Ditching Dorms: Why College Students Are Moving Off Campus

Woman Holding Boxes For Moving OutNo life experience quite compares to the sudden rush of freedom that going to college offers. It’s a big deal for every kid to move out of Mom and Dad’s house and live with fellow students — Hogwarts style!

Dorms are the typical student housing solution in most colleges, offering advantages like the proximity to the school, a wealth of amenities, and in other cases, secure premises courtesy of campus security. It’s a great transitional place for young people who are trying to find their footing in their new, independent lives.

Despite the conveniences of an old-fashioned dorm, however, more undergrads are hitting up real estate listings online, packing up, and contacting a moving company to haul their stuff downtown. In an odd turn of events, students who grew up on stories of Hogwarts are choosing housing options more reminiscent of Friends.

Easing into Full Independence

As the years pass in university, students start to feel that the confines of campus living become less protective and more restrictive. What better way to practice a higher level of independence than moving out? Sure, parents might check in once in a while to see how their kids are doing but for the most part, students living off-campus are on their own. Keeping the apartment clean, doing groceries, and paying all the bills are just some of the experiences students gain in preparation for life outside of school.

Better Food Choices

Dining hall food on campus is as far from haute cuisine as one can get. As such, students who move out of the dorms benefit from a self-made menu that’s more to their tastes. For those moving to housing units that come with a kitchen, students can whip up their own healthy and affordable home-cooked meals. A lack of cooking experience is hardly a problem, especially when recipes are readily available online — or if a roommate just happens to be a Culinary Arts major.

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Privacy

Speaking of roommates, students have no choice but to share their belongings with a roomie in dormitories. Sharing living space with another person can be enjoyable (especially when you get along), but even in best case scenarios, any amount of privacy is already a luxury. Moving to an apartment minus one’s old roommates provides a level of freedom that’s truly adult-level: nobody’s there to mind or supervise whatever business goes on in the four corners of the house but yourself.

Room and Board Costs

Most of the time, it’s simply a matter of money. The average room and board costs have increased steadily in many schools across the U.S., averaging between 2.5% and 3% a year. Many factors like rising utility bills, union salaries, maintenance, and others contribute to on-campus living costs, and a significant number of students can’t keep up. These same students find that moving to a nearby apartment complex with a few friends is a much cheaper alternative. The money they save on boarding costs can be spent instead on tuition, food, etc.

Whatever the reasons for quitting the dorm life, it’s important to note that these are conscious decisions influenced by the very liberties that the college environment engenders. College is all about new learning experiences; moving out and living under one’s own steam is a big part of that.