Is Living Off-Campus Right for Me?There are many kinds of people who find themselves attracted to the option of living off-campus. It's important, however, to understand everything entailed and make sure it is the right choice for you. The following list includes personality traits, specific individuals, and circumstances that in general make for good off-campus candidates.
1. Students who are looking for and already have a good sense of independence.
2. Students who have specific, high-maintenance study habits and would like control over their own study enviornment. (Keep in mind: if you end up living in a house with multiple roommates, this will probably NEVER be quieter than the dorm. Also remember you'll be further from the library and have no established quiet hours.)
3. Students with cars. (If you think arranging transportation without a car is easy, think again! It is almost crucial for you to have a car if you're considering living off-campus. Without one, you may encounter many difficulties in commuting, even if you live close by.)
4. Students who are responsible and capable of making good decisions.
5. Students who are looking for privacy and control
6. Students who want preparation for the "real world" and are capable of meeting deadlines, paying bills, etc.
7. Students who have medical or personal issues that would be better served in an off campus living environment. (That is not to say that all students who elect to live off-campus are not socially compatible, simply that those who are may find this a good alternative housing situation.)
8. Student teachers, students involved in social workers practicum, or students who have 20 hours of off-campus work or internships.
9. Students who are willing to cook, clean, and find facilities where they may do their laundry and errands. (Laundry facilities on campus are only open to students living on campus!)
10. Students who are flexible and diligent. You will not succeed very easily if you do not like returning phone calls or taking initiative. You need to be able to set up every detail, from utilities to subletting and everywhere in between. If you prefer ease, stick to the residence halls.
Still not sure? Here are some real St. Olaf students' advice and opinions on living off-campus:
"For those who are considering living off campus, say, downtown: you need
a car! I thought I could work it without one, but it really was a pain.
Living off campus is great, but if you live fairly far away you will
regret it if you have to walk all the time."
"I love living off-campus. I'm more productive now than I've been my last three years at Olaf; when I go to school for the day, I try to do as much studying as I can. That way, when I get home I can relax and have some space and time away from school. I also like the privacy and freedom of having my own bedroom and of being able to cook my own meals, have my own living area and kitchen, and my own bathroom. I never liked entertaining people in my dorm room since that was my only space, and was everything in one. I also like being close to town. Being up on campus all the time made it easy to live in a bubble, never interacting with people of various generations and jobs. One thing to keep in mind is transportation. Though I live two miles from campus, I almost always walk or bike to campus, mostly because I like to do so. I do have a car, but I only drive if I know I have to stay on the hill really late (and don't want to walk home in the dark) or if I have somewhere to go off-campus during the middle of the day. I also drive sometimes if the weather is really nasty.
I'm much happier living off-campus this year than I would have been living on-campus. That's probably in large part due to my personality and tohaving a great roommate. My landlord is also really helpful and kind, so