What I Wish I Knew Before Moving Off Campus

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!


  • Danielle

    I’m moving off campus for fall semester and I’m so excited! I’m living alone, so I’m afraid I might get lonely. However, I know that I’ll appreciate the independence in the long run!

    – Danielle | daringlydani.wixsite.com/dragongirl

    • Oh you’ll love that independence girlfriend!! Tbh, I am rarely in my apartment except for weekends and sleeping because college keeps me so busy haha. I know you’re going to love the move off campus though. Thanks for reading gal pal!
      xo, G

  • I’ve always lived off campus so I can totally relate here! It can also be hard when everyone but you is living on campus. Sometimes you’ll feel like you’re missing out on things, which is why I agree with your last point so much! Great post, Gabby!

    • Yeah! I think it took me a hot second to realize that my social life was going to be different if I didn’t actively make plans with people! I don’t live with a lot of people in my friend group, so I definitely can relate to ya! Thanks for reading once again, Amelie!
      xo, G

  • Alyssa Larsen

    I 100% feel you with the convenience of the dining hall! I also miss having someone who would come along and clean the bathroom, stock up toilet paper etc. It was also so nice to roll out of bed 10 minutes before I needed to be in class, rather than and hour and a half!

    • SO TRUE. Bless the cleaning staff and their pure hearts. I know dealing with college kids is probably short of awful! Also, commute time can be the worst. Thanks for reading girlie!
      xo, G

  • I loved living off campus, my university didn’t have the most amazing living spaces and it was cheaper off campus. I learned a lot in the first year, especially paying bills and making sure to get healthy groceries =o)


    • Gosh, you learn so much in the first months of living off campus; it’s kind of crazy! Preps you for the real world!! Thanks for reading 🙂
      xo, G

  • This made me miss college sooooooo much!!

    Living off campus definitely has its perks but I kind of missed dorm life! Lucky for me, I lived in a sorority house sophomore and junior year that was still basically on campus so it wasn’t a hard adjustment!


    • Yes, my friends that live in their sorority houses say it’s kind of mix between being off campus and living in the dorm with much better food haha! Thanks for reading 🙂
      xo, G

  • Spot on! I lived on campus my entire time as an undergraduate, and even worked with housing. Living solo off-campus is a major change! I love having my own place that is mine and mine alone, but I really miss being able to just step next door to visit friends, or walk to the student center at 10 pm for a coffee & study session. I have to put in so much more effort to do anything social now! Speaking of, if you guys ever come down to visit ATL, hit me up! <3

    • So true so true!! Honestly, it’s so easy to just want to stay in and blog or binge watch whatever I’m watching on Netflix. And I might be visiting my friend at UGA over fall break, so I’ll let you know if it works out how I’m thinking!
      xo, G

  • Totally feel the last one! I moved into my apartment the start of my sophomore year, and it’s insanely easy to give into the “hermit impulse” and just stay in and watch Netflix haha. I also hate those gaps between classes, but I live only 5-10 minutes from campus, so I’ll go home if the break is longer than an hour. Even though I hate cooking, I do not miss dining halls/campus food or dorms/roommates (lucky enough to live alone!) at all haha. I’m only on campus for classes, and I’m totally cool with that 🙂