The perks of living off-campus

Any student’s first year in university is memorable, whether they join clubs, volunteer or just make good friends. However, this year inevitably ends and then the time comes to find off-campus housing for the senior years of university. It is a daunting task; determining the type of living arrangement you prefer, researching online using student housing websites and visiting different apartments and houses. Yet, believe me, this arduous process is worth it.

Ultimately, living off campus is not such a bad idea; it certainly has its perks.
The greatest change since I moved out of residence and into a lovely house off campus is the newfound freedom of throwing a party without the worry of dons. No more do I have to look around the corner or lock the room to ensure that dons do not hear our blasting music. With the constant presence of dons to mediate festivities, there is hardly an event that can dodge their surveillance. It is true that a don is the authority needed at moments to regulate the behaviour of neighbours and roommates.

However, as this argument relates primarily to the ability to gather, socialize and have a fun time, there must always be a limit to the noise generated or that party will surely get “booked.”

In addition, while every student feels a pang of independence the moment they enter university, I feel that a student truly becomes independent when living off campus. With residences, there is always the presence of dons as well as mandatory meal plans. While this is a good thing, especially when leaving home to live in a completely new environment, this lifestyle inhibits you from truly growing and developing the lifelong skills needed for everyday life.

When living off campus, you get the feel of living on your own, buying your own groceries and paying bills on a regular basis. Surely this lifestyle better prepares you for the future, as when you graduate and finally live on your own, you will be more equipped to deal and embrace your independence. With living in your own home, you have the chance to make it your own by painting your room, decorating your house to your preference and living the lifestyle you want.

Lastly, when living off campus, one may be subject to living with new people, similar to when you first move into residence. However, I feel that living off campus better fosters co-operation and empathy between roommates.

Everyone knows that when living in a house or apartment, if the situation gets tense, it is hard to move out without bringing up the issue of subletting. While this on the surface may seem more like a flaw than a perk, the truth is that because of this apparent flaw, you are more inclined to get along with a roommate who, in other circumstances, you wouldn’t associate with.

In most circumstances these roommates will at least greet each other politely and split up chores, which inherently fosters co-operation.

This skill will undoubtedly be crucial in the future as, similar to project groups for classes, you must work with someone who you might not know or get along with. This experience then prepares you for the future far greater than in living in residence.

For example, if working in a business related field, you may need to work in a group with people with whom you have never met. Yes, during first year you have the ability to move to a different room or residence. However, the idea of moving residences to avoid people promotes the idea that living on the outside is as easy as moving rooms, which is completely false.

Living in residence is a memorable experience. But living off campus allows you to be subjected to a whole new world of possibilities. You can have unmonitored parties, gain further independence and empathize greater with roommates. So, embrace the perks of off-campus housing and make the most of your university experience.

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