Without a doubt, living off-campus exceeds dorm life in more ways than one.
Living at a student apartment complex is one of the best transitions into adult world, and the Public Relations Student Society of America’s upcoming Living Expo is the most convenient way to find your future home.
Although living on-campus has its perks, like not paying electricity or being less than ten minutes from class, the benefits of having an apartment to come home to are numerous.
To begin, apartments tend to remind you of home more than a dorm will.
Since you pay rent, you have more freedom to decorate how you want. (Some apartments even allow you to paint the walls, as long as you paint them back to the original color before you move out.) Furniture plays a huge role in turning a house into a home, and the apartment complexes around Huntsville recognize that.
Say goodbye to twin beds and scratchy, uncomfortable couches. Most student apartments offer both furnished and unfurnished options, so you can either enjoy the furniture provided to you at minimum extra cost, or you can save some change and bring your furniture from home to truly make your living space your own.
Second, personal kitchens and laundry spaces. Need I say more?
I’m a firm believer that it’s the little things in life like not having to haul your basket of clothes down a hallway just to find out that both the washers are full of strangers’ clothes that have been there since the night before. Also, no more playing tetras with your mini fridge or Pinteresting “easy and healthy microwave meals.” A full kitchen equipped with appliances and your own washer/dryer spares you more time and stress than you think.
Third, having your own place means you can come and go as you please.
Instead of worrying about when you’re going to haul your stuff out of your dorm for winter break or meet up with your RA to give them your key, you can leave your belongings where they are and move at your own pace. If you find an apartment you’re happy with, you could stay for three plus years, which means hardly any moving. Freedom with a capital F.
Fourth stands for fur babies.
My favorite part of living at a student apartment is the fact that I was able to adopt my dog over the summer and she can stay with me in Huntsville. Her companionship is unmatched, and nothing helps relieve the stress from school like puppy kisses after a hard day, which I could never have while living on campus. I only had to pay a reasonable deposit to protect from damages in addition to a small monthly fee, and my complex offers free pet treats and a dog park to use at our convenience. Pet prices vary with every apartment, so definitely visit the Living Expo to talk pet guidelines before you commit to a furry friend, or a future home.
To round out my reasons, let’s talk amenities.
Most of the apartments around campus offer the following at no extra cost to their residents: a pool, hot tub and grilling area, basketball court, volleyball court, gym, tanning bed, study room or computer lab, free coffee and snacks in the office, and more. Some higher-end amenities include door-to-door trash pickup – which means no more broken trash bag while walking down three flights of stairs. In addition, some complexes offer a free shuttle to campus so you can spare the expensive parking pass.
In short, if you’re considering moving off campus next semester, think about the freedom, convenience and independence it will give you. If you’re concerned about managing the cost of rent, the Student Money Management Center will be at PRSSA’s Living Expo on Monday, February 27, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the LSC Ballroom to help you budget while you compare all that Huntsville has to offer.