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Differences of Living On or Off Campus

 When choosing on campus living or off campus living, cost, amenities, location and size are some things to consider.

John League

November 20, 2010

TAMPA- The choice facing University of South Florida students is often one of convenience versus independence when they are deciding to live on campus or elsewhere in the Tampa area.

The University of South Florida believes living on campus is the best way for students to immerse themselves in the full university experience. However, others believe that living off campus teaches students life lessons they cannot experience on campus.

On the University of South Florida housing and residential education website, it lists 10 reasons to live on campus. They include, campus living is “The only way to get the total USF experience, knowledgeable and caring residence hall staff, on campus living is safe and secure, on campus living is affordable, great food, opportunities to participate in living-learning communities, great academic resources, experience diversity, all-inclusive dorms, and living on-campus is the right choice.”

Marissa LaCarrubba, a junior, is living on campus but has also lived off campus. LaCarrubba said: “Living on campus is more convenient. You can wake up and walk to class rather than wake up and have to drive and you can sleep in longer.”

The proximity also has benefits. LaCarrubba said: “I am close to everything. I do not have a printer because I am so close to the Marshall Student Center. I can just go there and print stuff there. I am saving money on ink.”

The alternative to living on campus is off campus. Glenn Fowler is a Leasing Consultant for On 50 apartments, which is an off-campus apartment complex near USF. Fowler said, “Living off campus gives students amenities that students do not usually have which makes life easier and affordable.”

Unlike living on campus, living off campus gives the student a learning experience. Fowler said: “Living off campus gives the student a sense of responsibility. The student has to be able to manage time well. They have to make sure they pay rent on time. The responsibility teaches the student something that in a dorm that the student normally would not have. The student feels like he or she is on his or her own.”

There are some disadvantages to living on campus. LaCarrubba said: “I liked living off campus a lot more because I was paying half the price I am now and I had my own room which was big, a bed which was big and my own bathroom. I did not have to share with anybody.”

The dorms also lack certain amenities that off campus living would have. Fowler said: “The dorms don’t show some of the USF football games on ESPN but at On 50 you can watch the game. We have a hot tub, a sauna and a huge pool. We have an inflatable 70-inch movie projector. We give you allot more that the dorms.”

The disadvantages to living off campus are mostly location related. LaCarrubba said about the drive to campus, “My apartment was five minutes down the road but with traffic on Bruce B. Downs Boulevard and Fletcher Avenue, it could take up to a half hour to get home during rush hour.”

Parking on campus is also very poor. LaCarrubba said: “Parking was terrible. It took me at least an additional 15 minutes to park, if not a half-hour.” This is a major problem because a student who lives off campus will not be able to avoid this problem.

 

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