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No regrets about living on my own off campus

Ashley Charnley | Friday, November 5, 2010

It wasn’t an easy decision when I had to weigh between off-campus or on-campus housing. I couldn’t help but lean toward the idea of being free from cramped quarters, parietals and limited amounts of liquor even though I’m beyond the age of 21.

However, there was also the idea of never having to cook, having to swipe into the room and not having to drive to class every day.

In the end though, I chose off campus. Honestly, I’m incredibly grateful for my choice. That isn’t to say, though, that I wish I had moved off sooner. Now a senior, I spent the first three years of school on campus. I didn’t have a choice, but then again even if I had, I would have stayed on.

I actually recommend all college students remain close to campus those first few years. I made friends in the classroom, but sisters in the dorms. I love all the girls I spent movie/study nights with in my pajamas and rushed to their dorms for late night drama with pints of ice cream from the C-Store.

Living on campus has its downfalls, but the relationships make it worth it. There is no way to get to know someone better than to live with them. Even the ones who are harder to live with, who force you to go outside yourself, to be patient and to learn how to talk through issues or else crash on someone else’s futon for a couple of days.

All that being said though, I think it was time to move off. I thought long and hard about what I would be missing if I decided to leave the over 100-year-old walls and halls of those buildings.

Then it dawned on me: there are new memories to have. The point of college is not to dwell on the times we had, but to make as new ones as possible. Moving off campus, paying rent, making ends meet and then having house parties (tame, I swear) and hanging out with friends in a place that has multiple rooms and a bathroom that is only shared by two people.

Since I’ve moved in here, we have been woken up by middle of the night smoke detector malfunctions, watched our window crash to floor and sat in the middle of the living room (as far from a window as you can in a townhouse) to avoid being injured by hurricane force winds and tornadoes.

Having my own place has been an adventure and has taught me so much about what the next step is going to be. I know what it is like to live on my own without a dining hall and someone else taking care of cleaning the bathroom.

So, to any of you wondering if going off campus is a good idea; I say yes. It’s college. Live a little.