Living On Campus vs. Off Campus
Every college has a required minimum stay for on-campus housing, and usually, it is with good reason. Being out on your own for the first time is an exciting experience full of new connections and discoveries. Living with like-minded people in the same stage of life is an easy way to meet new people and build comradery with your college class.
But it can get old – fast.
You learn pretty quickly that dormitories are petri dishes of disease and bacteria that offer extraordinarily little privacy and space to live. You’re stuck with a stranger for nine months in a sardine can of a concrete building. Not to mention the shared bathrooms.
I shudder at the thought of going back. Luckily, dorm alternatives exist – even ones that can be paid for with financial assistance.
Living off campus will feel different than living at the dorms with all your fellow students. Rolling out of bed ten minutes before class also doesn’t cut it when you live across town. Before searching for apartments, really think about the pros and cons of switching to off campus living.
Is Living Off Campus Cheaper?
Aside from tuition, college-billed room and board can be one of your highest university expenses. Will venturing out on your own save money in the long run? We recommend you do the homework on costs.
In most college towns, there are lots of rentals that run for short-term leases, and for colleges outside of major city metros, it’s cheaper to live off-campus than on. Meal plans, activity fees, and car parking rates all contribute to an already expensive monthly rent, and it’s easier to cut down when you have more freedom in choosing your living arrangements.
Before you leave for the summer just to commit to one more year in an outrageously small and expensive college dorm, consider your options.
Going Greek with Self Storage
Greek life is famous for big houses, drama, and if you bid for Delta Nu, knowing the best blonde lawyer ever. You’ll make friends that last your lifetime and experience a unique college experience that even looks good on a resume after graduation. While your fraternity or sorority will give you memories to last a lifetime, your pledge class might not have enough space to hold them.
Greek houses are still structured like a dormitory, just with some cooler common areas and a social schedule – most of which are themed. A storage unit can help you keep your room clean and make sure you’re prepared for any kind of event. From Greek Week to Rush season, your storage unit can store any costumes, yard games, parade float supplies, and all the lettered T-shirts your heart wishes
If Greek Living sounds right for you, check out how to join a fraternity or sorority at NYU.
Benefits of living off campus in a Co-Op
For college students living in metros with high rent, cohabitation arrangements can serve as an ideal off-campus solution. They’re designed to be a short-term living arrangement for people just starting out in a new place, or for people who plan on being somewhere for only a short while.
While there are some great benefits to co-living, there are some disadvantages to these. While you’ll have lots of space to study, you won’t have a lot of space to add personal touches. Common areas are expected to be clean and clutter-free, and more often than not, you’re only provided storage for your day-to-day essentials. Not to mention the lack of security. A storage closet can serve as a secure extension of your sleeping quarters, perfect for storing seasonal clothing, important documents, and anything you won’t want anyone else seeing.
Moving Off Campus into a Shared Rental
Renting a home or large apartment with friends off-campus is a great way to gain more control of your living situation. You can pick your own roommates, set your own rules, and have some much-needed privacy while keeping rent at an affordable rate. This living arrangement is ideal for more introverted individuals that just want to focus on their education or non-traditional students that have a schedule to keep outside of class.
Grabbing a group of people you trust to rent a home or apartment near campus always seems like a great idea on paper, but in actuality, there are a few bumps in the road. Collectively, you’ll have to be responsible for furnishing common spaces (if your rental doesn’t come furnished). Any duplicate couches, furniture, or pots and pans is a recipe for clutter, and can make any messy roommates appear to be even messier. Renting a storage unit nearby is a great way to store duplicates without making people get rid of their things. Plus, if anything breaks or someone moves out, your spare couches, pots, and coffee tables are within reach.
Off-Campus Living with your family
Out of state tuition is expensive. I’ll say it again: Out of state tuition is expensive. If the college of your dreams lies outside of your state borders, finding a workaround to qualify for in-state pricing is crucial to keeping costs down. Luckily, most colleges will exempt you from dorm requirements if you live with a family member. Living with any aunts, uncles, grandparents, or cousins can qualify you, but check with your school and your relatives before you decide this is the path for you. It can be awkward to live with new people that watched you grow up, and it can be difficult to establish boundaries as you enter “the real world.”
It’s important for you to be able to make your living space a home for yourself. If all you’re surrounded by is Grandma’s shell collection, you may not be able to express yourself the way that you want to. Work with your family to find ways to make room for yourself in their home by storing their décor as you put up your own. A storage unit can hold it for as long – or as little – as you need. Keep in mind that this is never an easy conversation, so be prepared to convince someone to store things they don’t need.
Student Storage Solutions for Studying Abroad
Some students choose to take their education on the road and study abroad as a way to grow their horizons – but what do you do with all your stuff while you’re away? Most students who study abroad are gone anywhere from a semester to a whole year, and you can’t travel with all your usual apartment and dorm supplies. A student self storage unit is the perfect solution for any college student who will be studying out of the country – and with our flexible monthly leasing, it is easy to rent for as long as you need.
Renting Student Storage with Manhattan Mini Storage
Whether you decide to brave the tiny dorm one more year or find a living situation that better fits your needs, we’re here to help with storage solutions for students. Manhattan Mini Storage is NYC’s most trusted storage provider, and with clean and secure storage units, we’ve got space for all. Find the size you need with our self storage calculator or rent a unit online today.