Off-campus housing remains best option

The question in everyone’s mind recently has been “where the hell am I going to live next year?”

A few students offered a little guidance on the matter.

The three major options are living on campus in a dorm, on campus in a house, or braving the not-so-dangerous waters to live off campus.

The most classic college living experience-meaning the one most often portrayed in movies- is the dorm room. Chancy for the first year (there’s no saying who you might be living with!) by the time the second year rolls around, it’s easy to have an idea who you could and could not live with.

Sophomore Laura Sligh offered some insight on the matter, as she has lived her first two years at Puget Sound in the dorms.

One of the best things about living in the dorms for her is that “it’s definitely great for getting to class on time.”

She also mentioned how she was glad she lived in a dorm again, “because you do meet people. Once you’re off campus, you better be involved on campus or you might not be making new friends.”

For college students, those are two notable advantages. Everyone has had those mornings when the snooze button has been hit one too many times, and it is hard to get to know people when you are not interacting with them outside of class.

The downsides, however, are notable. The biggest ones that Sligh mentioned were “the lack of privacy and independence.”

While people off campus often have rooms to themselves, dorm rooms are typically built for two or more people. As for independence, it is both a downside and an upside. Being responsible for bills is a great way to prepare for the real world, but is another burden to a college student.

The other on campus option is the Theme Houses. Freshman Imari Romeo is a resident of the Culture and Language theme house.

She described her experience by saying, “I like it because it’s a smaller environment. In my house we‘re close with everyone.”

She added, however, that people who would not enjoy living in a theme house are those who are not very interested in interacting with others all the time.

Imari explains, “You are noticed if you are not interacting. Everyone does their part.”

While theme houses share some of the advantages of off campus living, namely a full kitchen, they come with highly structured social interactions and expected participation from those who live in the house. Theme houses come with a greater social obligation than a dorm room, and for that reason may be unappealing to some.

As for living off campus, there are many different options. Students often dream of living in a house with their friends.

There are so many different factors involved in the process of getting off campus housing, it can seem like more worth than its worth. Landlords, setting up billing information, visiting the post office…the list is extensive. According to senior Nicole Logan, however, it is still worth it.

Logan says that a person who lives in a house should be “someone who doesn’t mind a little extra responsibility and wants to be outside of the campus bubble.”

One of her favorite things about living in a house is that she can cook her own meals. However, it does have a cost. She adds that “taking care of bills can be really annoying.”

She would, however, consider the bills well worth it. “I feel like I’m more of an adult now.”

Since college is all about preparing for the real world, living off campus is what students should consider sooner rather than later.

College is not just another level of school. It is also where students learn to be independent from their parents, which is why students should consider off campus living as their first option.