Living on campus certainly has its perks: the ability to roll out of bed and make it to class within five minutes of waking up, the endless food options that your school’s dining halls have to offer, and of course, the fact that you don’t have to fight for parking 10 minutes before your class starts. Still, there’s a certain point when people just feel ready to move off campus — away from the dorms, away from the shared rooms, and into a place of their own.
Here are a few signs that you might be ready to say goodbye to the dorms:
You’re Over Having a Roommate
Most dorm setups typically require at least two people to share a single room. If you’ve never shared a room with a sibling before, it can be quite an adjustment trying to get used to being in such close proximity to someone nearly 24/7. Sure, you may have different class schedules, but chances are that you’re going to be spending a lot of time with them whether you like it or not.
When you find yourself needing more privacy or waiting until the last possible minute to go into your dorm room to avoid hanging out with your roommate, it might be time for you to look at some off-campus housing options. Living in the dorms may be convenient for getting to class or studying at night in the library, but it’s understandable that at a certain point you may outgrow it and the conveniences it supplies.
You’re Tired of Eating on Campus
Before you moved into the dorms, you likely toured your school’s entire campus — which probably afforded you a look at all of the on-campus dining facilities. While you may have thought that eating 12 different types of cereal for breakfast and pizza every day for lunch and dinner sounded appealing before you got to college, chances are you’ll find youself pretty exhausted of it all before long. If the thought of eating yet another round of chicken nuggets and fries from the cafeteria sounds unappealing, it might be time to start looking at a place with its own kitchen.
You Would Like to Cook Your Own Meals
There’s a lot you can make with the microwave and pressure cooker your college allows you to have in your room, but after a while, you’ll realize that there are only so many ways to make ramen noodles an exciting meal.
If you like to entertain friends with more than just a tray of cheese and crackers or dream about hosting a dinner party in your own home, then it might be time to start thinking about looking for an apartment or a house off-campus where you can actually make that happen. Cooking is a skill that’s necessary for living a healthy, well-rounded life, and unfortunately, it’s just not something you’ll get to experience if you continue living on campus.
You Want to Expand Your Life Off-Campus
When you’re a freshman and you’re just starting out at school, it makes sense that your entire social world revolves around things happening on campus. But after you’ve lived there for a while, you may feel like exploring the rest of the city to see what else is going on around your school.
It’s not like you’re prohibited from leaving campus when you live in the dorms, but it can often be difficult to leave — especially if parking is scarce in the area and you don’t want to give up your space. Living in an apartment off-campus might make you feel like you have a little more freedom to come and go as you please and expand your horizons beyond your university campus.
I’m Ready for a Change, but What Do I Do Now?
Now that you’re positive you want to make a change in your living arrangement for the next school year, you need to know how to go about making it happen.
Well, first, you need to figure out if moving off campus is even in the realm of possibility for you. If you have received a scholarship that covers room and board, for instance, then your housing has already been taken care of, and it would be awfully hard to justify spending money on rent when you don’t have to. You also need to determine if living off campus would fit into your budget. Do your current wages cover everything you would need to live off campus like your rent, bills, and groceries?
Once you’ve determined that you will be able to make the move off campus, you’ll need to figure out if you will be living with roommates or living solo. Many college students choose to live with roommates when they move off campus so they can split the living costs between two or three people.
Whether you decide to live with roommates or move into an apartment on your own, just remember that apartments and houses near campus tend to fill up fast right before the end of each school year. Start looking at listings and touring homes as soon as possible!