Off Campus Life Essay
They are about 30000 students in VT and a majority student live off campus (about 2/3). As a freshman at Virginia Tech you are obligated to live on campus. It is actually understandable; you may actually prefer staying on campus but it is not going to be the case for many students. They maybe don’t consider freshmen mature enough to live off campus. A lot off students never lived completely alone before. On campus you still have some people who take care of you, for example RAs. Life on-campus is probably a transition to off-campus life.
As I asked around in my hall a lot of students were convinced that they will live off campus, (out of the ten people I asked, 9 are already looking for off campus housing). Currently I am living in West AJ, the best dorm in VT. Some students even compare it to a hotel. It just got renovated. It is has beautiful lounges, a huge kitchen (every time you want to use it there is already someone using it) and even a game zone. You might think that I shouldn’t complain but I really do, I don’t feel home there.
My first weeks at VT gave me the opportunity to meet a senior student named Jeremy in front of West AJ (my dorm). He was smoking a cigarette and enjoying the weather outside. I asked him for a lighter and if he was living here. He was actually on the same floor as me. I was pretty surprised to meet a senior living on campus and he seemed pretty convinced that it is the best place to live when you are in college. I couldn’t believe him. He stated certain points which can be considered as convenient such as having a fast access to all your classes.
Everything is closer. You are five minutes away from all dining halls, the health center and even from the library where you can find all academic resources. All your friends are near and you feel like you are living in a certain community. You meet people you know randomly all the time. But I added, isn’t it sometimes awkward because you just don’t want to see them? Don’t you feel that you don’t have enough privacy? Don’t you hunger sometimes at night? The only answer he gave me was, “you get used to it.
On campus, you share the bathrooms and your room with someone who you might dislike. Dining halls are not open 24/7, so you can’t have actually get food all time, (I miss my fridge back home). The meals start to get boring because you eat the same food again and again. You are still not able to do whatever you want. You need to respect rules. I also heard a lot of students complaining because of their malicious RAs who try to do everything to border them. Since I have been living here I discovered part by part how it is to live off campus.
But I still prefer staying at my friend’s apartment. I feel home there. It is more comfortable. I have more space and I have everything I need. You get to live with four friends and you don’t get to share with everyone in your hall (bathrooms and so on). I am absolutely convinced that off campus life gives a certain vague to college experience. First you get to live without RA, one of the only people that keep an eye on what you do. In your own apartment or even house, you have all privacy you want. You have your own room. You get to live in their alone.
You can decorate it yourself, with the stuff you bought. It is all the time better to live in a place you made for yourself. I mean when you have an apartment you can buy the bed that you think is more convenient for you. It takes a long time to get used to the bed in your dorm. Then you have more space, you have a living room, a kitchen and even a balcony (in your room you have only this two small windows where a little light comes thru). In your living room you have the possibility to buy a big TV, nice comfortable couches and so much more.
But in your dorm, you need time to get used to the beds and the only way to sit on couches is to go to your floor lounge, a room which is most of the time full. In my room, I have barely enough space to add simplest things such as a small table. My room is four times four square meters big; I had nowhere to put my fridge or my TV. You can have pet. A lot of students have a dog or a cat at home. Two of my sophomore friends have a young dog; it is all the time fun to play with him when I am bored. You have your own kitchen which means you can cook all you want.
Although, you still have some responsibilities, you need to buy all your groceries, pay the bill, the rent and respect the owner’s rules (if you’re lucky he never comes by). My friends told it is even cheaper to live off campus and in a worse case it would be the same price. Maybe you think that all campus housing are too far away but VT’s campus is surrounded by off campus housing some are even nearer to some off my classes then my dorm. However, I asked an RA living in Pritchard what she thinks about it she was totally convinced that life off campus was better.
Then I asked her why she was living then on campus, she answered “because I am getting paid”. Most off the students are against living on campus after their sophomore year. A lot of freshmen students think already about living off campus. Some of them already started to look for certain apartment. I am just waiting for my sophomore year. I will be able to have my own apartment. I already know with who I want to live which make the search for a house easier. Most of people start searching for apartments and houses end fall semester.
Students try to live in the most convenient places such as those near campus. I am convinced to live next year off-campus. I really want to discover this new world even if a lot of things are about to change. First for me it means living a free life. I want to have my own house with own rules. But it doesn’t mean I have the right to do whatever I want. I still have to respect my owner house and his rules. I feel like the freshmen year gives you the opportunity to discover a bit more yourself, it is sort of preparation for off campus life. It can be considered as a new step in your life. I feel ready to take the responsibilities behind this new life.
Sources: 1. West AJ, floor 7, Jeremy, senior student at VT living on campus. 2. Pritchard RA, floor 5. 3. My floor friends: Leoul, Chris, Will and so on… (10 freshmen students. ) 4. Sophomore friends living off-cam: Collin and Dave. (They have two cats in their house at Pheasant Run). 5. Adele and Akram, senior students at VT, live in house 2mn walk away from campus. 6. Andrew and Josh: live off campus.