One of the most important decisions you’ll make after deciding which university to attend is where you’re going to live.
The good news is that there are a few different options available and you don’t necessarily have to stay on campus!
In this article, we’re going to give you a few tips on how to find the best living situation for college so you can find out where to live in college.
Where to Live in College?
Living on Campus
What are the benefits of living on campus?
- Location: You're near everything — food, classes, and everything your college campus has to offer.
- Productivity: When you're living on campus you are closer to the library and other amenities. Your productivity levels will be higher.
- Integration: You'll be more in the loop with your college's activities.
- Food: Meal plans are always available to students who live on campus. Choose from hundreds of dining options and never worry about cooking or grocery shopping.
- Saving money: You can save money by living on campus by not worrying about gas or needing a car.
- Safety: You will have the safety of campus police, security cameras, roommates and RAs.
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The downsides of living on campus include:
The cost of room and board, small rooms, monotony, no kitchen, lack of privacy, overstimulation, inconsiderate residents, and you may not be able to have a car.
What are the benefits of living off-campus?
- Credit establishment: You can begin to build your credit by living off-campus and having your name on a lease.
- Independence: You'll be able to develop independence since you'll be on your own.
- Location choice: You can choose wherever you want to stay. Near your favorite restaurant? Do it.
- Personal space: You can have your own space, and even your own pets if your apartment complex/home allows it.
The downsides of living off-campus include:
Budgeting, safety not guaranteed, out of pocket expense, responsibilities, transportation needs, and farther away.
Tips to Remember When Choosing Where to Live in College
Consider the Travel Time
You will obviously want to find a residence that is close to campus.
This could be in walking or biking distance of the college, or its location via public transit makes it a short trip.
When your residence is convenient to campus, it is easier to join in any social events on campus and you’ll have more opportunity to join in on the fun.
If you don’t mind the drive or the commute time, you can live anywhere.
Understand the Planning and Timeframe Required
One of the realities of residences on campus is that you can’t choose where you live.
You also have to be aware of the fact that you have to apply for the residences before the deadline.
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If you miss one deadline, you may be able to apply to live in another residence or a privately managed residence.
Last minute changes in the courses you take or which college you end up attending could force you to live in private housing.
Factor in Your Sensitivity to Interruptions and Disruptions
When you live in residences on campus, you’ll be living near a lot of other students.
You will have to deal with noise and mess. You also won’t be able to retreat to the privacy of your room, since you’ll more than likely have a roommate.
You can’t choose who you live with, so you may end up with a loud roommate or someone who constantly brings friends over. If this prevents you from studying or sleeping, private accommodation is a better choice.
Privately run rental halls cost more, but they won’t be as crowded and busy.
Think about Independence and the Price You Pay for It
Living in a private residence means you’ll have to deal with bills and landlords, but you need to know how to handle that to be truly ready for adult life. For some, living in university halls is a compromise between living at home and living completely on your own. You’d have more independence than living at home but not as much as having to do it all yourself.
However, you can find private rentals that are as convenient as residence halls. There is no one perfect option for all students. Determine what matters the most to you, and then select the best option for your situation assuming you can afford it.