Sophomore Jaqueline Cardini made the choice to move off campus in the hopes that she would become more independent and have more freedom, but she realized that it came with the cost of major responsibilities that she had not at first expected.
Living in the dormitories is just the first step of being an independent college student, but moving off campus teaches students an entire new lesson about adult responsibilities. Saving up money for rent, bills and furniture are just some of the things that Cardini had experienced while living in a house as compared to the residence halls.
Although Cardini said that since moving off in fall 2014 she preferred living in a house off campus, she struggled with the difficulties that came with the move. One of the stresses of renting a home is being timely with bill payments and contributing to the expenses of the entire home.
“The biggest struggle was the first amount of money that we had to put into the house,” Cardini said. “We all had to contribute to paying for the furniture in the house, because you’re not just given furniture, so saving up for that was pretty difficult.”
Cardini said (that bills and rent can sometimes get stressful and) that there is a lot of responsibility in keeping up with payments; many of the girls in the house have jobs to pay for the bills.
Martina Figel, one of Cardini’s housemates, said that she agrees there is stress that comes with the amount of responsibility in renting a house.
“A lot of people that move off campus have to help pay for utilities and keep up with taking care of the house,” she said.
Money is not the only struggle that living off campus has to offer. Living off campus also brings in another factor that those living in residence halls do not have to experience: neighbors who are not in college. The neighbors on both sides of Cardini’s house are families, not students.
Cardini said that they get along with the family to the right of their house, but the man living to the left “hates us for no reason.”
Cardini and her housemates have to remember to remain respectful and not cause friction with her neighbor.
It can also be difficult to get to places quickly when you do not enjoy the convenience of living on campus. Cardini said that getting to her classes is not that big of an issue because her house is close to the gate by Fahy Hall, where most of her classes are. However, that is not the case with other on campus facilities like the library or the gym, especially as the weather gets colder.
Cardini said that living off campus does not have the convenience dorm rooms may offer but she stills prefers her house because of the increase in space, comfort and having a car.
“There’s so much more space and privacy for a lesser price,” Cardini said. “I think paying for the house instead of the dorms is a lot better. If you have the ability to get a job in town or have your parents help you out with rent I think it’s such a better option because you do not have growing student loan debt, you just pay the rent monthly.”
Money was not the only reason Cardini made the move from on campus living. She said that one of the main reasons she moved from campus was because of her distaste for the Dining Hall food. Cardini said one of the perks of living in a house is the kitchen that provides the freedom make their own food.
“Having my own kitchen is amazing. It’s always nice to have a space designated for food and cooking,” Cardini said, who chose not to get a meal plan at the school this year. “I eat Dino-Nuggets a lot.”
Cardini said that she also enjoys other freedoms as well. There is no limit to having friends over; signing them in or out is not an issue and there is more space to have people. Cardini added that the house was more comfortable than the dorms because she was able to personalize her own space. She said that living in the dorms felt like living in a hotel room because the space was not hers.
“Sometimes when I’m in my friend’s room in Xavier I’m temporarily jealous, but at the end of the day I go home to my big comfy bed while they have to sleep on like a two-by-four,” Cardini said.
Ashley Turner can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.