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

In my junior year at Geneseo, I have finally escaped dorm life.

After living on campus for two years - in some of the more luxurious dorms, Jones Hall and Seneca Hall, too - I can’t imagine how anyone actually enjoys living in a dorm.

First off, by living on campus, you’re forced to buy a meal plan. Besides convenience, I don’t see any benefit to meal plans. The food is expensive and typically served in small portions.

The quality of food is another story. I appreciate all of Campus Auxiliary Services’ recent efforts, including Fusion Market; however, the only CAS food I wouldn’t have rather made myself are the warm, gooey cookies from upstairs Letchworth Dining Hall. Too bad Letchworth is closed for renovations.

Another important reason why I decided to move off campus is related to saving money. We’re poor college students, right? Well, I save more than $1,000 a year by living in an apartment.

Now you may think, “Oh, she probably lives at the bottom of Court Street then.” Nope, ladies and gentlemen, according to Google Maps, I live less than 800 feet from the Livingston Area Transportation Service bus stop next to Newton Lecture Hall. Who’s going to pass up living closer to campus and paying less than they would for on-campus housing?

My situation is different than other off-campus residents though. Call me a hermit, but I live alone and I love it. Besides the aforementioned reasons, the idea of independence is what convinced me to sign my apartment lease back in September 2011.

There are endless benefits to living alone: a quiet environment, spaciousness, a getaway to do schoolwork, complete control of lights and background noise and - I saved the best for last - not sharing a bathroom. No more scheduled showers or dirty facilities for me.

Although I do have to clean and cook for myself more often, it’s definitely worth it. I enjoy cooking and I also like knowing what ingredients are in the food I’m eating.

I could do without cleaning, but tasks such as these prepare us for when we “grow up.” Eventually, some of you will come to a point in your lives when you may live on your own and hopefully you’ll be prepared. A great test run is living off campus while at Geneseo.

If you’re a sophomore or a junior that hasn’t lived off campus yet, I urge you to do so. In fact, I hear there are openings in my building.