Living On or Off Campus, Which Is Worth It?

Anessa Gilbert

During my first year of college, I lived on campus. I actually didn’t get to live on campus for an entire year. Due to Covid-19, I had to move out before the year ended. But, I’ll tell you about my first year there. It was fun, while it lasted. My room consisted of four people and two people had to share a room. It was a great way to get to know each other very fast. There are quite a few options for dorms at the IUS campus from a single bedroom to four people in four bedrooms. In very much me fashion I went into the four people two bedroom option due to being waitlisted for late admission. The dorms are nice and it truly puts you in a fully educational space. There are rooms dedicated to studying, free desktops, whiteboards, and a printer. It is very ideal for people in college. One thing that comes with the dorms is roommates. I got very very lucky with my roommates in the beginning. We were all chosen randomly to room together and it did work out for a bit. But, everyone has their differences and that comes naturally with sharing space. All of the buildings you need are within short walking distance and there even is a Subway to walk to. The library is always open. There was an endless amount of quiet spaces to find. Also, an endless amount of fun is available. Volleyball games, trivia, movie nights, catering, decorating, holidays, and so much more. The dorms were fun but not ideal for me. As a first-generation college student money has always been my main problem. My room accommodation was also due to how much I could afford. When I first started college I did not even buy a meal plan. I survived off of the kindness of events with food and groceries I managed to buy. But, money was still an issue. I had to find a job while living in the dorms. It was extremely hard because I also had no car.

Struggling was an understatement at the time. I tried for jobs on campus but was met with rejection letters every time. With the help of my father and roommates, I was able to finally go back and forth to my job at the grocery store. They had me working until midnight most nights. It was not fun. While working until dawn and waking up in the early morning I was getting very exhausted very fast. Then Covid happened. Everyone was to move out within two weeks. It was a scary time as we all did not know the full situation. Going back to the beginning of the story when I moved out. I lived with my dad and that did not work out but, thankfully my roommates and I decided to get an apartment and that was my saving grace for a few months. When we moved in we all finally got our own rooms. It was much more private than on campus. We finally had privacy. There was also no curfew since we lived in an apartment. It was nice and worked better for me as a working student. Being able to wake no one up while getting ready in the morning and having my own room. It also ended up being much cheaper than on campus. But, there is much more to worry about like electricity, wifi, and utilities. After a while, it did become easier to manage. If you are able to afford dorms your first year on campus I recommend it. If you are a person who thrives with much privacy and needs their own space I recommend living off campus. Everyone is different and had different needs for their college career. Go with what will make you successful in your journey.