By Grace Gulino
Photography by Stephen Vocaturo
Choosing to live in an off-campus apartment can shape a student’s college experience as much as choosing which on-campus dorm to live in. With living in a place that is not monitored by BU, there are definitely rewarding perks—like not having a security guard watch you come back to your room at early hours of the morning. But there are also challenges that come with the territory. Two students weighed in and brought to light the ups and downs of having an off-campus place,and three shared the same about living on-campus.
Chloe Chow (COM ’17) lived in The Towers her freshman year then chose to move off-campus sophomore year, and is now familiar with the lifestyle and what it entails.
“Benefits are that I don’t have someone that controls my lifestyle, like an RA or security guard,” she said. “I have my own room, too, and I don’t have to worry about disturbing others as much. I also get to cook more and I like having a common area with a TV. You definitely don’t find most of these things in a dorm.”
Josh Adkins (COM ’16) had previously lived in a dorm, but sees off-campus living in the same light as Chow.
“I chose to live off-campus because I found a place that was cheaper than on-campus housing, I wanted to have my own kitchen, and I saw it as a chance to sort of prepare myself for the ‘real world’ after college,” he said. “The benefits are definitely overall better living conditions, a lot more space and it also feels like my home where as dorms feel like a small hotel.”
But in living off-campus, there are setbacks that are not found in dorm living.Getting to and from campus takes longer and eating is not as convenient as a dining hall swipe.
On the other hand, on-campus living provides a different kind of lifestyle. Hollis Bellerose (CAS ’17) currently resides in StuVi 1 and is also content with still being on campus, even when more upperclassmen have been finding homes in places like Allston and Brookline.
She explained that it can be a pain dealing with BU’s restrictions, and it is more difficult to have guests over, but for her, the downsides do not overpower the benefits.
“The location is better because it’s obviously the closest choice to campus, furniture is provided and you’re surrounded by other students,” she said.
Jessica Hotaling (CAS ’17) and Caroline Pearson (COM ’17) are roommates living in South Campus this year, who chose to keep their on-campus apartment from last year.
“It’s true we probably could have found cheaper housing if we really looked in the neighborhoods around us, but it would be farther off campus and we didn’t want to[deal] with a landlord,” said Pearson.
They describe South Campus as a nice cross between dorm life and apartment life in that the buildings are technically owned by BU, but are not as overwhelming as bigger dorms.
“It’s kind of like living on your own but without adult responsibilities that come with having a real apartment,” said Hotaling. “South Campus feels more like you’re on your own though, whereas in West Campus you feel like you’re completely in college when you’re in the dorms.”
Living off-campus is definitely a noticeable fad among upper classmen in specific,but choosing to move into an apartment or to stay in BU housing is clearly something that is based on personal preferences and situations. Students find places to call home and are happy in both situations.