This Is Why I Never Lived on Campus and I Have No Regrets

This Is Why I Never Lived on Campus and I Have No Regrets

Save Money and Some of Your Sanity

During my entire four years of college, I never lived on campus. Some may say I missed out on the unique experience of living on a college campus in a dorm room with a total stranger. I say I dodged a bullet.

The truth is, I have no regrets about choosing to live off-campus for my entire college career. I still had a solid group of friends and did well in all my classes. In fact, I’d choose to do it all over again. Here are five reasons why.


Not that money should be the most important driver to any decision, but it’s definitely a crucial point. Depending on where you go to school and the town’s average cost of living, you can usually live off-campus, in your own space, for less money.

With the rising cost of education came astronomically high housing and meal plan prices for most institutions. Some dorm rooms will cost a student more than $4,000 per semester — that’s almost $1,200 a month for one student, who could be splitting a similar price between three or four roommates in an off-campus apartment or house.


Another somewhat obvious reason it’s better to live off-campus than on-campus is because you get more freedom. No longer do you have an RA a few doors down waiting to bust you for enjoying a beer after class — even if you’re 21. You have your own space with no one baby-sitting you anymore. It’s a true taste of liberty and independence.

That being said, it’s important to mention that you do still have rules to follow that are set forth by your landlord. Failure to comply with your lease could land you in big trouble, so you still have to keep yourself (generally) under control.

Roommate Control

If you’re like most of us, you probably didn’t mesh well with your random dorm roommate from freshman year. In fact, you might not have even lasted the entire year with them — not that I’m speaking from experience.

One of the best parts about my time living off-campus was the fact that I was living with my best friends. At times it felt like a movie — we got to have sleepovers every night! Being able to choose your own roommates is many students’ primary reason for moving to town.

Alone Time

On the flip side, living in an off-campus house or apartment likely means you have your own room to retreat to when you need some space, quiet or privacy. For me, being able to shut my bedroom door when I needed to study, nap or just spend some time reading was a blessing. College is a stressful time, and sometimes you just want to be alone for a few minutes.


Since you aren’t forced to purchase a $2,000 meal plan every semester when you live off-campus, you have more than enough money to grocery shop with. You can purchase some seriously delicious ingredients, a few basic pieces of cookware and any necessary utensils and still save money compared to buying a meal plan. Plus, now that you’re equipped with a full kitchen instead of a microwave and a hot plate, you can let your true culinary skills shine.

I’m not much of a cook, but one of my roommates was, which was just as awesome. If you take the time to meal plan, grocery shop and prepare a few dishes to get you through the week, you can really be eating well for a college student.

A Taste of the Real World

Perhaps all these perks of living off campus can be summed up into one simple reason most students choose to live off-campus: It gives them a taste of the real world.

College students often feel stuck in a strange in-between phase of life. They aren’t kids anymore, but they aren’t really adults, either. Living off-campus is a way for students to take on more responsibilities and experience what life is like as a real person. Paying bills, cleaning, taking out the trash, bringing in the mail and other household maintenance activities all contribute to that.

So, that’s why I don’t regret skipping the on-campus housing phase of my college years — and neither does my bank account!

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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.

Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.

Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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The Cycle Of Oppression

A white man's reflection on the sins of his history.


The Last Question

Oppression it's a cycle

Think AI or Michael

We're Messi, haven't clean sheet in while. [1]

Dominate the stars

Drank Dom 'n ate caviar

But you hear the music? [2]

For it's time to pay the piper

Forefathers paid to pipe her.

Picked three hos and laughed (ho ho ho)

Like gas from a shaft

We spread danger in the chamber

And chained her to a stranger.

Swooped her to appease the creditor [3]

Wrote off a piece in super predator,

And when they saw the paper in crack

We criminalized black and called it their right state.

"Black men have no conscience our empathy and must be brought to heel"

But our conscience hung black men on empty trees to never heal. [4]

We played the hate trump but bs'd like a pres on tour

The house of cards is just about power more for evermore.

Thought we were getting pea nut better

But we still jam them in letter, [5]

Bound to band behind a Barretta

Left confused by their rights

That leaves them dead on sight

White Christ flashing red and blue lights. [6]

[1] - Oppression is a cycle, the oppressed rise up against the oppressors to turn the wheel of oppression. However, the oppression of black people has never stopped in the U.S. The white man has not been replaced as the oppressor. Think AI or Michael relates to two other cycles. AI, or artificial intelligence, has been said to be the next step in the cycle of consciousness. In particular "The Last Question", by Isaac Asimov, discusses what this cycle might look like. "AI" combined with "Michael" refers to Allen Iverson and Michael Jordan; the cycle of talent in sports. Records are always broken. The last line states that the cycle of oppression has not been in motion for awhile. It also refers to Lionel Messi scoring goals.

[2] - The first line "dominate the stars" refers to white people dominating most of the fame in the U.S. The next line expands on that thought. The final line "but you hear the music" refers to Hip Hop being created by black people and being the most popular music today. This also ties into the next line by referring to the Pied Piper. These two meanings are complete separate.

[3] - These lines represent the sins of white people in the past generations. The lines talk about slavery and the Holocaust.

[4] - These lines talk about past sins but not so long ago. They refer to Nixon's War on Drugs and Hillary Clinton saying that "Super Predators," which was just a made up word for young black men, "have no conscious or empathy … and we must bring them to heel" in defense of Bill Clinton's Three Strike rule. The last line juxtaposes what Hillary said with the lynching of young black men in the U.S.

[5] - The first line in this series talks about cards, President Trump, and hatred. "We played the hate trump" is saying that white people chose Trump out of hatred. "But we bs'd like a pres on tour" is saying white people actually lied about hating black people. It also refers to the lying president Trump did on his campaign. However, it also refers to a card game called BS, where you lie about what cards you play. We played our "hate trump" (best card) but it was really just a lie to win the game. "the house of cards is all about power more forever more" this line answers the question above which is if we aren't all racists, then why did we choose Trump? Because of power. It also refers to the show about politics, House of Cards, thus bringing both the political and card metaphors together. The last two lines refer to white people believing and saying "at least its getting better" in regards to the oppression of black, and Hispanic people. "We still jam them in letter" refers to the n word.

[6] - The last lines refer police violence. I'm not saying that black people are going to start killing cops, I'm just saying that white people should be grateful that they aren't. The "white Christ" symbolizes white oppression. James Cone wrote that the symbols of Christ need to change. Christ was a champion of the oppressed, not the triumphant: therefore, Christ needs to be identifiable to the oppressed not to the oppressors.

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