Auraria Campus is one of the largest college campuses in Denver and is located right in the heart of Downtown Denver. Auraria is a commuter campus, which includes three higher education institutions, such as the University of Colorado Denver, Metropolitan State University of Denver and Community College of Denver. Approximately 42,000 students are enrolled annually at the three institutions.
While each institution on campus does not have its own dormitory hall. There are several off-campus housing options for students to consider choosing from.
For incoming freshman or a returning senior, one of the biggest decisions students have to make in their college career is whether to live on or off campus. Living on your own for the first time is a big deal. And while it’s exciting and overwhelming, there is a lot to consider in terms of food options, independency, cost and living space.
According to students, living off-campus has its own benefits. Here are the four main reasons why living off-campus might best for you:
If you are one of those lucky students who lives in a campus dorm, where kitchens are available, good for you. However, is it everything you really hoped for? Do you often have to wait for the person in front of you who is baking cupcakes for her club?
Monica Bassett, a freshman biology student at MSU Denver and resident of Auraria Student Lofts, notes the benefit of knowing you’re eating good food.
“I guess one advantage of living in off-campus housing is that you get to eat whatever you want and you don’t have to eat weird food like mystery meat or vegetables,” Bassett said.
“The food is a lot cheaper, sometimes even if you get food delivered every day, it is cheaper than the meal plan, and you don't have to worry about expiring meal coupons either.”
As a commuter, you will always have access to your own kitchen. You won’t have to worry about going to your local dining hall or waiting to use the oven in an on-campus kitchen. Instead, you can bring out your inner-Martha Stewart and cook yourself a delicious meal.
Living off-campus provides students with the opportunity to become an adult. They have more responsibilities than most on-campus students; besides the work they have for school, off-campus students are usually responsible for paying their monthly rent, cleaning, cooking and taking care of other financial matters regarding their living space.
This truly gives students a chance to be ready for any real world obstacles that they might face. With this new experience they will be prepared to rely on no one but themselves.
Kristin Thompson is a junior business major at University of Colorado Denver and resident of The Regency Student Housing.
“Generally, you get more bang for your buck when you live off-campus. It has nicer space for less money. It's also generally more quiet, though this depends on your roommates and neighbors. You can usually hear through the walls,” Thompson said.
According to Thompson, having your own apartment comes with increased responsibility.
“The legalities of living off-campus can be stressful. You’ll need to ask yourself, are you jointly or separately signing leases? Is the landlord good and quick with repairs? I live in a group house situation, probably the most stressful of all living arrangements, and it's definitely a bit nerve wracking every month to collect all the money for rent and utilities, and also nerve wracking when something breaks and the landlord doesn't think something is as important as you do,” Thompson said.
“You just have to cross your fingers that everyone comes through, roommates with rent, landlords with repairs,” she added.
If you want to watch a movie, no need to worry about your roommates who have six friends over tonight. If you want to go to bed early, you don’t have to worry about your roommate, who comes home at 2 a.m. as the wind from an open window slams your door shut.
Living off-campus can truly be liberating. There is basically no one to tell you how you can act or what time you should be home.
Jasmin Hernandez, junior business major at University of Colorado Denver and resident of The Regency Student Housing said:
“It doesn't feel like you're in public housing, there aren't as many immature kids that you have to deal with, generally cheaper, more freedom and flexibility. The general rule of thumb is that you don't room with friends. Trust me, I made this mistake with my best friends and it turned into a disaster!” Hernandez said.
Auraria campus offers three housing options: Auraria Student Lofts, The Regency Housing and Campus Village. Sharing rent with several roommates can cost less than dormitory board hall. And you are guaranteed to get twice times the amount of space.
The Regency Housing is located at 3900 Elati street. Floor plans range from a single unit $675, double unit $520, triple unit $475, studio $750, to a three bedroom $1, 453 a month, which is convenient to share the renting cost if you are thinking about moving in with a roommate or two.
Campus Village is located at 318 Walnut street, and offers studio to four bedroom floor plan apartments ranging from $500 to $1085 a month.
Auraria Student Lofts is located at 1051 14th street. Floor plans range from a studio $781 to a four bedrooms $805 a month, which is another affordable option to share the renting cost with a roommate.
“Sometimes spending so much time with a person becomes difficult. It can ruin a lot of people's friendships, but others might have better luck with it. I actually experienced that, was best friends with someone and she needed a place to stay,” Hernandez said.
“Needless to say,” she explained, “best friends doesn't always mean best roommate.”
Ultimately, something which is an advantage for one student may be a disadvantage for another student. It all comes down to your personal preferences and affordability. After all, you will be spending the next four years of your life going to college, studying hard and building your portfolio. Might as well, make it pain-free, stress-free and most importantly, enjoy your college life experience while you’re at it.