As a junior, I am living off-campus this year. Though housing is guaranteed for freshmen and sophomores, many juniors and seniors live off-campus around the Tufts campus. From visiting my upperclassmen friends, I’ve seen different off-campus houses and was familiar with where a lot of the Tufts students lived. As someone who has lived in a dorm for the first two years, I noticed that there are some notable differences between living off-campus and living in a dorm. I’ll share some of the pros and cons of living off-campus in this blog.
The early to middle fall semester is when those who plan on living off-campus begin looking for houses for the following year. Many get stressed because it is often their first time signing a lease and/or they are unfamiliar with off-campus housing in general. However, I actually did not plan on living off-campus. I was planning on going abroad, but due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the program was cancelled. Since I was planning on going abroad, I had not applied to live on-campus or search for off-campus housing. Therefore, I spent the summer/quarantine trying to find housing with the intention of returning to campus instead of going remote. I decided to live off-campus, and I began searching for housing around Tufts. One of the most helpful resources were the Facebook pages dedicated to finding off-campus housing near Tufts. Also, people sometimes post on the Tufts class pages advertising a spot open in their house or to let people know that they are looking for a place. I was lucky because I found the house that I’m currently living in through a friend. So, I live with someone I know. The pro of using Facebook pages is that you can find multiple options and you may make new friends. However, a con could be that you might end up living with strangers and that can be unpredictable.
Living in a pandemic, I prefer living off-campus since you are sharing a space with less people compared to a dorm. Also, you can live with your friends instead of a randomly assigned roommate. In addition, unless you prefer having a double/roommate, you have a guaranteed single room. Living in a single room, especially during online classes is valuable. You can get your own space by living in a single room while also being able to hang out with your housemates in the kitchen, living room, and other shared spaces. Another pro is that I do not have to pay for laundry, which can add up when using the dorm washing machines and dryers. However, there can be some downsides to living off-campus. Living off-campus means that you have to pay rent, utilities, and other possible sources of expenditures. Rent is the same every month, but utilities differ month to month. Utilities include things such as gas, electricity, and the internet. For example, utilities can be high in the winter months because of the heater. Therefore, living off-campus may come with more unexpected costs.
Overall, I enjoy living off-campus and the freedom that comes with it. If you are considering living off-campus, then it can be helpful to check out the off-campus housing pages on Facebook or talk to upperclassmen. Talking to upperclassmen can be super helpful since they have been through the process already and can help guide you and give you tips!