It’s normal to wonder what it would be like to live off campus after spending a year or two living on-campus. In an on-campus dorm you’re provided with everything you need to survive, but living off campus requires you to be more independent and accept more responsibility. Here are a few things to consider in your decision-making process:
Student housing can get pretty cutthroat and you definitely don’t want to be scrambling around weeks before the semester begins trying to secure a lease. Allot plenty of time to conduct your search. What are your must-haves when it comes to off-campus housing? Onsite laundry facilities? A pet-friendly policy? Easy access to public transportation? This might be your first time signing a lease, so make sure you carefully review any legal documents with a parent or someone with a solid understanding of renting. Undergrads often misunderstand their lease terms, so don’t just sign on the dotted line without fully comprehending what you’re getting yourself into. It also helps you know what rights you possess as a renter, as well as those of your landlord.
You don’t want to find yourself coming up short every month, digging through the couch cushions to find enough money to make rent. Achieving financial stability is as easy as creating a budget by tracking everything you spend money on: school-related expenses, rent, utilities, insurance, food, nights out with friends, etc. If you’re still scraping to get by, you might want to consider finding a part time job. While class is certainly a full time job in and of itself, balancing work on top of that will teach you how to prioritize and manage your time wisely. Bob Jones University has lots of on-campus student employment opportunities that allow for flexible schedules, as well as opportunities for students who qualify for Federal Work Study.
One of the biggest misconceptions about roommates is that your roommate has to be your best friend when, in fact, your roommate just has to be someone who is responsible enough to pay rent and their share of utilities on time and be respectful of you and your shared living space. Bob Jones University has an easy-to-use roommate finder on their off-campus housing website. You can also expand your search by telling your classmates and friends that you’re looking for a great roommate. Take an old school approach by posting flyers in elevators, on bulletin boards and in other popular spots on campus. Tweet about it or post a Facebook status asking your friends for help, too.
Living on your own can be fun and liberating, and it will certainly help prepare you for life after college, but it’s a big decision that shouldn’t be made carelessly. Take time to research before you commit to living in off campus housing near Bob Jones University.