As a commuter, I often get asked if I regret not living on campus due to “missing out on the college experience”. The answer is absolutely not! Who says you have to live on campus in order to be fully integrated into campus culture? In today’s blog post, I’ll be discussing pros and cons of living off campus.
If you are or are planning to become a commuter, I’ll start off by saying that commuting is definitely different than living on campus and does have major cons. For the purpose of this post, I’ve generated a list of the top 5 cons of living at home.
- Your friends will hang out without you from time to time and you could develop a syndrome known as Fear of Missing Out (FOMO). This was what I worried about most while deciding if I should live at home or not. I didn’t like the idea of missing out on events, parties, or even late night study sessions that my friends would have without me.
- If you’re going to take the bus, you’ll have to plan your classes accordingly. I was lucky that my class schedule began at 10:10 am and ended by 2:15 pm every day for the entire school year. This meant that I could hop on the 9 am bus and get to first class on time (my bus takes 45 minutes to get to campus from the park and ride). But if you’re not as lucky as I am, you might be limited on options and may not be able to take all of the classes that you want or that are required for graduation. Planning your class schedule around commuting time is definitely a struggle that you’ll have to work around.
- The worst part about commuting is paying an arm and a leg for parking. Prices can be as high as $12 a day at the University of Minnesota (there are cheaper options but I park at a garage that’s central to all of my classes). You could also fork out a sum of money and purchase a contract parking spot for around $300-500 a semester. Either way, I hate paying for parking.
- The last bus to your station might be inconvenient. For me, my last bus leaves campus at 7 pm, meaning that on Fridays when student events and parties are all taking place until 9 pm or later, I have to either miss them or drive and pay for parking (did I mention, I hate paying for parking?).
- Last but not least, commuting forces you to live under your house rules. It doesn’t matter if you’re 18 or not. A curfew is still a curfew, chores are still chores, and your parents (or guardians!) are still the head of the household. For me, my parents are pretty chill, but they do wonder where I am if I’m not home by midnight and sometimes they’ll check up on me by calling in. It’s nice to know that they care, but boy, do I hate having to tell them where I am sometimes.
Whew! That was really nice to get everything off my chest. Now that I’ve ranted about all of the things I hate about commuting, I’ll rave about my top 5 pros of living off campus.
- I love my house and I would rather live there than a dorm any day. I have my own room that connects to a bathroom and a walk-in closet. I don’t see the appeal of sharing a dorm with a roommate whom I might not get along with. Sure, decorating your dorm and meeting other people that live around you seem like a lot of fun, but even my friends who dorm have told me that they miss living at home. Living at home also saves me a shit ton of money (excuse my language). I guess at the end of the day, the home is where the heart is after all.
- I thoroughly enjoy the 45 minutes I spend every day on the bus getting to and from campus. I use my time to study, listen to music, write my blog, or online shop. Those 45 minutes allow me to take a break from all of life’s distractions and allows me to have a little bit of time for myself.
- Living with your parents means that home-cooked meals are readily available. I save quite a lot of money by eating at home or bringing my own lunch. It’s really nice that you have the option of eating healthy, quality food instead of feeding yourself junk all the time due to lack of cooking space (or skills) and limited options on campus.
- My laundry has never gotten stolen. Honestly, I’ve heard about a girl getting her Lulu Lemon leggings stolen from the drying machine at the dormitory hall. Who does that?! Regardless, my laundry has never gotten stolen at home (except for my socks, I feel like they always get lost somehow…). I also have the pleasure of living right next door to my laundry room so I never have to lug my dirty clothes and laundry detergent around like I would at the dorms.
- I have the freedom to go anywhere I want, whenever I want to. When you live on campus, you probably don’t have a car with you and may have to rely on public transportation such as buses, light-rail, or walking. You may not get to go to the places that you want to without taking a combination of these types of transportation. By living at home, I have the freedom to travel to work, visit my friends, go to the grocery store, and to volunteer according to my own time.
My decision to live at home wasn’t easy, but I’m glad that I did it. At least for my first two years of college, I want to save as much money as I can in order to save up for a nice apartment. All in all, I will definitely try living on campus someday. If you would like to know more about commuting or would like a separate article on my tips and tricks to living the commuter lifestyle, let me know in the comments below or by contacting me here! I would love to hear from you all.