When Living Off Campus Gets Real

25 Sep

To stay or not to stay on campus – that is the question.

Whether ‘tis more beneficial and fulfilling to the mind to go home

The couch and bed that calls thy name

Or stay on campus all day

And be productive and involved. To socialize, to be…

That really is the question. So maybe living on campus isn’t a possibility for you like it wasn’t for me.

Or may be it is, but it isn’t your cup of tea. Whatever the reason, you live off campus. And here is the reality of that:

1.   You work a little harder than most to get to class.

Whether you are battling traffic or walking for days, you have a new obstacle that on-campus students do not (unless you live in Arbol or Babcock—those dorms are pretty far).

fff

 Traveling is a necessary evil. Period. So just get up those few extra minutes to get to campus on time. Simple enough.

2.   You might feel out of the loop.

 Sometimes you might not have the luxury of staying on campus a little later due to transportation issues or responsibilities. This might mean you’re not as involved in clubs or that residence life experience others might have. This does not mean you can’t be part of the hype of college life – it simply means you have to modify your schedule a bit to accommodate for it.

what

The real deal is you either stay on campus forever or find those specific clubs and groups that you really want to be involved with and just stay for their meeting times. If the problem is transportation, try scheduling around meeting times. Maybe you can carpool on those days with members. The UA has some transportation options that may work for you such as SafeRide or CatTran. Where there is a will, there is a way!

3.   You’ve got 2 hours to kill in between classes, now what?

It might not be feasible to go home for your breaks if you live off campus. Maybe getting there will take you those 2 hours of break, and then coming back… it’s just not going to happen! There’s something that feels off about that, almost as if you have nowhere to go.

to

For this one, it depends on you. There are various solutions that you just have to feel for yourself. Option one: stay on campus and kill time by doing homework. Two: meet with friends and hang out. Three: explore clubs and other potential extracurricular activities. Four: EAT! (Who isn’t a fan of this one?) Five: Find a place to nap (the lounges can be good for this). There are numerous fantastic options for this one, so find the one (or combination of many) that suits you!

When living off campus, you need to take the bad with the good.

 The Good:

1.   In living off campus you have more freedom.

The restrictions of guests and noise levels aren’t present. You also have your own bathroom, kitchen, and room, which to many is AWESOME!

perks

2.   You gain more responsibility.

As a college student you slowly, but surely learn big kid responsibilities. Sometimes, living off campus provides you with a faster and more pronounced experience of those responsibilities since you have bills to care for and a home to maintain clean. The beauty about this one is you’re gaining real-world skills that’ll come in handy when you’re out of here! These opportunities, as well, build up that adult thing called “credit score”.

adult

3.   Really make it your home.

Even though on-campus living allows for decoration and personalization, it can only go so far. If you’re living off campus, you have more flexibility to decorate as you wish. Paint it up, put up those posters of Justin Beiber that maybe you’re a little embarrassed by, scent the house with some lovely candles…the possibilities are endless!

elf

Honestly, I enjoyed my time living off campus! It provided me with experiences I would not have gotten living on campus such as dealing with neighbors, transportation, having a location of my own and monthly bills of my own (woo!), etc. After 3 years of off campus living, I am on campus for the first time now and the differences are quite apparent to me.

 As you get through your first year, you will gain the sense of what’s best for you and what you like! Happy living Wildcats!

– Lucero Pesqueira

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