The Best (and Not So Best) Things About Living Off-Campus


Living off-campus is something almost every college freshman looks forward to after only two weeks in the residence halls. There’s appeal to having your own space and setting your own rules. No resident advisor, no parents and most importantly, your own room. There are minimal drawbacks and endless benefits, but we’ll cover just a few of those today.

The Best Things

You’ll have more space.

One of the things that excites students most about off-campus living is the space of the apartment or rental is usually DOUBLED. And while you may have a roommate, they will have their own room separate from yours. Your room will be absolutely your own — no sharing and no need for pants.

It’s usually cheaper.

On-campus housing can break the bank, but off-campus housing can be vastly more affordable. There are usually student specials in local apartment complexes and many properties come furnished to reduce extra costs when moving off-campus.

You’ll enjoy more freedom.

Moving off-campus grants you more freedom instantly. There will be no one assigned to check on you or ensure you follow any dorm rules. A few perks that come with off-campus living can include the opportunity to have pets and the freedom to decorate as you please! Some complexes and landlords will still have a level of restriction, but there are pet deposits and more space to decorate with your furniture — even if they don’t let you paint the walls.

Your guests will have more flexibility for visitation.

Another huge benefit of off-campus housing is the ability to come and go as you please. There are no quiet hours (although you do want to be respectful of your neighbors) and there are no restrictions for having visitors. Have your significant other over for a night or have your friend from out-of-state stay for a week. No RA can tell you otherwise.

You’ll learn true responsibility.

Since there are fewer restrictions and people helping you off-campus, it’s a great chance to develop personal responsibility. Moving away to college in the first place was a big step, but moving off-campus might be a bigger one. No one is there to hold your hand through maintenance needs or cooking failures. It’s nerve-wracking, but also extremely exciting!

The “Not So Best” Things

Commuting can be a bore.

Living off-campus (obviously) includes a bit of traveling — which can pose a greater struggle than expected. Parking, traffic and unexpected issues can make commuting to campus a hassle. However, with a parking pass and a solid schedule, you should be able to avoid major issues. If you live further away, check out your options for public transportation. Or, if you live within the radius of campus, take advantage of the warm weather and use your bike.

You’ll have to account for more bills.

Though off-campus living is usually cheaper, bills and other expenses can still create problems. While you’re living in the dorms, everything is combined into one lumped fee. On the other hand, living in an apartment or rental includes multiple bills in addition to rent. A few examples are water, electric, internet and other bills. These can be troublesome to keep up with, but still, equal out in saving you money overall.

It’ll be difficult keeping up with campus happenings.

The last minimal setback to living in your own home is the distance from campus. The disconnect can keep you out of the loop for campus events, free food, organization meetings, and fun times. However, there are numerous ways to stay involved if you really want to be!

Off-campus living can be difficult searching for. Many students sign with the first apartment they see during a housing fair – which may not prove to be the right place. Instead, Northstar Properties has many Norman locations to choose from with great rates for students. For more information, give us a call at 405-310-6450. We’d love to show you around!