Off Campus Housing: Is It Right For You?


We see no reason why your off campus accommodations can’t be delicious, too. This post is the first in a series of posts on off campus housing and, yes, gasp, moving beyond that university-owned bubble that is your college dorm.

Sometimes you have no choice but to move off campus. Your university simply cannot hold you. It may be related to the Freshman 15, or it may just be that they don’t have enough rooms. If you do have a choice, however, you should consider a couple things. Before you take the plunge and start searching for an off campus house or apartment, ask yourself these questions.

Can I Afford It?

When you live in the dorms, all your costs are taken care of (usually) – electricity, water, cable, Internet and gas are all rolled into one flat rate. When you’re calculating what it’s going to cost to live in an apartment or house don’t forget to include utilities and whatever furniture you’ll need to by. If you’re like us, you might actually save money by moving out of the dorms, but it depends on property values around your school. Apparently we went to school in the ghetto, which was made clear every morning when we would wake up at 3AM to the blaring police sirens outside and the screech of tires in the parking lot. And then our roommate being arrested.

How Much Food Network Have I Been Watching?

Moving off campus means you’ll probably have a kitchen at your disposal. Now, nobody says you have to use it (lord knows we were on meal plan all seven four years we were at college), but if your new digs are far from a dining hall you might want to consider whether you have the skills and the time to cook for yourself. If you’ve been baking culinary delights since you were 13, however, you will be glad to have the freedom to cook for yourself all the time. You are also probably a bit strange. But who isn’t? Lots of people I guess, but not you… you’re real strange.

“Responsibility, What’s That?” – MxPx

Let’s face it… living in the dorms is pretty sweet. You don’t have to clean up after yourself, you probably have some sort of fancy security card that gets you into your building and you certainly know your neighbors (for better or worse). Living off campus means you alone are responsible for your place, your stuff, and your *gasp* bathroom. It also means you don’t have to adhere to whatever ridiculous rules your university might have about, say, kegs, or how many people are allowed in a closet at once. But, as Spiderman’s Uncle said, with great power comes great responsibility.

Have I Done My Research?

Simmer down, now! You can’t just move off campus all willy nilly like. Accommodations around college campuses are often hard to find, so you’d better start looking early. Also, make sure you’ve gotten permission from your school (if you need it) and make sure you know what questions to ask when you’re meeting with potential landlords. We speak from experience when we say that landlords renting to college students can be sleazier than your Uncle Ray after two too many scotch and sodas. Keep your wits about you and look at a lot of places to get an idea of what’s reasonable and what’s not. You will be spending almost a year in this place after all!

Am I Ready To Rock?!

There’s certainly nothing wrong with wanting to stay in the dorms for four seven years, but in our opinion living off campus is awesome. You have freedoms you didn’t have when you were in the dorms. You can deck out your room however you want: Ikea Chic, Vintage Salvation Army, Trash Heap Nouveau, Craigslist Modern… We could go on. You can throw crazy parties you’ll most certainly regret the next morning, and years later. And in all seriousness, it’s a great transition from college life to the real world. And you know what Matchbox 20 said. That’s right, “I wish the real world would just stop hassling me.” Don’t we all, Rob, don’t we all…

Well, are you ready to rock? Are you already living off campus? Let us know what you think about living off campus in the comments.


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