So, the dorms are at capacity, and you’re feeling down about being left out of the campus shenanigans. But before you throw yourself a pity party, take heart! Living off campus as a freshman can be an incredibly formative and liberating experience. Read on to discover the many perks of living off campus during your first year in college.
The Benefits of Living Off Campus as a Freshman
When you’re weighing the pros and cons of living in an apartment or dorm freshman year, sometimes the decision is actually made for you. On occasion, universities can run out of space to house incoming freshmen, which means new students need to look into off campus options.
While some students — and their parents — might be nervous about living in an apartment as a freshman, the truth is, there are some major benefits to being off campus from the get-go. (And don’t worry, tons of parents help college students move into off campus apartments, too!)
1. You get to choose your roommate(s)
Like it or not, your roommate(s) play a huge part in your college experience. Although some universities might let you choose a roommate in the dorms, most aren’t guaranteed to extend that same opportunity. However, if you find an off campus apartment, YOU get to decide who you share the space with. If you want to rent with your closest friends, your significant other, or even live by yourself, you can easily do that, thanks to the independent nature of this living arrangement.
2. You can look for the ideal location
Not only does living off campus allow you to choose your roommate, but it gives you greater flexibility in terms of location as well. When you opt to rent your own apartment, you can look for a building within walking distance of your favorite grocery store, coffee shop, cafe, and more. Living in a neighborhood with these conveniences supports an off campus lifestyle that suits your needs and helps you achieve a better school-life balance.
3. You’ll have much more privacy
Let’s be honest: college dorms can get pretty crowded, and don’t leave a lot of room for privacy or quiet moments in between classes. But when you’re in your own apartment, you’re able to move about your space undisturbed. Off campus apartments are typically quieter overall, which makes them a great place for some serious study time. And did we mention no more shared bathrooms with your entire hall? Sounds like an attractive offer, for sure!
4. You have access to more amenities
While dorms offer events and activities for their residents, living on campus doesn’t provide near the amenities of an apartment complex. For example, renting an apartment means you’ll have a full-size refrigerator, oven, dishwasher, and plenty of cabinet and closet space — which dorms can’t give you. What’s more, certain utilities might be included in your rent, and you’ll have access to fun extras like exercise rooms, pool areas, and a study lab, or clubhouse.
5. You can use your 529 money
A 529 is a college savings plan sponsored by a state or state agency where savings can be used for tuition, books, and other designated expenses. You may be wondering, can a 529 be used for off campus housing? The short answer is: yes! For any student living off campus, things like food, rent, and utilities can all be considered qualified expenses for a 529.
But keep in mind, these expenses cannot exceed the university’s allowance for room and board, regardless if your off campus expenses are higher than said allowance. That’s why if you have your own apartment, you’ll definitely want to log your receipts to help validate these costs.
6. You might find somewhere you love
Even if living off campus wasn’t your first choice, you might end up finding somewhere you love. Leasing an apartment as a freshman means potentially not having to move again during your college years; hanging on to your apartment is as simple as renewing your lease for the following school year — you’ll just have to talk it over with your property manager.
On top of that, staying in one place gives you the chance to decorate your apartment for the long-term and really put your personal stamp on things. Be sure to check out all the student furniture rental packages from CORT to save big without sacrificing on style!
7. You’ll gain real world experience
It’s possible that renting an off campus apartment will be your first big milestone as an adult. And the experience of living on your own inevitably instills a strong sense of responsibility. After all, you’ll be managing your studies, keeping up your household, and working to pay your bills on time. For these reasons, having an apartment is super worthwhile, as it can teach you a variety of life skills you’ll use later on when you transition from college into a new career.
Furnish your apartment with CORT
As you’re deciding whether to live off campus during your freshman year, remember there are plenty of perks that make this a desirable situation: choosing your roommate, finding your perfect location, additional privacy and amenities, and valuable real world experience.
Once you’ve found a good deal on a rental, the only thing left to do will be figuring out how to furnish it. Luckily, CORT has amazing and affordable student furniture subscription packages starting at $109/month! With CORT, you can decorate your bedroom, living room, and dining room on any budget, and enjoy our complimentary set-up service. Avoid the heavy lifting your freshman year — your parents will thank you.
So, what are you waiting for? Visit our website today to start creating your furniture subscription, and have your apartment move-in ready!