Student Residence Life Faceoff: Is on or off-campus living the optimal arrangement?

When people realize that I’m a senior still living on campus, they react in shock, questioning my decision. For me, I really can’t see a reason to live off of Geneseo property.

I often hear from people planning on or already living off campus that the main deciding factor is how much cheaper it is. One thing we emerging adults usually forget to account for, however, is just how expensive food can get.

Although I’d agree that Campus Auxiliary Services food isn’t the best it could be, at least I don’t have to plan and maintain a specific food budget each week; it’s already paid and budgeted for me. Nor do I spend gas money and time driving to and from Wegmans or Wal-Mart.

Living in dorms also minimizes responsibility. The townhouses excluded, it’s a great thing to just wake up one afternoon and see a magically clean and shiny bathroom. Toilet paper is another expense that can pile up when living off-campus. Now that you’re already worrying about food and utilities bills, the last thing your student mind needs to keep track of is if your next trip to the toilet will be devoid of toilet paper.

Then there are the costs of living under a lease, and I’m not just referring to money. Think of all those “Judge Judy” court cases that revolve around housing disputes. Granted, not all students will face such situations with their landlords or roommates, but in my year at Geneseo I’ve already encountered too many students left high and dry by lease politics.

Do problems with roommates apply to living on campus? Sure, but at least there are quick ways handle them if they escalate too much. If roommates can’t stand each other, one of them has the option to move at no extra cost. Off campus, you’d be extremely lucky if your landlord willingly let you off the lease you signed, but even after that you’re stuck with finding a new place.

Lastly, I enjoy being able to sleep and do my work in peace. Here in my suite I know that if there is a loud group above me on Thursday night at 2 a.m., someone will be along shortly to take care of it. The best you can do with rowdy neighbors in an apartment is to ask them to quiet down or bang a broom against the ceiling to indicate your annoyance.

All in all, security, peace and quiet, food and roommate flexibility are what you get if you choose to live in the dorms. When figuring in all of the time I spend on classes and social life, it’s simply a relief not to worry about my living situation each semester.