Deciding where you want to live as you head off to college is a big decision. Do you want the privacy of your own apartment, or do you want to live on campus? Which one is really more convenient? As you decide whether renting an apartment vs. living on campus is the best option for you, consider these key details.
1. By living in an apartment, you may pick your own roommates.
When you live on campus at CU Boulder, you’re stuck with the roommate the college gives you. Even if you request a roommate change, it may take time to get everything sorted out, and you may be stuck for at least a semester or, at worst, for the entire year. When you rent an off-campus apartment on the other hand, your roommates are entirely your choice. Of course, once you sign a lease you’re probably stuck for the year. Make sure you choose your roommates with care!
2. However, living in an apartment may mean a longer commute to campus.
Living on campus means that you can roll out of bed just before your first class, scurry across campus, and get to class with next to no delays.
Living in an off-campus apartment means that you may need to leave a little more time in your schedule, especially if you live a long walk or bike ride away from campus. You may also need to leave more time to get to your first class of the day, allowing you a little extra room in your schedule for traffic snarls and accidents.
3. And, when you live in an apartment, you may miss out on some social activities.
Living in a dorm at CU Boulder brings with it some automatic socialization. When you live on campus, you’ll get invitations to all the latest social events and activities, not to mention knowing that you’re right in the middle of all of those activities. For some people, that’s incentive enough to remain on campus, enjoying all the benefits that go along with it. For others, getting out of the middle of those activities and into an apartment can provide quite a bit more privacy.
4. But living in an apartment gives you a great deal more space.
Let’s face it, many of the dorm rooms at CU Boulder are tiny. Chances are, your bedroom at home was bigger, and you might not have had to share it with a roommate! In an apartment, you’ll have more space to spread out. You’ll have your own kitchen, which, while it means you’ll probably need to cook, also means that you aren’t restricted by the food offered by your dining plan. You may also have your own bedroom, which means that you’ll have more privacy as well as a quieter when you’re trying to sleep! This is particularly important if you’re engaged in multiple activities and highly involved both on and off-campus.
5. When you live in an apartment, you don’t have to use a communal bathroom.
Living on campus means that your only bathrooms are public ones. In some dorms, that may mean a constant mess or a complete and total lack of privacy. You may even need to fight to have adequate time to shower before you head off to class. In an apartment, on the other hand, you’ll have your own bathroom, shared only with the roommates you specifically picked out. That can make it much easier to get a little privacy–and once you have a schedule worked out, you’ll be more likely to have adequate time to shower without interruption. As an added bonus, you won’t have to shower while listening to someone a couple of curtains over singing their favorite show tunes.
6. Apartment living prevents the restrictions of a curfew.
When you live on campus, you likely have a specific hour by which you must be back in the dorms, regardless of what else you have going on. Late shift at work? You’d better not get back after curfew. Get caught by traffic after a concert, event, or date? It could mean not being able to get back into your room until the next morning.
When you live in an off-campus apartment, you don’t have to worry about the restrictions of a curfew. While you’ll still want to be courteous to your roommates, you’ll have the freedom to come and go as you please, especially if you’re quiet about it.
7. Living in an apartment is often much quieter than living in the dorms.
Even during enforced quiet hours, it can be hard to get a moment’s peace and quiet to yourself when you live in the dorms. People are constantly coming and going, chatting in the halls, opening and closing doors, and blaring movies and music.
Living in an apartment is often much quieter. Instead of getting caught by what feels like an endless wave of noise, you can come home at the end of the day to the peace and quiet you crave. For many people, this is enough to give up on-campus living. While your neighbors may still occasionally raise the volume a little, you’ll often find that apartment walls are thicker and it’s much easier to tune out those extra sounds.
8. You can use financial aid to help pay for off-campus housing.
Many people assume that financial aid can only be used to pay for living in the dorms. In reality, however, once you’ve paid for your tuition, you can use your financial aid to cover living expenses regardless of where you choose to live. It might be easier and more convenient to use those funds to pay for dorm life, especially if your university makes it difficult, but you can choose how you want to use financial aid left over after you pay for your tuition.
Are you considering living off-campus for the coming semester? Do you need an apartment complex that’s a great place to stay and will offer more privacy than on-campus housing? Contact us today to learn more about the options we have available when deciding on renting an apartment vs. living on campus and how we can help you make the most of apartment living through the rest of your college years.