Low angle view of four university students on campusDuring your first year of college, you’ll have little say as to where you’ll live. Your school probably has a few dorms, and while you might choose which one you’d like to live in, ultimately your school will assign you a residence hall, a room number and a roommate. But don’t worry — by the time your sophomore year rolls around, you’ll have more options and more control.

Yet the choices to be made during college can be pressurizing; simply deciding where and with whom you’d like to live are big decisions! It comes down to one main question: should you live off campus your sophomore year or should you stay on campus?

As with most decisions, there are pros and cons to consider. There’s also no right or wrong answer, as you’ll have to decide on what you think is best. Staying on campus means you’ll have more security and a steady, comfortable place to live. Off-campus apartments mean you’ll at times be left at the mercy of your landlord; should an appliance stop working, or should you discover a leak in your ceiling, you’ll have to wait on your landlord’s assistance. Some landlords are attentive … and others, well, aren’t.

Staying on campus usually also means that you’ll be centrally located on your campus. Most dorms and college-owned apartments aren’t located far from the lecture halls, libraries, and other buildings that you’ll use daily. If you go off campus, and if you attend a larger school, getting to campus might mean walking a mile or more. Location is key, especially if you’re one to often find yourself late for class.

You may have also heard horror stories of student apartments being burglarized, especially during spring break or another time when everyone’s away. This is a tough reality; it’s pretty easy to spot student apartments around your school’s campus, and thieves know they’ll find some easy-steal valuables like TVs and stereos. While dorm theft is also unfortunately common, it can be unnerving should your apartment be broken into. That being said, be sensible about locks and consider installing a basic door alarm; thieves won’t be expecting resistance like that.

Always remember, do what’s best for you! You can make either living situation work, and you can adapt to either one. Each has benefits when it comes to conveniences and freedoms, so as long as you keep that in mind, you can’t really make a wrong choice when it comes to your living location in college.

Keith-DormCo-headshotWritten by Keith Gillogly, for DormCo.com. Connect with DormCo on their Facebook pagePinterest and Tumblr.

> For more info about living on or off campus, visit NextStepU.com.

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