The housing process is known to be one of the more stressful times for students. Despite often guaranteed housing by colleges, students are still left scrambling, conspiring with friends, and searching to find backup plans to their backup plans. While most students are stressing over room draw, a few select students decide to skip all the drama and take advantage of off-campus apartments in Roanoke.
The students who choose this option will be thrust into an environment similar to the one they will face after college. They will have to learn to cook for themselves and figure out transportation to and from campus. So, with housing on campus guaranteed and off campus apartments conveniently located, why do these students elect to live off campus?
Leigh Mathieu ’16 is one of the students who chose to live off-campus this year. She currently lives with two of her friends in an apartment. When asked why she initially chose to live off campus, she said, “I wanted to live with two other people, and there aren’t many options for triples on campus. I also really wanted an apartment after coming back from abroad, where I lived on my own.”
For students like Mathieu, an off-campus apartment is both cost-efficient, and a great way to try and live with friends without relying on getting a senior apartment or a good room draw pick.
While living off-campus acts as a substitute for the dorms, it can also provide underclassmen with the opportunity to live in an apartment. “I just want a kitchen,” Grant Alenson ’18 said.
Living in an off-campus apartment has many benefits. In addition to being cost-efficient, off-campus housing also allows students the opportunity to escape from campus each night. At a college students can often feel trapped. Getting away from campus each night allows for a nice decompression period. According to Mathieu, this was one of the things she enjoyed most this past year. “It’s [been] really nice to get away from the bubble and feel like a real person. I’ve become so much more self-sufficient—I can cook, maintain a house, clean, etc. There’s also so much more space: not only do I have a spacious bedroom, but we also have a living room and dining room. Logistically you save a lot of money and avoid the burdens of living on campus,” she said.
The challenges off-campus students face are not endless. In fact, the issues are simply something every student will have to face after graduation. Though it may not be for everyone, off-campus housing is a great transition into the real world and students like Mathieu have nothing but good things to say about it. When asked if she would recommend off-campus housing to other students, Mathieu said, “Do it! So many people I’ve talked to want to be able to cook, and let’s face it, not everyone gets apartments. It’s a great way to better prepare yourself for post-grad life while also enjoying college.”