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What to do when deciding to live off campus

Here’s some tips for those thinking of off-campus living arrangements

Rylie Horrall  |  Lifestyle Editor

By the time the first year of college has ended, some students have decided to live off campus for the next few years. This was a decision I came to myself — granted, I solidified my decision halfway into Winter Term. For anyone that’s thinking of going down this same route, here’s a list of tips for living off campus.

  • By living off campus, there’s more freedom when it comes to choosing a roommate or roommates. Some students choose to place ads on Engage when searching for people to live with, and some pick to hang forms on the various bulletin boards around campus — such as in the library and in the Werner University Center. Choosing to live with friends is also a viable option.
  • Respect between roommates is also important; the space that’s shared is bigger — so it doesn’t feel as cramped sharing just one room between multiple people — which means that there’s also more ground rules to lay out. Establish a system to make sure dishes are clean, laundry gets done and the place isn’t an overall mess. 
  • Communicating with the people you live with is imperative, such as when someone decides to have people over. Like living in the residence halls, giving roommates a heads-up about any potential guest or guests is often important to some people. Setting ground rules is a key factor to effectively living together, both on and off campus.
  • Having a stable income is imperative when living off campus; now that the housing cost isn’t included in the overall school bill, it’s on each person living in the space to contribute to rent. Money stability ensures that there will be less stress when it comes to getting all bills and groceries paid for.
  • Going off of the last statement, food sustainability becomes a major factor to be aware of. Living off campus means not having the dining hall always within reach, so it’s important to ensure the fridge is stocked with something. Grocery prices can be distributed among the roommates evenly, or, if food insecurity is a problem, Western’s Food Pantry is also available.
  • A final tip to keep in mind is to really make the living space comfortable for everyone, because it’s not just a place to live for the school year. It becomes a home, so it’s essential that it’s cozy and brings happiness.

 

Contact the author at rhorrall17@mail.wou.edu