Want to distance yourself from school? If so, there are plenty of ways to do so

Choosing to live off-campus is a much bigger commitment than deciding to live in the dormitories or in MU apartments. It is a much bigger step financially then either of the two other choices.

Paying rent and utilities, furnishing a place, and let’s not forget the all important grocery shopping are huge responsibilities and something you must stay on top of once you sign a lease. Finding a suitable place to reside may also be an issue for some students.

Thankfully, MU can help you if you are looking into living off-campus for the 2010-2011 school year. The University Off-Campus Life office serves as reference agency collecting information on off-campus housing opportunities and preparing a periodic listing for the convenience of the campus community.

The office also provides educational workshops for eligible students interested in moving off campus. If you would like to obtain more information on off-campus housing call the MU Off-Campus Life office at (717) 872-3707.

Living off-campus makes you a commuter student. Do not be fooled, though, all commuting students are entitled to the same services as resident students. This includes meal plans, student organizations, the bus service, and health and counseling services. If you do choose to live off-campus perhaps decide to live closer to campus. Living closer to campus allows for students to be more involved in actual campus events and life. This could help further your opportunities as a MU student.

Some of the advantages to living off-campus are:

• Less distractions. You can focus better on getting schoolwork done instead of partying.

• Your roommate is the person you chose.

• You decide where you’re living, which, in some cases, works out to be cheaper than the campus dorms.

• More independence. You get more responsibilities and actually feel like an adult.

Living on your own really does thrust an individual into adulthood whether you are ready for it or not. So if this is a decision you are considering making, please make sure you are ready for such a move.

Contrary to the advantages, there are some disadvantages to off-campus living. They are:

• Finances. Since you will have a few extra bills to pay, it’s probably necessary that you hold a part-time job, at minimum.

• Separation from the campus. By not being there 24/7, you might not be involved in organizations anymore.

• Transportation. If you don’t have a car, how will you get to campus? Parking is also an issue once the school day begins.

• Not having the desire to attend class. You aren’t on campus, so it might be easier to skip class if you don’t feel like going.

There are quite a few disadvantages to living off-campus but if you are ready to make that step then go for it, it will be the most riveting experience to make.

Off-campus life is definitely much different then living on-campus; it is not a choice for everyone. Thinking about moving off-campus would be recommended more for upperclassmen than for underclassmen, mainly because it is a huge financial responsibility and sometimes just starting college is enough of an overwhelming experience without having to add that extra responsibility into the mix.

When asked if they were happy with their decision to move away from MU, the majority of off-campus students said they were glad they did. It is another part in growing up and moving forward in life. We all have to be on our own at some point in time; it just all depends when that time is right for you.

College is a different experience for everyone, whether you live off-campus or on-campus. One of the best things is to try and experience both types of housing and then make the best decision for you. Again it will not be the same for everyone, some strive under extreme responsibility others not so much. It is totally up to you.

Housing is an important part of college life and figuring out what works best for you, as a student is a key factor. Do not let anyone talk you into living off-campus if you are not prepared, take your time, enjoy this part of life. When you are ready to make that step, you will know it.

Off-campus living is not for everyone, but surprisingly it may just wind up being the perfect housing decision for you!