Students discuss advantages of living on and off campus

For many, college is the first time students get to live on their own, which begs the question: Where to live?

Just like everything else in life, student-housing options have advantages and disadvantages.

“I don’t like to share the bathroom with everybody,” said junior Ethan Pharr about on-campus living. “One time I left an eight-pack of toilet paper in there, and they used every bit of it over a weekend.”

Pharr said he is moving to Grandview Campus Place Apartments because he will have his own bathroom and more privacy.

Freshman Madeleine Pedigo said she likes the convenience of living in the dorms because she can walk to class.

“It’s decent, and I have a meal plan so I don’t have to go far for food,” she said. “I don’t have to drive and I don’t have to pay for utilities.”

Pedigo said she is grateful for the bathrooms and washer and dryer that are close to her. Even though the rooms are small, she is content, she said.

Director of Environmental Services and Housing Facilities Management Audrey Mitchell said living on campus is the best way to ensure a beneficial collegiate experience.

“There are studies that say students benefit more living on campus because of the community,” she said. “That would help them stay focused in class and build relationships.”

Mitchell said there may be circumstances that cause one to live off campus, for instance finances, medical or marriage.

Senior Tesha Vickery said she lives in Courtyard Apartments, but she would prefer staying on campus.

“I wish I would’ve lived on campus at least my first year just because you get plugged into so many different activities, organizations and friends,” she said.

However, Vickery said she likes living off campus because she can invite friends over to use her kitchen.

Vickery said even though it is more expensive, she has her own bathroom and bedroom. She said she would encourage new students to live on campus at least for one year to see if they will like it.

Senior Taylor Jones lives in a house with his friends because it is cheaper and closer to school as opposed to living with his parents, he said.

“I felt like I would not be able to afford living in the dorms,” he said. “Although, I like the idea of living on campus because it makes the community on campus closer.”

Jones said it may not be easy to make friends with neighbors off campus, but it is easier to develop stronger relationships with people living on campus.

“As far as living costs, I would lean more toward living in a house or an apartment off campus rather than on campus.” Jones said.

Jones said living off campus may allow some people to mature because they have to be responsible for the bills and keeping a clean house.

Senior Susan Okereke said it was easy and cheap to live with her brother, who was already studying at UNA, as opposed to living on campus.

“The tuition is less when you don’t have to live on campus,” she said. “You use that money to get a cheaper apartment because Florence is not very expensive.”