Yeah, so last August I made the leap off campus! Exciting right? Yeah, it was awesome! Finally not having to share a room again was beautiful [although loved all my roommates so miss you loves]! Buttttt, at the same time, it was nice to have my own space! I didn’t realize how much life would be different once moving out of the dorms – a quick 15 minute walk to most of my classes to an apartment pretty far away! So what else have I learned from being off campus for the past year? Keep reading to find out!
Add at least 30 minutes to your commute no matter how far/close you live.
So, like I said: the commute from my apartment to campus is much longer than my commute from my dorm to class and I haven’t even gotten to class yet! Now, I really like being a little farther from campus because I can escape the place that gives me some really bad anxiety around high-stress times. Before, always being on campus and always within a mile difference could feel slightly suffocating. Now, I am a free bird and my mental health is all the better for it!
But, one thing that can get pretty annoying is trying to budget enough time to leave your apartment and get to class on time and in the seat you want. Sure, I can show up when class starts, but I’ll stuck in the back which is not great! I don’t ever have to worry about fighting for a spot on the bus which is nice, but for my friends who live right by campus and don’t want to walk on a rainy or cold day, the bus will pass you because it’s probably going to be full. Make sure you also leave enough time to catch a bus and get to campus on time!
You’ll miss the convenience of the dining hall even if the taste is lack luster.
Yo, thank goodness I am having all the time to perfect my recipes because cooking during the semester is hard. I firmly believe that I can convince anyone of anything as long as I channel me convincing myself that I don’t have time to cook or work out! I’m working on it though and I’ve stocked up on some things that I think will help me stick with my goals on that front. More on this in a post to come.
Basically, you will miss having an entire staff of wonderful chefs and servers! There will be some nights where, I wouldn’t say crave, but actually wish you could do zero work and just waltz into the dining hall. My method of fixing this and actually making some tasty meals for yourself? Having some go to meals that you know you like already memorized! That’s what I’m working on right now.
Maturity is key because there are no more unbiased third parties to mend conflicts.
This one is weird because for the most part I don’t really have roommate conflicts that would translate to problems that would have gone to an RA, but I do think that this is something that I’ve heard happening to some of the other people I know! You don’t have that mediator, so to speak, that can be unbiased and help work out issues between roommates.
You need to make sure that you’re comfortable enough with the people that you’re living with to at least set ground rules and keep each other in check. There is a maturity that comes with playing by the rules, but also how you handle when someone breaks them! Just make sure that you set them up before the school year so that you aren’t back pedaling. They don’t have to be super intense, just some ground rules that are gonna aggravate you! My favorite is making sure the counter tops are cleaned after you use the stove or cook! I love some clean countertops and dirty ones legit make me nervous.
You’re going to spend 12 hour days on campus simply because you don’t want to go home.
My midday nappers need to keep this one in mind because living off campus may impact your nap schedule. As someone who can appreciate a nice power nap, I know that once you get accustomed to it, they are hard to break out of your pattern. I love finishing up class by 1 pm and I work in the afternoons before I have meetings in the evenings. This leaves me no time to go all the way home and come all the way back, so I typically spend 12 hours on campus. It can be intense sometimes.
The best way to handle this is by making sure that you are getting enough sleep, bringing snacks to help you survive throughout the day without having to buy food and spending up all your money.
You’re going to need to actively invite people over.
So, you know how that one kid on your hall would literally never leave you alone? Well, the good, or bad depending on how you look at it, is that this won’t happen unless you have a creepy neighbor or you’re lucky enough to live near some of your friends. But those of us who move into a building where no one looks familiar, it can get lonely quick.
I was so used to having all my friends within 1000 feet of me and didn’t really need to actively be like come hang out. If I went out in the hall way, I would likely have seen them anyway, so that’s what I did. Now, that we’re all over the place; it can be really easy to get caught up in everything you need to do that you forget to stay caught up with friends. I am horrible at texting and making plans; like straight horrible. The biggest thing I can tell you is that you have to get real good at communication, real fast. This is where I fail in life, and I want to get better especially as senior year comes nearer and this will literally be the last time for maybe ever that I’m living in the same state as some of my friends!
Group Me helps, but really you need to prioritize friendships and reach out every once and awhile to see if people want to grab coffee or check out the new movie that just came out. You can have Bachelorette watch parties or dinner parties [we are 20 somethings now right?]. Spending hours chatting and catching up with all your peeps have been some of my favorite nights.
Living off campus is a blast, but you know the grass is always greener on the other side right? Do you live off campus? What do you miss [or not] about the dorms? Leave them down in the comments, we love hearing from you!