This year I made the leap from living in student housing here at The New School to moving into my very first apartment! I definitely enjoyed my time in the Stuyvesant Park Dorm (I was even an R.A. there this past summer), but I felt that it was time for something new. While I’m extremely happy where I’m living now and love the independence of being on my own, there are definitely some things that I miss about dorm life. A lot of students struggle after their first year with whether or not they should move off campus or continue to live in student housing a little bit longer. It’s a tough and definitely grown-up decision, so I’ve decided to give you some of my own pros and cons of living off campus based on my own experiences!
The Pros of Living Off Campus
- The Freedom: It’s great to be able to have as many friends over as I would like without signing them in! Being able to host dinner parties, or just the option to have a party for any occasion! The freedom of being able to choose whom I live with is great as well. Although there is some roommate choice when you dorm, you just get unlimited choice when you do the off campus option.
- It’s Quieter: Not being woken up by random fire alarms or jazz students playing their instruments is definitely a plus. But I’ve come to realize that we do live in New York City, and it’s going to be rare to find any place that is going to be completely quiet, so I’ll take what I can get it!
- Cooking: For some this may or may not be a huge factor, but for me being able to use an oven and other appliances is something that I was missing! I never had an oven while at the dorm and now I can bake – cooking in general is just a bit more enjoyable.
- It’s an Adventure: Okay so not literally some sort of odyssey or journey, but it is fun to explore different parts of the city and live in other boroughs besides Manhattan. I’ve been having a blast getting to know mine! Finding and then landing said apartment is a trying experience in itself, but we’ll save that for another post.
The Cons of Living off Campus
- Dorm Life: Sure you can have your friends over whenever you want and you’ll have your roommates, but there’s something really nice about being in the dorm and having the option to hang out in the lounge and seeing a familiar face or even meeting someone new. R.A.’s are always planning and even spontaneously putting on get togethers which a lot of the time include free food, friends and a good time, what more can you ask for?
- Commuting: I definitely miss the days when the super crowded L-train was not a part of my daily commute, or when it would take me a mere 10-15 minutes to walk home from class. Because of the longer commute I tend to find myself at school a lot more than I did before. But this may be somewhat of a good thing as well because I’m not so tempted to take those mid-day naps!
- Amenities: Generally speaking there are more facilities and services you can use while living in student housing than most people get living in an apartment. 24-hour security guards, a gym (in most dorms), art room, lounge and a laundry room! Just a couple of things I definitely miss from dorm living.
- Adult Life: Depending on who you are this may certainly be a positive thing, but I for one miss the days when I didn’t have any bills! Living on your own forces you to be a lot more independent and with this comes more financial responsibilities that were never really an issue while living in student housing, such as paying utilities and monthly rent on time.