The perks and pains of on and off campus living

By Natalie Crawford
September 8, 2010

College is an opportunity where students can branch off on their own and experience things they never could if they were still living at home. Students learn how to take care of themselves and handle their own responsibilities without even the thought of parents doing it for you. This process of learning comes mostly from living in the on campus dorms.

Move-in day can be one of the most exciting days of your life, but it can also be the most nerve wracking. People are moving in from all over the country and are forced to live in dorms with people they have never met before. This may sound like a cruel thing to do to teenagers, but this is the way you build the strongest of relationships with friends you will have for a lifetime.

Having friends that you live with and having friends that you don’t live with can result in two different kinds of relationships. Some people may say that you become way closer with your college friends than you do with your hometown friends just because you are living together.

There is a flipside to this. You could also ruin a friendship by becoming roommates. All of the excitement and drama comes from the experience of living on campus.

However, it is not for everyone. There are certain rules and regulations that you have to obey to be given the privilege to live in the dorms.

After living a certain amount of semesters on campus and depending on what year you are, students may feel the need to live off campus with close friends and have their own freedom.

“I enjoy the freedom. I like living in a neighborhood and not have to worry about paying for parking on campus.” “I like to have people over whenever I want without any restrictions,” Jimmy Feuda, senior marketing major, said.

Feuda makes the commute everyday from Manayunk, Pa. He has never lived on Cabrini’s campus before but the thought has crossed his mind.

“I considered living on campus but I liked living with the friends I’ve grown up with. Those are the friends that encouraged me to go back to school in the first place. Without them I would not be at Cabrini,” Feuda said.

It seems as though some students get a taste of everything. They get a feel for what it is like to live on campus and follow the school’s policies. Most of the student body at Cabrini has thought about the idea of living off campus at one point or another. The ones that truly did not want to live on campus anymore acted upon it.

“I decided to live off campus because my main groups of girlfriends were planning on moving off campus and I didn’t want to be stuck with a random roommate,” Lauren Karaszkiewicz, senior marketing major, said.

Cabrini students have stated that some of the main reasons they decided to live off campus were due to the fact that it saved them thousands of dollars. Other reasons included not wanting to deal with public safety and the restrictions about having guests over. They wanted their own house to have their own freedom.

“I love the freedom of not having to worry about public safety and visitation policies at night time. I’m saving money by living off campus. Rent is half the price of living on campus. I’m saving about $6,000,” Karaszkiewicz said.

“I love living off campus. It’s cheaper and less stressful. I recommend it to people that are considering it,” Lisa Somers, senior social work major, said.

There are two different types of commuters. There are the ones that go straight home after class and the ones that stay on campus after their day is done. The students that stay are the ones taking advantage of what Cabrini has to offer.

Just because there are students that don’t live on campus doesn’t mean they aren’t able to get involved in on campus activities. There are tons of clubs you can join and organizations supporting different causes. There are so many athletes at Cabrini that live off campus. It shows that it’s not stopping them from staying involved.

Just one of the things included in your tuition at Cabrini is the Dixon Center. The Dixon Center has an indoor swimming pool, full basketball court which you can also play volleyball and indoor soccer in, along with a weight room with treadmills and ellipticals.

“When I have gaps in between classes I like to do extra-curricular activities like go the gym and play basketball with the guys,” Feuda said.

Although there are many advantages about living off campus, just like anything else there are some disadvantages. If you don’t live near the campus, one thing to worry about is the commute.

“It can be a hassle depending on what time classes start. When I have 8:15 a.m. and 9:40 a.m. classes I have to leave home an hour early so I don’t run into rush hour traffic, which would make me late for class,” Feuda said.

Jimmy Feuda lives about 20-30 minutes away from Cabrini. Lauren Karaszkiewicz lives right down the street from Cabrini. In fact it is so close she could walk to the campus.

“I live right down the street from school that if I had to walk to class it would be no problem. If it was further I would not enjoy living off campus as much,” Karaszkiewicz said.

It’s not just the commute that could be a downfall about living off campus. Some may feel that they are loosing the college experience of being a part of the living community on campus. Students that have lived on campus and then moved off would understand that feeling.

“I miss the social aspect at Cabrini. I miss going next door and hanging out with friends at any hour of the day,” Valerie Saar, social work major, said.

“I miss the atmosphere and hanging out with different people. When you live off campus it gets harder to see everyone,” Lauren Karaszkiewicz, said.

No matter what decisions students decided to make in college, they are most likely for the right reasons. The students that lived on campus and then move off do at some points miss living at Cabrini, but at the end of the day they love having their own place to share with their friends. There are some of course that probably regret it but those are major decisions people have to face. By even experiencing college as a whole you are opening your world to new experiences and people you probably wouldn’t have had or known if you decided not to go away to college.

“College is a once in a lifetime opportunity to live so closely to so many different people including your friends,” Karaszkiewicz said.

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Natalie Crawford

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