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Moving Off-Campus

Lately, I have been hearing a lot of people asking whether they should be living on campus, or if they should look for off-campus housing.

I am a firm believer in staying two years on-campus and two years off to enjoy the full benefits that college has to offer while experiencing the full college transition. Granted, there are things that must be considered such as financial status, location, rooming, etc. before that decision can be made.

Personally, you will have to discuss with your parents what the right options are for you. At the end of the day, most of you will not be providing your own spending money to expend on your living expenses, the money will be coming from your parents. Again, there are many special instances where this is not the case.

Frankly, there are ups and downs to both living on-campus, verse living off. Off-campus, you’re not close to school, and you must deal with the local government when it comes to trash/recycling and noise complaints. When you wake up late you must drive to campus, but when you’re on campus and wake up late, you find yourself sprinting to class.

The benefits of living off -campus are that you are no longer living in a small place, and there is a lot more freedom to do what you want. You won’t be yelled at for having drapes, a microwave etc. Lastly, the major benefit of living off-campus is that in most instances, it’s cheaper than living on-campus.

There are many factors that could contribute to a student staying on-campus versus moving off. If the student is on athletic aid, for example, their scholarship might require them to stay on campus for a certain number of years before allowing them to move off.

Being a member of a sports team can have a major impact on whether you or your teammates stay on campus. Many coaches have rules about whether student-athletes can live on-campus or off. 

I would say that the best year to move off-campus is after your sophomore year of college. At this point, you’ve had your share of dorm shenanigans and understand the ins and outs of campus.

You have made enough friends that you are able to have a core group of people who you feel comfortable living off campus with. It’s completely normal to want to move off of campus earlier, but I find it so reassuring to know who you are more, and who you are going to be friends with, before you decide to move off-campus with a random group of people.

At this point, you feel confident that you have your feet on the ground in terms of knowing how long it takes you to get to around the area of West Long Branch, and how long the commute would take you.

Some of the consequences of living off-campus include dealing with realtors and finding a house to live in. This can be a major problem, as some of the landlords may neglect the houses.

It’s important to take pictures when you find a house and on the first day you move in, document everything in the area. In my first year living off-campus, my housemates and I had a very bad living situation. Things were broken in the house and for months of the year we did not even have access to a washer or dryer.

There were problems that needed to be fixed, but the landlord had not paid the people who came to fix the problems. If I had stayed in the dorms, I’m sure the washer and dryer would have been fixed in a timely manner as the facilities at this school work very hard to make sure things are in good condition for the students.

On the other hand, being on-campus, there have been numerous counts where there were instances happening on-campus that students might not have wanted to be around. But, knowing how safety officers make us feel is important in our choice too. I, for one, know that every time I walk around the Monmouth campus, I feel comfortable and safe. Whether or not everything is good with dorm living, is entirely a personal preference and opinion.

All in all, living on campus has its pro’s and con’s, just like living off-campus. What you have to decide is whether or not you can afford it, who you will live with, how you will get to and from school, and where your house will be.

Once you have these things in mind, you can stay on campus or live in a room/house that screams your personality and includes whatever you want it to! Right now, my house is two blocks from the beach, and I couldn’t be happier.