In my senior year of college, I wasn't offered a housing assignment.
There were groups who got 200 or more total PATH Credits, which was way more than I ever had time to accumulate. We were beaten out. Five person group, no house. After the dust settled and I got over my initial shock, my roommates and I had a lot of choices to make. We knew we obviously didn't want to be homeless, so we started looking around the Far Side and other landlord houses.
Eventually, we were offered an apartment on the wait-list, but my roommates and I made a decision that we were committed to having a house.
Now, I live in a great big house with my own bedroom, air conditioning, my own washer and dryer, in a quiet neighborhood; and here's the thing, I could not be happier.
Yeah, it's not a house in the student neighborhood with all of my closest friends. Yeah, I have to leave a little early to make the long trek to my classes. However, I have an amazing landlord and a place that my friends and I call home.
Since the residential experience is such a huge part of life at the University of Dayton, living off campus can be looked down upon. I still get awkward responses from people who feel bad for me about living off campus. I totally get that, and it's not offensive. I was also one of those people who never even gave living off campus a second thought.
For the first time ever, I really had to make a choice about what kind of roof I was going to have over my head, and it probably will not be the last time. I decided to venture into the world beyond the stigma of off campus housing, and I ended up so happy and at peace. My house even ended up being cheaper than many of the on-campus houses, which benefited my parents tremendously.
Of course, there are very real things to consider while living in an off campus house. It's not for everyone, and if it's really important for you to live on-campus, then that's OK! Safety of the neighborhood is crucial, and it probably makes the most sense to live off campus if you have a car. Luckily, I'd rate the safety of my neighborhood at an 8 out of 10, and I was able to bring a car down with me at my place.
Thankfully, I was able to find a house where I am happy. It involved a lot of searching and just simply being open. There are so many benefits to living off campus, like learning a personal sense of responsibility and becoming super close with your roommates. If you decide to be open to new things, it'll all be OK.