Colleges often require freshmen to spend a year in the dorms. Should you stay in the dorms longer, or move to off-campus housing? The following describes the most important benefits of off-campus housing, and could help convince your parents to help.
Benefit #1 of Off-Campus Housing – Increased Privacy
Your dorm room-mate lives in the same room, making it awkward to entertain your girlfriend/boyfriend, sorority sisters/fraternity brothers, etc. If your dorm room-mate has a guest, he may ask you to stay out for several hours. Off-campus housing will have your own room, plus your share of a living room, kitchen, etc.
Benefit #2 of Off-Campus Housing – More Space
On-campus you have half a dorm-room, leaving most of your stuff at your parents’ house. Off-campus housing provides your own room, plus shared storage (e.g. garage, shed, coat closet, etc.). Moving most of your stuff from your parents’ place to your off-campus place means more convenience for you and less clutter for them.
Benefit #3 of Off-Campus Housing – Fewer Distractions
When you live in the dorms, other residents will drag you to a party, pick-up game, movie, etc. You may be reluctant to beg off for that set of calculus problems or the upcoming Impressionist Art final. Off-campus housing will be away from most non-academic activities allowing you to concentrate on getting good grades.
Benefit #4 of Off-Campus Housing – More Hiking and Biking
Off-campus housing requires commuting to campus and back, adding hiking and/or biking to your daily routine beyond what you get living in the dorms.
Benefit #5 of Off-Campus Housing – Healthier Eating
Face it. Eating 3 times a day, 7 days a week at the campus cafeteria or student center fast-food joints is unhealthy. You’ve heard of the dreaded “freshman fifteen” and may have experienced it first-hand. Living off-campus could help avoid adding a “sophomore fifteen” by buying your own groceries and eating better.
Benefit #6 of Off-Campus Housing – Summer and Winter Access to Campus
Most colleges kick you out of the dorms between semesters. Off-campus housing lets you stay near campus all year, providing access between semesters to school libraries, gym, and even that summer research assistantship. You can still visit home, but living off-campus lets you stay as much (or as little) as works for everyone.
Benefit #7 of Off-Campus Housing – Transition to Living on Your Own
Once you graduate you’ll probably live on your own (if you get a job). Moving to off-campus housing with room-mates lets you learn how to keep on a budget with real-life expenses, clean up after yourself, etc. With room-mates you’ll have bigger messes, but also helping hands to clean up.
Benefit #8 of Off-Campus Housing – Build Up Your Credit Score
Paying rent, utilities and possibly a credit card or two on a monthly basis starts building a solid credit history, leading to cheaper loans, cheaper insurance premiums, nabbing a desirable house or apartment rental, and possibly a better job. Living off-campus and being financially responsible is your entry to all these benefits.
Bottom Line of Off-Campus Housing Benefits
There are many reasons to move from the dorms into off-campus housing as soon as possible. Discussing the above benefits with your parents may convince them to help with the costs of off-campus housing.