On-campus and off-campus student accommodations come with their pros and cons. Some university students choose to live on campus. They find it more convenient because they live close to classes and can easily walk to campus.
While it is true that on-campus life may seem more attractive to new students, off-campus life has its own perks, which is why many students choose the latter. They do so because they feel more comfortable living away from campus and in a less restricted environment.
Off-campus life gives you the chance to live on your terms and be the master of your routine. You get to enjoy more freedom living off-campus than on campus. But you have to consider many different factors before deciding to live off-campus.
Here’re some essential tips to prepare yourself for living off-campus:
Consider the Costs
How much can you afford to pay for living off-campus? That’s the most important factor you must take into account. Unfortunately, students living in any type of accommodations are likely to underestimate their expenses, but setting a budget ahead of time can help you prepare.
Rent is a major expense, but don’t forget to consider utility, grocery, transportation, cable and internet charges in rooms for rent. St Catharines fortunately has plenty of housing options with all-inclusive rent, meaning that the cost of utility, internet, cable, and other on-site facilities is built into the cost.
Consider Including Roommates
While you can choose to live in a private bedroom, one way to divide off-campus accommodation costs is to live with one or more roommates. The cost of living would go down significantly when you’re sharing the expenses.
Of course, you don’t want to keep cramming in roommates to reduce your expenses. But a few people together can help everyone stay on budget and also have some fun.
Look for Accommodation Options Near Your University
Once you’ve determined how much you need to pay for expenses and whether or not you’ll have housemates, you can start looking for accommodation options accordingly.
It’s always a good idea to look for safe off-campus accommodation facilities near your college or university. Student housing properties near campus can cut commute time and travel costs. For example, if you’re a student at Brock University, you could choose one of the nearby facilities in St. Catharines.
If you need help with house hunting, you can also contact reliable real estate agencies to point you in the right direction.
Consider Transportation Options
In case your off-campus residence isn’t within walking distance from your university, you’ll also need to consider transportation options. For some students, public transport may be the solution. But others may need their own cars or bikes.
But buying a car can be expensive. Besides the upfront cost, be sure to consider insurance, registration, maintenance, fuel, parking, and more. These expenses, along with rent and living cost, may exceed your budget, so know what you’re signing up for and whether you can afford it.
Create a Chore Chart
Living off-campus will likely mean sharing a space with others, so you won’t be able to fall behind on chores such as cleaning and grocery shopping. Also, you have a larger space to look after, such as the kitchen, bathrooms, living room, and bedroom.
Fortunately, sharing a space also means there will be more hands available to help. It’s a good idea to create a chore chart to divide the responsibilities among everyone living in the apartment. Doing so will prevent conflicts and ensure that all the chores overburden no one person.
Know Your Neighbours
Most people living next to students expect some noise and parties. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be a good neighbor.
Take some time to introduce yourself to the people living next door and give them your cell phone number in case they ever need to contact you. Putting the right foot forward will help you build a good repertoire with your neighbours.