After a wonderful time at Anime Expo (which I'm sure Karina and Nick will be talking about here shortly), I'm all set to get packing and finalize all of my paperwork for moving into an apartment off campus.
Why Move Off Campus?
There are a lot of reasons why moving off campus can be an absolute godsend. The first and most important is definitely privacy which is why it's italicized AND bold. The dorms are absolutely amazing for getting to know people, and extremely convenient being just 20 feet from the main campus. Living with another person, usually with similar interests, is a lot of fun as well and teaches you plenty of life skills.
Sometimes you just would rather have your own bedroom though, where you can zone out and enjoy some alone time without a roommate yelling at people in Call of Duty... or marathoning the entire first season of Spongebob or Code Monkeys every night (not that I'm not used to it at this point). I'm sure there are times where he wishes I didn't get up so early, or that I wouldn't yell at friends in Team Fortress 2 using a Sonic the Hedgehog impersonation.
Another reason for some students to move off campus is definitely the cost.
Founder's Hall, the UAT dormitory, does an amazing job. We have huge rooms in comparison to every other university I have visited. All the utilities, including high-speed internet, are included in the lease and the upkeep by the maintenance team is outstanding. Every dorm comes with furniture, but also with a fan, microwave, and mini-fridge. We even have stuff like a game room, workout room, movie room, and a full kitchen that is getting remodeled within the next month.
It takes some work and some savvy thinking, but you can usually split a two-bedroom apartment with a friend for about the same price as the dorm lease. Of course utilities like water, electricity, internet, and other expenses like travel come into play.
Apartments are also just more convenient in some ways than dormitories. There is no walking up to the third floor to cook food or do laundry. The fridges and microwaves aren't mini either. These are little things but sometimes make a big difference for a student.
A New Start
For me, an apartment means a few other things outside just privacy though. It's a big step toward improving myself as a real "adult". Of course, I'm still going to nerd out and play video games and watch cartoons and actually have fun, but it's important to learn some responsibility as well.
Keeping track of a lease and utilities and staying on top of finances is something everyone needs to know how to do. If I'm being entirely honest, saving money and budgeting are two of the most difficult things for me to do (and also for many students my age), so it'll be a good challenge. There are a lot of ways I can save money too, such as buying video games during sales instead of on their official release, saving energy and water where and when I can, and maybe biking to school instead of driving my car.
Also, having a living space all your own, not shared by someone else, means there is no one else to blame when something goes wrong. I'm the one who needs to clean the floors and take out the trash because if I don't do it no one else will!
Hopefully with a workspace where I can be fully responsible for my living space and eating habits, I'll be able to buckle down and finish my education at UAT learning not only those industry-specific skills but a bunch of life skills along the way!
(btw all the images used in this post are from Scribblenauts)