Living off-campus: not all it’s cracked up to be

By Christy Ross
December 6, 2007

This time last year I was making the decision to either stay on campus or move off. There were many different factors that needed to be considered before I finalized such a big decision.

Before this year I spent both my freshman and sophomore year living on Cabrini’s campus. Both of these years had their ups and their downs.

There were many benefits of living on campus; it’s convenient for classes, friends and even meals.

On the downside, however, rules and regulations on the campus seemed to be getting stricter as the school year continued and

— bonus — the food is awful!

Examining both the good and the bad, I was faced with a difficult question: Do I want convenience or more freedom?

By the end of my sophomore year I felt as if my freedom on campus was completely gone. I had more freedom and fewer rules at home than I did at my own college.

Needless to say, I chose to live off campus my junior year.

I no longer had to be signed in to my boyfriend’s apartment after 10 p.m. or check in with a public safety officer when I pulled on to my own campus.

Safety aside, I was beginning to feel like a child. My parents are paying thousands of dollars to send me to a school with stricter rules for me than they have.

It isn’t all fun and games living off campus. Living off campus is a huge change of pace from living on campus.

For one, you never realize how much air conditioning, that light you left on, or third shower you took in one day actually costs. I now see why my parents were always yelling at me to turn off the lights when I left a room.

When living on campus I never considered how much those utilities cost until I got my first month’s rent and utility bill. I figured dividing a bill among four girls wouldn’t be so bad, but in the end it really burns a giant hole in your bank account.

As if utilities aren’t a big enough expense, groceries are another concern. Finding something to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner is no longer as simple as walking over to the cafeteria.

My parents pay my rent but the rest is entirely up to me. I work as a bartender and that helps tremendously with all my expenses.

Location is important when deciding to live off campus. I moved into Kingswood Apartments in King of Prussia. The drive is less than five minutes, which makes getting to my classes very convenient. Gas prices are expensive. Luckily for the close distance between school and my apartment that really isn’t an issue.

I’m glad I decided to move off campus. It makes me more responsible with my money and also allows me to feel more like an adult. I don’t regret moving off. I would recommend it to anyone who is thinking about it.

Unless your parents are paying for rent, utilities and all the other expenses that come along with moving off campus I suggest having a good job to help you out. Some people see it as a cheaper decision to live off campus. I personally do not. I feel that I am putting out the same amount of money, if not more, than when I lived on campus.

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Christy Ross

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