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The Pros and Cons of Living Off Campus

By Ryan Ellis
On February 19, 2017

Photo by: Ashley Alonzo

If you just turned 21 or are finally of senior status, the question becomes, how do you want to spend the last few semesters of your college career? Do you want to spend the money to live on campus and feel connected all the way through to the end, or do you want to save a few bucks and have more freedom?

Here are a few pros and cons to think about when making the important decision of where to store your body at night after a long evening of part--… studying.

Pros

  • You are going to save a lot of money. Bennett Hall costs around $2,000 a semester, in addition to the $2,000+ meal plan cost. Living at home with parents or renting a home with a roommate will be a less expensive alternative.
  • You will never have to eat cafeteria food again.
  • Driving to school is a great way to wake up. Listening to podcasts or to your favorite music can get your cognitive skills active before you even get to class!
  • You are able to create a liquor shelf that even the most experienced bartender would be proud of.
  • Remember those fire alarms at 3 a.m. caused by someone over-cooking toaster strudel? Yeah, that doesn’t happen as much once you stop living in dorms. Say goodbye to freezing your buns off in the Brown Hall parking lot.
  • Health and safety checks are now a thing of the past. You are now free to be as filthy and unsafe as you like (you should still try to be as safe as you can, though).
  • Your best friend (of opposite gender) can be your roommate! Finally!
  • Once you live off campus, you have finally made the switch to adulthood. This will be the closest to being independent that you will ever be while still being young. You are now responsible for your own survival. Don’t die.

Cons

  • Remember when you had to find a parking spot on Sunday night or Monday morning? Remember how difficult that was? Yeah, that is your life now.
  • Depending on how far you live from campus, that drive can gradually get more tedious. A 45-minute drive to Ottawa from Kansas City becomes a chore the more you do it.
  • Trying to stay awake during the drive to class after an all-nighter. Yeah, this happens, but it is vital that you are aware of your emotional and physical state.
  • When you forget to bring your lunch on a Monday/Wednesday/Friday, the worst possible personality traits will emerge from you. The “hangry” you is a real jerk, don’t deny it.
  • Get used to the constant back pain from napping on some of the hardest surfaces on campus. It could be the bench in the Meditation Chapel, the driver’s seat of your car or even in a study room in the library, it all hurts.
  • Even though living off campus will save you money, that doesn’t mean that it’s completely free. Rent is now a thing that you have to worry about. Try to find a roommate to split the costs in half.
  • Grocery shopping. Enough said. Remember when we thought that food was free? Yeah, those days are over.
  • Roommates. Whether it is your best friend, your boyfriend or girlfriend, you will have disputes. You love ‘em, you hate ‘em and you kinda want to kill ‘em. 

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