Finding suitable housing is one of the most essential decisions that students have to make when kicking off a new academic adventure. Housing has a deep impact on the general perception of college life, affecting both private and social activities. If freshman students are generally required to live on campus for their first year, sophomores, juniors and seniors are given plenty of freedom of choice, with many residential options, in both on-campus and off-campus ensembles.
Both options have their pros and cons so to differentiate students should make sure a particular housing arrangement completely suits their lifestyle. Here are a few things to consider before signing up for one or the other.
Overall cost. When comparing rental rates make sure you include all monthly expenses in the calculus. In addition to the monthly rate, renting an apartment off-campus also implies having sufficient funds for a security deposit (amounts vary, but Chicago landlords usually require that you fork over two months – first and last month – of rent) and additional utility payments. Student housing on the other hand has more or less everything included in the dorm room costs. They usually cover cable television, high-speed Internet access, and a basic telephone line, plus water and heating. So that you might focus entirely on studying, of course!
Food. If you’re benefiting from student aid, participating in a school-sponsored food program would make a lot of sense financially as meal plans are generally included in such packages. But living in an off-campus rental home allows students to cook their own meals or plan their culinary adventures irrespective of a cafeteria’s hours of operation.
Personality. Your character and personality type will have much to say in finding the perfect lodging solution. Friendly, extrovert personalities will thrive in a dormitory ambiance, with new people to meet and befriend at every corner and the tons of musical shows, sporting events and art exhibits happening all around campus. Sure, it will feel crowded at times and you’ll wish you had more privacy, but that’s all part of the college experience.
Living in a city apartment comes with its benefits, including a lot of privacy. It’s so great knowing you get to personally decide when it’s the right time to study, party or host a sleepover. Modern condominiums feature great amenities including gyms, pool areas, lounges, clubs and cafés where you can easily socialize and get involved in community activities. No rules except the ones you make for yourself.