Before you head off to college or university, there are a few decisions. The first thing is always choosing which one to consider and where it is located. Is it in Manchester, London, Leicester, or somewhere else? After choosing where to study, one of the biggest things to consider is whether you will live on- or off-campus.
We have compiled a list of the pros and cons of living on and off campus. Of course, you might have some pros or cons of your own, but this article will help you figure out if campus living is right for you or not.
Living On and Off-Campus: Advantages, Disadvantages, Guide
Advantages of Living Off-Campus
Off-campus living can be less expensive than on-campus accommodation. You are likely to enjoy more independence, liberty, privacy, and space. Private flats are often quieter and have fewer interruptions, making them ideal for studying. But finding a place can be hard.
Let us take Leicester, for example. Leicester is one of the best cities to study in. That is why finding suitable accommodation can be quite troublesome. However, a few organizations like Studentbeehive provide accommodation for students residing in Leicester.
It will be easier for you and your roommates to keep an eye on each other, and your neighbors will not be nearby. You and your housemates will have greater privacy as a result of this.
If you are lucky, you will be moving into a home, which means you will have a lot more space to work with. Even better, you will be able to enjoy your own private space! Porches and patios are commonplace in certain homes. So take advantage of the milder weather throughout the academy year by lounging in the sun with your fellow students.
You will be able to choose from a wide variety of apartments. A larger home with more storage and a separate bedroom is a better option than a small apartment. Off-campus apartments provide you with additional alternatives for the number of rooms you have.
If you want to have your privacy, you have the option of not having a roommate. Instead of being given a roommate, you can pick who lives with you.
One of the best things about living off-campus, especially for international students, is the fact that they can strengthen their skills.
Dorm life has its own laws and regulations, so it is important to familiarize yourself with them. If you reside off-campus, you will not follow these rules. Living off-campus can be the best option for you if you want to be more independent and live sustainably.
Suppose you are thinking about going to Leicester. In that case, you can purchase bus tickets that allow unrestricted travel on participating operators’ services across the city, which will save you some money.
Disadvantages of Living Off Campus
Here are some of the disadvantages as well.
You will not get the whole university experience if you live off-campus. If you do not live near campus, you can feel isolated from the rest of society since everyone else is there every day. Making new acquaintances and participating in social activities can be more difficult.
Choosing the proper living place can be expensive, especially if you consider studying in Leicester. When you live on your own, you are responsible for all household expenses, including utilities, cable, and phone. You will also have to furnish your new home.
Because your home is not campus, taking classes will require a lengthier walk. A disadvantage is that you will have to leave earlier in the morning, which might be annoying.
You will have to drive to the institution if you live away from campus. You will have to pay for petrol or transportation, and you may have to live a long distance from the university. This reduces your time for socializing and studying.
The sense of belonging you get from living on campus is one of the best things about it. You and your buddies are often only a few steps away. However, off-campus housing is spread out, so many of your classmates will be far away. ‘Many of your pals will no longer be able to come within a reasonable distance of you.
You will be expected to take on more adult duties than you have in the past. All of these things add up to an increased level of responsibility that you may not be adapt to.
No Study Place
Home study is a possibility, but it can rapidly become tedious. Unfortunately, you will not be able to use the library’s study lounge. The distance can discourage you from doing so.
Advantages of Living On Campus
On-campus housing might help smooth the transition into student life. If you live on campus, you will have a lot more opportunities to participate in university activities, meet new people, and form new connections. Additionally, students who choose to live on campus benefit from a distinctive way of life.
Meeting New People
Encountering a huge gathering of like-minded individuals is uplifting. When the going gets rough, your roommates and neighbors pull together intuitively to make you feel like you have got many people watching out for you. It is simpler to adjust to a new circumstance when you have a support team.
On campus, it is unusual that you will be traveling alone. Students can roam the grounds anytime, or an escort can be summoned with only a phone call. Every institution has an emergency box on campus, and campus police are constantly nearby.
Access to Gym and Library
If you like, you can go to the gym as late as 10:00 p.m. Additionally, libraries make it simple to organize late-night study sessions for major exams. Finally, if you have a roommate who is not on the same schedule as you, there are quiet floors where you can concentrate on your studies.
You can get some more sleep because of your class schedule and the closeness of your classroom. The stress of finding a parking spot and making it to class on time is no longer an issue.
Living on campus can provide you with the opportunity even if you do not have time for breakfast. And if you have a day that is not very busy, you can dash to your dorm and take a little sleep.
On-campus clinics are accessible for emergencies, and many of them are open until the wee hours of the night.
The dining hall, the library, and the computer laboratories are within a few minutes walk of your dorm room if you reside on campus. You do not have to get up at the crack of dawn to make it to class. Walking everywhere is also good exercise.
The dorm costs money, but you can save money on public transit and parking by staying there instead of driving everywhere you go. Some dormitories provide meals, so you will not have to spend money on food.
Disadvantages of Living On Campus
Here are some of the disadvantages as well.
Room and board in a dorm might be more expensive than an off-campus apartment, even after subtracting the cost of food.
For the most part, dorm rooms and even the restrooms are shared by many residents. As a result, maintaining a sense of solitude in a dorm room can be a challenge.
Many dorm rooms are tiny, so you will not have much space for storing things. Since you will have to share, your living quarters will be even more cramped. That means you must think carefully about what to bring with you.
Living on campus might be fantastic for your social life, but it can also make it difficult to focus on your studies. If you cannot keep yourself from going out and having fun instead of studying, your result might get affected.
You may find it awkward to share a room with someone you have just met since not all roommates are compatible. All first-year students live in the same dormitory. You can find yourself in an unexpected predicament due to the limited quantity of rooms.
Depending on your schedule, you may prefer to use a restroom or shower. But common restrooms can sometimes be occupied by others. Also, you will have to clean the bigger, multi-purpose bathrooms in some circumstances.
A College Student’s Guide For Life Off-Campus
As you enter another stage in your pursuit of higher education, you’ll soon face a crucial decision. Are you going to continue living on-campus in the school you’re enrolled in, or are you planning to live off-campus? If you’re choosing the latter, this article will guide you in living away from your university.
There are many things you need to consider while transitioning to off-campus living. It might seem daunting to select the best apartment, adjust to a new environment, and meet new people, but they’re all part of this journey. As you become more independent in navigating through life, you’ll learn essential lessons along the way.
When everything becomes too overwhelming for you, stay calm and refer to the guide below:
Finding A Place To Stay
It can be exciting to think about living off-campus. Who wouldn’t get excited about gaining more freedom and having more opportunities to meet various people, right?
Living in the neighborhood of your choice and finding an apartment that works for your lifestyle are two of the perks of living off-campus. Finally, you’ll be independent and need to make decisions yourself.
Set A Budget
The cost of living off-campus is either overestimated or underestimated by many college students. Setting up a budget is crucial in selecting a place to live.
You should find out how much you can afford by keeping track of your total earnings. In addition to your earnings from your job, you may also factor in financial assistance from your parents or scholarship funds.
And then, of course, you have to estimate your expected expenses. When considering living off-campus, you need to factor in the following costs:
A large part of your budget will be set aside for your rent. Can you allot a certain percentage of your income to paying for your apartment rent?
However, you should also make sure to put aside part of your monthly budget for expenses other than your rental fees. Rent won’t be the only expense you have to worry about. Simply put, don’t stay in an apartment where you can’t afford to pay the monthly rental dues.
There may be a security deposit required in certain apartments. This will vary between each apartment depending on the living condition it provides, but it’s better to prepare money for this to avoid any possible challenges.
You might have to pay a deposit equal to an entire month’s rent. Before signing any contract, ask the landlord about this so you can set aside an amount for security deposits.
The utility expense may be included in your monthly rent. On the flip side, there are also living arrangements where you’ll have to pay the utilities separately. Make sure you ask this question when you’re considering an apartment.
If you’re interested in finding out how much you can expect to spend on utilities, you’ll have to research. Don’t forget to include them in your calculations.
For example, you’ll need to use the internet, water, gas, electricity, and other essential utilities to live comfortably enough and focus on your studies.
This expense is another crucial consideration for students who drive their own cars. Look for available parking spots in the apartment you’re thinking of renting or somewhere close to your place of residence. Don’t forget to clarify this when hunting for apartments.
If you don’t have a car, ask around for the most convenient way to go around town. Ensure that the location comes with easy access to different modes of transportation.
The great thing about on-campus living is that residential quarters usually offer meal coupons. You won’t have to worry about cooking meals because these will already be provided daily. However, when you live alone, preparing meals becomes your responsibility.
Therefore, it’s wise to look around your apartment’s neighborhood and check if there are nearby grocery and convenience stores. This is important to consider so you can buy food easily and save money.
Evaluate The Features Of The Apartment You’re Considering
If you already have a budget in mind, you can now proceed to evaluate the features of the apartment you’re selecting. When you do, the rental fees aren’t the only important thing that plays a part in your decision-making process.
Inspecting the apartment in advance before signing any documents is essential to ensure that everything functions as it should.
Check the light and plumbing fixtures and the water heaters and plumbing. If there are appliances, make sure they’re in good condition so you won’t be charged later if they’re broken. Also, be sure about the safety of your place before moving in. There’s nothing worse than moving into an apartment only to find out that it needs major repairs.
The following are a few other features of an apartment that you need to evaluate:
You can still find apartments with good amenities even if you’re on a budget. For instance, even as you stick with the budget that you set, you can still find apartments that come with air-conditioning. Your apartment might even include a pool or gym that you can enjoy during the weekends.
As mentioned, it’s vital to consider the location of your apartment and check if there are accessible modes of public transportation. Compute how long it would take to travel to your school or workplace if you walk, ride a bike, or take the bus or train.
When you know the travel duration and distance, you can compute how much time you have to set aside for transportation expenses later. Your commuting time can significantly affect how you manage college and work efficiently.
It’s unnecessary to have the most prominent apartment to live in when you’re a student; you’ll probably be spending more time at school anyway.
However, you must have enough space for you to be comfortable where you live in. Also, ensure you aren’t paying too much for a smaller apartment. Be familiar with the average pricing of different apartments in various sizes.
Be sure to read the fine print of any contract before you move into the apartment you’re considering. The rent amount, payment method, lease length, and any restrictions should be specified in your apartment lease. Preferably, it should also be renewable every year.
Take note of all the terms and conditions, and feel free to verify details if you’re unsure. Most importantly, try to follow the agreement on the contract, as disobeying them might lead to expulsion or expensive penalties.
Types Of Off-Campus Living
Off-campus living refers to staying in any living quarters outside the campus. You can categorize these into two types:
Pre-Owned Property Accommodations
Your parents or relatives usually own the second home in which you stay. And if you’re not staying with a relative, the property might still be owned by someone you know. Like any other apartment arrangement, the landlord calls the shots. Residents must follow restrictions and may or may not pay a monthly fee, depending on their agreement with the property owner.
Usually, there are only a few of this type of accommodation. If you do find one, you’re fortunate. Consider its advantages and disadvantages below:
You can enjoy almost all of the benefits of having your own home without paying monthly rent. Many students find this to be beneficial since they already have a lot of other expenses to consider.
There might be a problem with the restrictions with pre-owned property for some students.
The property owner sets all the rules, so it could either be too strict or lenient, depending on your luck or relationship with the landlord. And because this type of accommodation is rare, it’s usually only enjoyed by students who know people with properties close to universities.
Independently Leased/Rented Accommodation
Students staying in these accommodations aren’t living in university-owned housing or on a family member’s property. In addition to students, visitors like tourists and other professionals also use these facilities. If you’re looking to rent off-campus accommodation, you could choose this option. Check out its perks and downsides below:
Students who stay in this type of accommodation benefit from the freedom they have. You can choose a studio apartment layout, change the decoration, invite friends over, and use all the facilities.
There won’t be formal restrictions from your university or parents, as third-party property owners are independently operating them. A student will also better experience an independent lifestyle, where they must manage their own time and money.
As far as accommodations go, this is the most expensive option. You’ll be taking care of rental expenses, utilities, and essentials like food and transportation costs. The contract term for this accommodation is usually locked for one year.
While there may be periods when you don’t use the apartment or flat for several days, such as during the summer or holidays, you’re usually expected to pay for the entire 12 months.
Living off-campus has more responsibilities, but you also have more freedom. Hopefully, the above guide has provided you with insights into selecting a suitable apartment, crucial factors to consider, and different options for off-campus living.
Now that you know the advantages and disadvantages of living on and off-campus, it is time to make your choice. Go with your instincts, and do not second-guess yourself, if possible. It is a significant choice, but you will get the best university experience you have always wanted if you are prepared. Best of Luck!