A note to those reading this: typically sophomores are unable to live off-campus. Due to the growing size of incoming classes, however, there was a lack of space on campus that pushed some freshmen at the end of last year to search for options other than the dorms for the following fall. This will likely not happen again, but regardless, aspects of the off-campus living experience will indubitably apply to anyone who chooses, at some point, to rent a house or apartment.
Sometimes the residence halls were frustrating (sharing bathrooms with an entire hallway of people, attempting to fit a plethora of stuff into small spaces, trying to find quiet times in the midst of the always-loud lounge crowd and noisy neighbors), but in retrospect I would never have traded the first-year dorm experience. It gives students a chance to meet new people, learn to share spaces, and be a part of a community – indispensable opportunities when arriving at a school filled with total strangers.
Having experienced Trowbridge Hall to the fullest, I moved off-campus with five lovely girls for my second year. We found a house with six bedrooms and two bathrooms, just a five minute walk from campus. While not all rentals will allow for each tenant to have a separate bedroom, the off-campus setup means sharing spaces with fewer people and in most cases, people with whom you are already well-acquainted. Highlights include easy access to food, kitchen supplies, and much more privacy than the dorms.
Naturally, the need to walk to campus means leaving the house a little early to make it to class on time, but depending on where students live, the walk isn’t far (or, better yet, a housemate with a car can make the drive). Paying bills is stressful, but it’s wonderful knowledge for later in life and certainly provides a strong sense of responsibility and practice in money management.
Whether you choose to stay in the dorms or head off-campus when the time comes, there will be an abundance of worthwhile experiences for you.