As you start planning your college life, you get overwhelmed with various thoughts. On one side while you are nervous about which place to study and what disciple to choose, on the other you are worried about the options of living. Which living options to choose during college that is, on campus or off campus, is one of the most bothering thoughts for students before starting college. Both options have their own advantages and disadvantages, and the best choice is always the student’s personal and individual preferences, requirements, and circumstances.
What is On-Campus Living?
Mostly, colleges and universities have residential facilities for students to make their college or university life easy and convenient. When students live on their college or university campus during their studies it is called on-campus living. Usually, these facilities are equipped with all the necessary amenities needed to make the stay of the students comfortable.
Advantages and Disadvantages
Living on campus has its own benefits. If you opt for the campus, it will be more convenient for you, as you will then have easy access to campus resources, facilities, and events. The campus environments are livelier and more social. Students on campuses have the opportunity to interact face-to-face with their peers and make new friends. Moreover, campus life can be more affordable, as many colleges and universities offer housing and meal plans at very subsidized rates for on-campus residents.
However, living on campus has many disadvantages too. You may not get the privacy you seek in on-campus living. You may have to share a room or a suite with more than one roommate. Campus living options may also be less flexible, as there may be strict rules to follow for students. There are constraints related to guests, noise, personal celebrations, and other activities. Also, many times living on campus becomes more expensive if the stay stretches for a long time. Many times students are asked to pay extra fees for facilities and services, like cable TV, WiFi, internet connection, laundry, and many times even for food.
What is Off-Campus Living?
When students during their studies decide to live outside the campus, that is, in a rented accommodation like an apartment, house, or dormitory, it is called off-campus living. Many students do not like to live within boundaries, so they choose to outside the college or university boundaries and live outside the campus.
Advantages and Disadvantages
Contrary to on-campus living, off-campus living offers more flexibility and freedom. You will feel more independent when you live on your own. If you opt for off-campus living during your college days, you will have to look for and choose your own house, apartment, or dormitory. You will have more control over yourself, your surroundings, and your living arrangements.
In off-campus living, you also have the liberty to choose your own roommates or room partner. Moreover, you will also have the freedom to plan your own daily, weekly, and monthly schedules, do your own activities, and engage in activities that are not available inside the campus. And above all, you will also have more privacy and space. Also, many times living off campus is more affordable, as there is a chance of finding cheaper rented accommodation and utilities. You may also save money on food, transportation, and other costs.
But, living outside campus or off campus has its own drawbacks. It may be less convenient due to several reasons depending on where you found your accommodation. You may have to travel a lot to reach the college campus for classes and may even have to rely on public transportation for the commute between colleges and the place of stay. If you own a vehicle, you will have to drive along busy roads to reach the college campus on time.
Moreover, since you will be staying away from campus, it may be less social for you. You will meet your peers only during your campus time. You may find it difficult to connect or interact with your peers and participate in campus events. Also, living outside campus may be riskier too, as you may have to deal with safety and security issues like crime, vandalism, theft, intrusion, and natural disasters. You will also have to manage all your things like purchasing your provisions, laundry, cleanliness, food, utilities, and other necessities.
From the above details, one can conclude that whether you choose to live on-campus or off-campus, both are possible options for you as a college student. You will need to find out what is more convenient for you. Both options have their advantages and disadvantages, so it all depends on what suits an individual student’s personal needs, circumstances, and preferences. If you are going to start your college life and are in the process of deciding which option to choose, sit in one place and consider the advantages and disadvantages of each option. Talk to family members, talk to people who stayed on the college campus and outside campus to understand what it is in the true sense.
Do not rush into any decision because ultimately you will have to suffer if things are not in your favor or are not convenient for you. If you like to live with fixed routines and can follow them religiously, on-campus living may be your choice. On the other hand, if you like freedom and want to live on your own terms, off-campus living should be your choice. However, do take note of other aspects as well. The points discussed above may help you to understand the difference better. Whatever decision you make, should be an informed one, based on your own priorities, preferences, and goals.