Opinion: There are pros, cons to living off campus

Jessica Stewart, Reporter

This semester, my boyfriend and I have a house off campus, and it’s a much different experience than living in a dorm. I used to live in Thomas Hall, and I loved it. I’ve always suggested living on campus to new students, and I would still encourage underclassmen to live on campus since it provides new students with easy channels to make friends, get involved and network. However, now that I have a house, I totally recommend it for anyone deciding to live off campus. Below are just a few pros and cons I’ve recently realized from living off campus.

Pro: I have my own space that I can decorate myself with no limitations. No one can tell me to be quiet or to go to bed. No one can tell me when I can or can’t have people over or who those people can be. The freedom is amazing.

Con: There’s no meal plan. Not having a meal plan or dining dollars has honestly been rough. I’m so used to running through the food court and getting Chick-Fil-A at least once a week, but now I have to actually pay for it. I’ve accidentally tried to pay with non-existent dining dollars several times already.

Pro: I have a dog. This summer, my boyfriend and I adopted our cute little Sadie from the shelter. I’ve never had a dog before, and I always said when I got my own house I’d get my own dog. I absolutely love having her, and she definitely makes living off campus worth it. I wrote a column about her over the summer, so you can read that if you want to know more about her and how much I love her.

Con: Finding parking on campus is almost impossible. There are nowhere near enough student parking spaces around here, but if you have a staff parking pass, it’s a piece of cake. All of my classes this semester are in Coleman Hall, and the closest student lot is across the street and down the street. It’s not a terrible walk, but it sucks having to leave earlier than I usually would.

Pro: I have a fantastic house. We really made this house ours, and I love every single room. It’s a three bedroom house with a huge backyard and front and back porches. I’m thankful to have this as my first house of my own, and I’m proud of myself for being able to handle it at only 20 years old. I was a little scared when we first decided to rent the house. I was worried we wouldn’t be able to afford it along with balancing school and jobs. However, we have done very well for ourselves so far.

Pro: I think I’m honestly most excited about getting trick-or-treaters this Halloween.

The pros far outway the cons. Living on campus is great, but so is living off campus. They both have their own benefits, so you just have to decide what works best for you, and I think living off is working out nicely for me.

Jessica Stewart is a junior English major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]