As a student, the decision to live on campus or off campus presents various advantages and disadvantages that make deciding what to do difficult.
By the time sophomore year approaches, many students find themselves in the position to decide which route works best for them. Personally, at the end of my freshman year, when it was time for me to make that choice, I wanted to get as far away from campus as possible.
In my past two years at Texas Tech I have lived in an apartment off campus as well as where I currently reside in a house located in west Lubbock. Living in an apartment was a beneficial experience, but after my lease ended my roommates and I decided to try living in a house.
The most favorable aspect of living off campus has been the freedom that was automatically granted as I left the Tech housing bubble. Community advisers aren’t knocking on my door at 10:30 p.m. as “quiet hours” approach, much like there is no one keeping tabs of whom I invite in my home to wait and tell me if they are allowed to be there. Living off campus also adds a much larger sense of responsibility and true adulthood because I am the one in control of the decisions to be made in my living area.
Another benefit is the addition of space combined with the ability to have more privacy. Unlike my freshman year residence hall in Horn Hall, there isn’t a bed suspended over my desk with a tiny mini fridge wedged in the corner. I understand there is on-campus housing available that grants more space than a traditional residence hall, but the square footage granted off campus is unlimited.
When I moved, I was fully in charge of how big I wanted my home to be and how I wanted to arrange that space.
When arriving to college, the premise coming into freshman year for most people is a sense of excitement to be on your own. Yet, when living on campus, a lot of that is stripped away. Living in a house has forced me to be responsible for every individual bill to be paid on time and to maintain a nice home. In my opinion, coming to college and not experiencing the responsibility of those duties before graduating is a disservice to the student. College is meant to prepare people to be launched into the real world, and that might be a little difficult if one doesn’t know how to pay a water bill.
My personal living situation’s pros have outweighed the cons, but there are still disadvantages to living off campus. Places and resources that were once a five-minute walk away from me have become a 20-minute drive through Lubbock. Now, this depends on how far away one’s home is from campus, but normally the ability to wake up 15 minutes before class and make it on time is no longer a reality.
After all things considered and looking at every possible disadvantage, living off campus is still a more attractive situation than shuffling down a long hallway in flip-flops and a robe to use the community shower.
Overall, I would advise any student who has the ability and financial means to live off campus to do so. Living in my own house has granted me more independence, privacy, space, experience and true sense of home.