At the end of my sophomore year I found out that I had been approved to live off campus for junior year. Let me tell you, I was ecstatic; I could have my own room, only have to share a shower with a couple other people and most of all I was super excited to save some money, because let’s be honest, we all could save a few hundred bucks.
But at the beginning of my junior year, I started to realize that all of the on-campus things I had taken for granted were not available off campus, at least not for free. All of a sudden I had to pay for WiFi, laundry, electricity— and it started adding up.
It’s not to say that having to pay bills is a part of growing up and teaches you responsibility. I was just thrown into it, and when I thought I was saving money by living off campus, the cost ended up almost adding up to the same amount to live on campus.
Plus, there is a reason why we are required to live on-campus for all four years, and although the biggest reason might be to make sure the college keeps making money, there is a method to the madness. Living on campus keeps you connected.
There are a lot of reasons why I could say living on campus is better. Living off campus can be fun, unless you are only living with people on the same schedule as you, it gets complicated. School should come first, but when you’re picking your roommates (regardless of off or on-campus) you may forget to really look at what kind of person they are. Bills will add up, things will break and there is no campus maintenance you can call to help.
Overall, living on campus gives you accessibility to resources you wouldn’t expect to take for granted, until they’re gone. I’ll never regret moving back on campus second semester junior year because the off-campus life was not at all what it had been cracked up to be.
This is the opinion of Miranda Olson, CSB senior
What does it mean to live off-campus?
In terms of the continually stricter rules for on-campus housing it simply means freedom. Freedom to have as many friends over without permits, freedom to play music, freedom to park close to your living quarters and most importantly, freedom from the notorious “Big Brother” known here as Life Safety, FRs and RAs on the weekends.
Yes, I see the need for them and am thankful for all the positive contributions they have added to my collegiate experience—first year wouldn’t have been possible without the support of our residential life.
However, the current form in which this system operates is a never-ending constriction on the freedom of young adults. Moreover, now that I am off-campus I have realized how unprepared on-campus life has made me for the real world.
Simple things such as consistently cooking your meals, budgeting for bills or even handling the tenant/landlord relationship are skills that every student should pick up during their undergraduate experience. Things get out of hand? We deal with the St. Joseph Police Department, who have always been more reasonable than Life Safety, from my experiences.
Housing amenities at SJU are out of date and consistently breaking down. With better and more convenient amenities all in one off-campus location, this is just a better living experience. So should it be more expensive? One semester at Metten Court cost the same as my 10-month lease—and I had to argue with various committees to allow me into a lottery for off-campus just so I could reduce my college debt.
This is the opinion of Roman Derevyanko, SJU senior