where you live. You might find a new awesome spot to spend your time instead of a campus bench.

Don’t Forget about Gas Money

Although parking isn’t a worry anymore, gas will be. You will be driving a lot more regularly than you did when you lived on-campus. When I lived on-campus, I never used my car unless I was going home, so gas wasn’t as much of an issue. Now, gas is back to haunt my bank account. Get used to filling your tank more but enjoy the fact that you have the freedom to explore.

Friendships Take More Effort

This one is often overlooked, but after you don’t live on-campus anymore you need to make more of an effort with your friends. Since your friends are no longer just down the hall or a 5-minute walk across campus, plans need to be made and efforts need to be shown. These people are the most important part of college! Don’t take them for granted and make it a point to have fun.

Living on and off campus are both vital parts of the college experience. All of it does not have to be entirely overwhelming. Make note of these tips and take a deep breath before freaking out about a new living experience! Enjoy these moments!

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