Should You Live On-Campus or Off-Campus?

Monmouth University has many commuter and on-campus students, especially due to the new rule that started in Fall 2023 that requires freshman and sophomore students to live on campus. However, there is a third living option for upperclassmen. For students beginning their junior year, they have the option of living off-campus. Personally, I lived on-campus during my first two years of college and chose to live off-campus for my junior year. After experiencing both on-campus residential living and off-campus, I see benefits of both.

Living on-campus allows easy access to academic buildings and facilities that Monmouth has to offer. In particular, living on-campus gave me walkable access to any of the academic buildings, my favorites being the Student Center or the Great Hall, to get a study session in. Being able to walk to the OceanFirst Bank Center to get a workout anytime I wanted was also extremely convenient.

The main difference I have seen between living on-campus versus off-campus would definitely be not having a meal plan. Having my on-campus meal plan allowed me easy access to food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner; it was super quick and convenient.

Now that I live off campus, I often have to make sure I’m planning out my days more effectively in order to have time to make myself breakfast, lunch, and dinner at my house before class. While the house I rent is not far from campus, I often tend to forget how I have to drive and find a parking spot. Particularly in the winter, this is definitely a major struggle.

Living on-campus also allowed me super quick and easy access to Monmouth’s library. In turn, this meant quick access to print a homework assignment out last minute (haha).
Not to mention the obvious—for many, living on-campus is more cost-effective from a financial aid and scholarship standpoint.

Additionally, commuting to campus, particularly for students who live far away, can consume valuable time and energy. This can potentially impact academic performance and extracurricular involvement because students are tired and just want to go home. Living off-campus can also be difficult because of the responsibility factor. Having to navigate the complexities of leasing agreements, utility bills, and household chores requires a level of maturity and responsibility that some students might have a difficult time understanding, especially when balancing academic commitments and personal obligations.

Julia Buck, sophomore psychology student said, “Living on-campus has allowed me to constantly be able to find something to do, easy access to study rooms, and academic services. Additionally, I feel like living on campus has helped me grow my social skills. Some cons of living on campus to me would be having a meal plan, having to live with other people who act differently from you, not nice rooms, and being expensive. I’d rather live off-campus because, for me, it’s cheaper and I have more of my own space, privacy, and can make my own rules. I personally wish I could have lived off-campus this year as a sophomore.”

Living in a house with friends is an experience I recommend to everyone. I have had so much fun having the freedom of living in a house with my friends while going to school. Additionally, I didn’t have my car at school until I began living off-campus, so living off-campus has allowed me easy access to drive to the grocery store and do my own food shopping.

Living off-campus has also given me my own bedroom, a queen size bed, and a personal bathroom shared with one of my roommates. This is luxurious living in comparison to dorm life. I love having my own privacy and the ability to have my own space to do things.

Living on-campus helped me make friends and aided me in improving my social skills. Living off-campus has given me freedom of eating what I want, while on-campus dining options gave me convenience. Living off-campus has allowed me to have my own privacy and space while hanging out with my close friends at once.

Overall, both on-campus and living off-campus have been rewarding experiences for me, and students should allow themselves to experience both if given the opportunity.