Signs You’re Ready To Move Off-Campus
By Ashley Paskill
As a freshman, depending on your school, you likely were forced to live in the dorms. However, once you became an upperclassman, you gained an option to either live in the dorms or move off-campus. While this decision is easy for some, others may have a tough time figuring out what they want to do. If any of the following signs apply to you, it is likely that you are ready to move off campus into an apartment.
You want to live with your friends
If you live in a dorm, you might live in a different building than your friends. However, if you live in an apartment, you can live in the same complex as your friends. A few of your friends may even be your roommates. This eliminates the possibility of you and your friends being assigned random roommates. Living in an apartment is also ideal if you want to live with a significant other. Most dorms are not coed so you have to room with those of the same gender. In an apartment, you do not have these restrictions.
You want a pet
Dorms may allow you to have small pets such as hamsters, but you may want a cat or a dog. Having an apartment, depending on your landlord, may give you the freedom to have the pet of your choice. There may be a fee and rules, but at least you will be able to have the pet you want. This is especially awesome if you had to leave a cat or dog at home since you could not bring them to your dorm. Just ensure that your landlord allows pets in your apartment.
You are tired of the high cost of living in the dorms
While living on campus gives you the convenience of being close to your classes, housing on campus tends to be more expensive than off-campus housing. Living off-campus also means that you do not have to purchase a meal plan, which helps you save money as well. While apartments have costs of their own, you also save money in other regards so it balances out in the end.
You want more independence
As hinted at before, the dorms tend to have a lot of rules. If you are tired of living by the rules of the dorms, you may want to move out. Also, moving off-campus gives you the independence to change your living space more than you could in the dorms, though there may still be some rules. When living in a dorm, you likely have an RA checking in on you regularly to make sure the rules are being followed. When you have your own apartment, there may be rules and your landlord might check in, but the rules will be more relaxed and your landlord will not check in on you as frequently as your RA does.
You are ready for more responsibility
When living in a dorm, most of the necessities related to your living is taken care of. However, you acquire these responsibilities when you move off-campus. These responsibilities can include paying rent, getting renters insurance, utilities, maintenance requests, and more. You also need to make healthy decisions like going to the gym, even when the gym is far away. If you are ready for increased responsibilities, you are ready to move off-campus. If this seems overwhelming, consider staying on campus a bit longer.
You are committed to your living arrangement
Living on campus is fairly low-commitment. You can move out at the end of the semester if you do not like your roommates or you want to change your situation. However, if you move into an apartment, you are committed to it in terms of having a lease. This makes it tougher to move. Even if you study abroad, you may still be responsible for paying rent or finding someone to sublet your apartment when you are away. This kind of situation is ideal for those who are committed and those who do not desire change every month. If this is okay with you, you are ready to live off-campus. However, if you want more flexibility, staying on campus is your best bet.
You want better amenities
If you live in a dorm, having a microwave may seem like a huge deal. When you move into an apartment, you will have your own kitchen that consists of more than just a microwave. You will also get to decide what other amenities you want when searching for an apartment, and these amenities are the same that adults get when they have an apartment.
Making the decision to move off-campus is huge and requires some thought as to whether you are ready or not. You have to weigh the pros and cons of the dorms and an apartment, but if you feel like you are ready for more responsibility and independence, living off-campus may be for you.