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How Living Off-Campus Can Improve Your Grades
As you’re going into your next year at college, you have the choice of living on- or off-campus. Both of these lodging accommodations have pros and cons, but the most important factor is how they affect your grades.
Lots of people will caution you against the ‘dangers’ of living off-campus. Without dorm rules and structure, some people find adulting as an independent student to be difficult. And it’s true that if you’re easily distracted, you may have to focus harder to put your education first.
The advantages of being in your own place, however, can actually be beneficial to your studying habits. Your independence helps to shape you into a better student and a more responsible adult in general. Consider these off-campus housing factors that could boost your grades—if you use them in your favor!
You Get More Privacy
When you live in a dorm, you get to hear your roommate’s comings and goings, as well as everyone else, around you. The only time sound levels are truly monitored is after-hours, and by then, you probably want to sleep.
Living off-campus gives you more control over who your roommates are, especially if you choose them. You can have your own room and minimize who comes in and out of it.
When you and your roommates set boundaries, let them know your studying time is off-limits. And if you all get along well, you can use their brains to help you when you’re struggling in an area!
Renting an apartment locks you into a lease, typically for one year. During that time, unless there’s a major issue, you don’t have to worry about where you’ll live or who your roomies will be.
On-campus housing doesn’t give you that security. The oft-confusing move-in process, random room checks, and winter-break move-out can make it stressful.
You’re spending a lot of time dealing with logistical headaches. The extra stress can show up as lack of sleep and trouble concentrating. You shouldn’t have to worry about when you’ll be kicked out of your room and moved to another dorm. Your RA shouldn’t always harass you. When these types of things happen, living on-campus can be a nightmare for your grades.
You’re in Control of Your Schedule
Aside from your courses, the rest of your time should be yours. But on-campus, a lot of the “free” hours are limited by rules and regulations. It’s nice that there’s an infraction fee for the real violators. However, when you’re stuck paying it because you wanted to work late to make some much-needed money, it’s a hassle, not a help.
What if your family comes to visit? They can hang out at your dorm, but do you want to send them away at lights-out?
When your schedule is truly yours, you decide what to do with it. This can be an overwhelming responsibility for some people. However, if you’re able to handle the freedom, you can use it to learn time management skills.
There’s no better life hack to have than knowing how to juggle a lot of to-do tasks. The real world is full of them. When you master time management strategies, your grades naturally improve.
If you’re a non-traditional student or someone with strong feelings toward something particular, on-campus living takes away a lot of your freedoms. It’s not on purpose, but hundreds of distinctly unique individuals are thrown together in one place and told to assimilate.
Say, for example, you’re extremely religious. Chances are, the social activities on campus are going to be distracting, if not flat-out nerve-wracking.
Other students are returning to school after a break, so they’re older. They’ve already lived on their own, or they may have children. On-campus living requires every college student to live under the same restrictions. These rules are in place for everyone, regardless of their age or life experience.
If you want to eat a vegetarian diet without being harassed or worried that it’s not actually ‘vegetarian,’ off-campus living is an option.
If you’re not a traditional student, or your religious, sexual, ethnic, or other lifestyle choices make on-campus living hard, you might want to live off-campus.
It’s not just a choice you’re making to have your freedom. The rules of campus living can be so restrictive or contrary to your beliefs that it affects your grades.
Living off-campus: conclusion
The final choice of where you live when you go to college comes down to your individual situation. Decide where you feel the safest and what you can afford first. Wherever you go, put your schoolwork and education at the top of your list, and you’ll excel!