Living on campus is often the default when you start college — but most students quickly realize that it’s far from ideal. Typically, staying in a dorm means sharing a small room with a stranger (and other areas of your housing with a large number of students), adhering to strict rules, and being stuck with a meal plan. If you’re wondering whether you should move off campus, the answer is probably yes for a few main reasons.
1. Save Money
Even though you don’t receive much more than a simple room when you live on campus, dorms tend to be much more expensive than renting your own apartment. This is because you’re paying extra to be close to your classes and to receive meals. As a result, though, more of your budget goes to housing and less to enjoying student life. You can find housing to fit virtually any budget when you live off campus. To spend as little as possible, find an apartment where utilities are included and that has many bedrooms to split costs with a large number of roommates.
2. Choose Your Neighbourhood
Proximity to classes does have its advantages, particularly if you’re taking many morning classes. However, there’s often no need to live on campus — you’ll find it’s just as convenient to be a short commute away. The added advantage is that you are able to choose from a variety of neighbourhoods to find somewhere safe and close to the kinds of services you want, whether that’s grocery stores, restaurants, nightlife, or your part-time job.
3. More Freedom
You likely started college with ideas about how much freedom and independence you would have, only to find out that living on campus can often resemble being at your parents’ house. There are many rules to follow, including periods of quiet during the lead-up to exams and perhaps even a curfew. There are far fewer rules when you live off campus — you just need to be respectful of your neighbours and keep the apartment in good condition to avoid losing your security deposit.
4. Great Amenities
College dorms are scarce in terms of amenities. For instance, you usually don’t have more than a mini fridge and a microwave. In off-campus housing, a full-size kitchen is standard. Plus, you’ll share a bathroom with far fewer people. Some buildings even have extra perks, including a gym, study areas, and lounges where you can meet other residents.
5. The Option to Have a Car
It can be difficult to have your own car when you live on campus. Often, there are no reserved spaces, which is a big problem when there’s insufficient parking for everyone. When you live off campus, you may be able to request a space on site or at least find parking nearby.
6. Privacy and Personal Space
Many students find making the adjustment to being around other people almost all the time quite exhausting. Plus, your personal space is extremely limited. Moving off campus will allow you to maintain an active social life, but you can also spend time alone whenever you choose.
7. Stay Over the Summer
It may be more convenient to continue living in your college town over the summer, such as if you want to take summer classes, continue working, or find an internship nearby. You’ll likely need to find off-campus housing if you want to do any of these things, as dorms tend to shut for the summer. In fact, even if you want to spend all or some of your summer at your parents’ home, it will be more comfortable to leave most of your belongings behind to avoid another big move in the fall.
You can find Niagara College student housing at Foundry Lofts. Receive your own bedroom in a spacious suite equipped with stainless steel appliances. In addition, you’ll have access to exclusive amenities, including fitness facilities, a games room, and a movie theatre. Sign a lease now to take advantage of the lowest rates of the year.