Living off campus is a rite of passage for many college students. It can be exciting getting to live with your friends and having your own space, but like with everything else, living off campus has its perks and disadvantages. Deciding to live off campus is definitely a big step, so here are some factors to think about when deciding if off-campus living is for you.
1. Freedom and independence
Living off campus is the first time you will be fully independent in college. It is a great crash course for learning everything about living on your own before graduation. No longer are you following the rules of dorm curfews or mandated quiet hours during finals week — now you have the freedom of doing what you want, when you want, because it is your living space.
Living off campus can be cheaper if done right. Paying rent is a big part of living off campus, and it is definitely cheaper than the alternative on-campus option. Many choose the former to save money for any plans, like grad school or traveling.
3. Living with friends
Dorm life can be fun, but it is often very hard to see your friends if they live in different living communities. Having all of your friends living under one roof is not only fun, but convenient as well. Living with people who you already know and trust can take some of the weight off of your shoulders when living off campus, and it makes it easier to hang out with them when they live down the hall from you.
4. Moving out is an option, not an obligation
Having housing all year round is a perk when it comes to breaks and holidays. No longer are you forced to move out at a certain time from your dorm or have to take everything out of your room, only to move it all in again the next semester.
1. The commute to campus and literally everywhere else
If you’re one of the students who doesn’t have a car, chances are you will have to take Off Campus College Transport (OCCT) buses to campus. Everything automatically becomes less accessible when you don’t know when, where or how to take the OCCT or the Broome County bus.
Everything from the time you wake up to when you leave your house or apartment has to be planned out to the minute, or else you find yourself missing the bus and stuck waiting for the next bus for another 20 minutes.
2. Lack of socialization
Socializing is hard for everyone, but it is definitely easier to branch out if you live on campus. Living on campus grants residents the luxury of going home whenever they like, but for those who live off campus and do not own a car, it is something that they have to think twice about. Many club meetings or activities tend to run late since the majority of classes end around 6 or 7 p.m. That means having to stay on campus longer, which means having to take the OCCT bus late. OCCT buses don’t come as regularly at night as they do during the day, so you are left deciding whether or not it is worth it to stay on campus.
3. Increase in responsibility
Living off campus comes with many perks, but also with many responsibilities that many students don’t realize that they are now responsible for — such as being in charge of setting up the internet.
Additionally, if you find yourself living in a house off campus, you are now responsible for having to deal with any problems that occur in the house, from making sure that you have heating in the winter to any repairs that the house may have to undergo.
Oftentimes, students living on campus take advantage of the janitorial services and how clean they keep our living spaces. Now if you find yourself living off campus, you and your roommates will have to be the ones responsible for keeping everything clean in your new homes.
Budgeting becomes your best friend when living off campus. Everything from meal planning to paying for rent and utilities becomes a part of everyday life. Luxuries like buying new clothes or even paying for a bus ticket to go home are replaced by basic living necessities like having to pay for utilities or groceries.
Living off campus requires not only a lot of planning but also a lot of responsibility. If you do plan on living off campus at any point in your time here at Binghamton University, make sure that it is something that you feel confident in managing.