Being a freshman in college is undoubtedly one of life’s most unforgettable experiences. College appears to be a pipe dream for many young people. Everything at college is a new adventure: building a new life, forming new relationships. Finding a place to live in college is one of the numerous adventures that any college student will face.
Choosing where to live while studying, on top of delving headfirst into college life, seems like a large leap to take. Some students prefer to live with their parents, while others prefer to live on campus.
If neither of these options appeals to you, there is also the option of off-campus living.
What to Think About When Renting Off-Campus
Choosing a place to live is a big decision. And, like any major decision, making the proper one needs considerable consideration and forethought. It can be daunting, especially if you’re new to this, because many housing units are clustered around colleges. However, here’s a quick checklist to help you limit down your options:
- The Geographical Location
Convenience is one of the biggest reasons people move out of their homes, and college students are no exception. Not everyone has the luxury of being able to walk to school, and commuting from home to school (and vice versa) can take up valuable time that could be spent on education.
Fortunately, adjacent campuses have housing options such as Sunrise Village and other flats. Because they know who they’ll be catering to the most, these units are usually student-friendly, with high-speed internet and a welcoming social environment.
The main disadvantage is that as you get closer to college, some residences may get more expensive. If money isn’t an issue, you can look into your alternatives before the school year begins.
If you’re on a tight budget, though, you should start with apartments that are further away from your school before moving closer to the ones that are closer.
- Your Financial Plan
You may probably guess why money is so important in off-campus searches, given what was said before. While some rental units include utility expenses (such as electricity and water), others merely ask for the rent. You’ll have to pay your bills and rent individually in that scenario.
As a result, you should prepare ahead of time. Calculate your rough estimations, taking into account your tuition and other educational expenses. How much will you have to pay on a monthly basis? What is your preferred mode of payment? Are you planning to take out student loans? Are your parents willing to assist you with your financial obligations? Is it your intention to work part-time?
Expect potential brokers or landlords to inquire about your financial situation and payment methods in order to determine whether you will be able to pay your rent on time, making it all the more important for you to carefully analyze your budget.
- Your Relationships
Having connections is vital in off-campus searches, whether it’s with someone you know who is a student on the same university as you are or with a stranger you just met in the building. They can provide first-hand accounts of what it’s like to live in the apartment you’re considering by asking around. You’ll also benefit from getting to know the tenant if you:
- Familiarize yourself with the rules of your residence.
- Get a sense of the landlord’s personality.
- Become acquainted with the structure, and
- Learn the ins and outs of leasing.
If they’re just as new as you are, however, having them as roommates is an option. This manner, you may split the rent and other expenditures amongst yourselves, easing the burden at the very least.
- Your State of Mind
Aside from generating good first impressions and wishing to live the college life you’ve imagined, consider this: can you bear the stress of living alone? There are no parents to hold your hand or family members to assist you around the house; it’s just you and your roommates.
There’s also the issue of off-campus hunting to consider before you consider how upsetting it can be for others. Remember that you aren’t the only one who wants to reside in the apartment on your list. There are a lot of students in your situation, so it can get competitive, especially as the start of the school year approaches.
Then, once you’ve moved in, you’ve still had a lot on your plate, including:
## Making concessions to your roommates
- Maintaining a work-study balance (if applicable)
Being a college student will provide you with a slew of issues, but you may think of it as a warm-up for adulthood. And living on your own is the ideal illustration of maturity since, despite the difficulties, obtaining a degree while developing strong relationships will be well worth it in the end.
Why Do Students Prefer Off-Campus Housing over On-Campus Housing?
If you’re a first-year student, you might be wondering why so many students live off-campus since there’s already a college residence. As a result, you must be conflicted about which to choose. Here are some of the reasons why students want to live off-campus:
- Achieve Freedom
Because their students live on campus, colleges have every motive to be tough, and living and studying are two concepts that may merge together. It’s easy to say that finding time for yourself is difficult, what with emergency drills and resident advisers (RA) randomly checking each room. That’s not even taking into account any curfews that may exist on your school.
Being off-campus, on the other hand, emphasizes the distinction between your time as a student and your time as a person outside of school. Play video games with your roommates, go out with your buddies at midnight — all of the exciting stuff you’ve seen in coming-of-age movies can become a reality!
- Promote accountability
This level of liberty entails much more responsibility. Sure, you’re free to do whatever you want without being watched, but it’s important to remember your limitations, especially since you’re a student. So, show your parents that you’re capable of living on your own.
Furthermore, when you have your own area, you must be responsible. You are responsible for your own home because you do not have an adult to oversee you. On top of being a student, you have to take out the trash, do the dishes, and take care of the laundry. So how to manage your time is something else to keep in mind.
If you live with roommates, following through on what you’ve discussed and agreed upon will ensure a positive relationship in the long run. Even if you can comply with it, it doesn’t mean you should take on tasks left and right when your roommates decide to dump their unfinished chores in your lap.
When dealing with them, maturity is required. Because these folks weren’t allocated to you in the first place, you’ll need to establish certain ground rules, including:
- Separating groceries
- Taking on more responsibilities, and
- Renting together
These people you live with may be taking advantage of your accommodating nature by repeatedly disregarding these boundaries. So, keep your boundaries in mind and be the bigger person. Since you’ll be accountable for your own well-being from now on, you should stick to your guns. Allow no one to bring you down.
What are the chances? Your parents may be overjoyed to see you holding your own, relieved that their child is no longer a youngster.
- Adopt a frugal mindset
Living off-campus necessitates being frugal with your money. Although the price is comparable to that of a college dorm, living on your own is more difficult—especially if you’re a working student. Living off-campus means you’ll have to budget for rent—and bills, depending on your landlord—rather than just paying tuition, which includes rent.
Learning to budget while in college is another stepping stone to adulthood, despite the fact that it is quite difficult. You’ll learn how to manage money more effectively while also recognizing when to treat yourself well.
- Value your privacy.
While the college assigns you roommates to share a bedroom, living off-campus gives you the peace you need after a hard day at school. Although you may still have roommates, some flats have enough space for one student per room.
If this is the case, you now have a home to call your own. When you’re alone, you can decorate it whatever you want and do whatever you want. When there is a dedicated space for everyone, no roommate will interrupt your well-deserved rest.
Make Your House Your Own
College offers a storehouse of knowledge for non-academics in addition to learning how to be a professional from the subject you picked. And it’s easy to understand why while you’re living alone and far away from home. Although it may appear daunting at first, once you’ve settled into off-campus accommodation, you’ll discover that life isn’t so bad.