As you join college, you need to understand that you are not just going there to learn. You need to interact with other people and make a home away from home. In order to do the latter, you will need to find a suitable house. You may choose to live on or off-campus.
On-campus living means that you will stay in a hostel located in and managed by the college. Off-campus living means you stay at a rented house of your choice that is located near your college. Which one should you choose? Here is an insightful look at both sides of the coin.
The Benefits of On-Campus Living
You will be living near your classrooms, the library, and every other amenity your school has to offer. This is because your hostels or dormitories are located within the same compound as the school. This means you will spend less time commuting and can get to lectures on time.
With many other students living in the hostels, you will easily make friends. Every neighbor is a student and connecting is really easy. Socializing with roommates and even those living on the next block is easy.
Cleaning of common areas is organized by the school and so are meals. This means you do not need to worry about buying groceries, cooking, or even cleaning.
Along with all other parts of the school, your hostels will always have someone on guard. This, plus other security measures like CCTV cameras, means that you will be secure at your on-campus house.
Disadvantages of On-Campus Living
Living in hostels can be costly. The fees you are charged will include rent as well as paying for the amenities you will be using. Compared to off-campus living, on-campus housing is more expensive.
You will most probably be living in a shared space. Whether you have your own room or are sharing the room itself, dorm living means some things must be shared. Bathrooms, TV rooms and other common areas have to be shared. There is no privacy here. Even concentrating and focusing on private studying may be difficult due to disturbances by others.
You do not have the option to choose your roommates. The college will organize the students based on gender, age, educational preferences, and other traits. You may end up placed in a room with someone you cannot stand.
Advantages of Off-Campus Living
The first advantage is affordability. It is usually cheaper to rent a room or an apartment outside the university. Also, you get your own private space. This means no sharing a bathroom with others and you can watch whatever TV channel you want when you want. Studying is also easy because the place is quiet and you have it all to yourself. If you want to have roommates, you can handpick them and only stay with your best friends.
Living off-campus does not have to mean living far away from your college. There are many off-campus accommodation options near any college. Choose one that is nearby and you will be able to reach your classes on time. For instance, the Hub Waterloo is an ideal Waterloo student housing for students at the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University. These colleges are 11 minutes and 12 minutes’ walks from the Hub, respectively.
At your off-campus home, there will be fewer students. You will have diverse neighbors who will teach you a thing or two about living around different people. This is a trait you will appreciate later on in life.
With cooking and cleaning being up to you, off-campus living will teach you how to be responsible. You will be able to organize your home now and in the future. Plus, you will be in charge of your life deciding when to come in and go out and what to do at what time.
The advantages of off-campus living outweigh its disadvantages. Let us look at the latter.
The Downside of Off-Campus Living
Living off-campus can rob you of the opportunity to socialize with your peers and experience college life. You will not be at the heart of all college activities.
The daily commute can make it hard to get to classes on time especially if you live far away. To solve this, choose a location near the school and have good time management skills.
Student housing should be chosen according to convenience, affordability, and desired independence. Both living on and off-campus have their advantages and disadvantages. It is up to the student to weigh these and make an appropriate decision. There is no college housing that is right or wrong. Just choose what suits you and enjoy your college life.