While there are plenty of fine off-campus living spaces for you to choose from, you have to make sure you look carefully when finding a good place to live at. There are many great things that you have to think about when finding a place.
What’s the Cost Difference?
One of the best parts of living off-campus is that it typically costs less than if you lived on an on-campus dorm space. You should compare the cost of your off-campus space with the cost of whatever it costs to be on campus to determine if the off-campus option is truly worthwhile. Not all off-campus housing providers are willing to give you a great deal on your housing option so make sure you are careful when looking for a place that you can enjoy living in.
Check Out the Neighborhood
Your living space should be reviewed based on whatever is available nearby. Think about things like the following:
- Where your neighborhood is in relation to your campus; look for a place that is not too far off from campus
- If there are any good transportation services whether it entails public transit services or roads that you can easily drive on to get to your classes
- The businesses in your area including any laundromats, grocery stores or other places that you might be employed at while studying
- Whether or not the atmosphere is something you are comfortable with; you need to only choose a place that you are comfortable with living around
Remember that neighborhoods outside a campus space aren’t easily controlled like what you’d get while on campus. You need to think about how the neighborhood that you want to live in is organized.
What’s the Lease?
Whereas many on-campus dorms have leases that last for one or two semesters, some off-campus spaces might ask you to stick with an annual lease. Others will offer monthly leases that are ideal for if you are going to be away from campus for a month or longer in between semesters. Check on the lease for whatever place you want to stay in and see if it’s one you can afford to spend money on.
Look At Your Demands
Every off-campus living space is different. Not every place will have room for all your items. Therefore, you have to think about individual demands for your living space like:
- What types of appliances you plan on bringing; compare them with whatever community appliances are in your space or if there’s a nearby spot like a laundromat that you can use instead
- The types of functions you plan on handling within your living space
- Whether or not you plan on going outside more often for particular functions
You have to choose things to make it easier for you to get a little more out of your living space. Make sure you choose something sensible and useful for your demands and you will have a good experience.
Be careful when looking for a great off-campus living space. You need to make sure the place you want to live in is one that is comfortable for your demands and offers plenty of great things for you to enjoy while also being easy to afford.
Universities today have changed a lot since most parents were students. Technology used in teaching, facilities available to students, accommodations and even the social activities on campus are very different today. University life may feel just as overwhelming to parents as it does to students but it is important to provide children the support they need to adjust to their new lifestyle.
The first few weeks at university
The first few weeks at university are the most crucial. New students may be worried about how they would fit in and if they would be able to make friends. As a parent, you would want to provide your child the reassurance that everything will be fine in a short time. Talk to them to ensure they have realistic expectations of university life. You should also help them understand that it takes quite some time to form friendships and to adjust to the new lifestyle on campus. University life offers a lot of freedom and this might be an issue with some students. Talk to your child to ensure they are focused on their education and that they do not take undue advantage of the freedom they have away from home.
Academic demands of university
The learning structure at university is very different from high school and it may take quite some time for new students to adapt to these differences. With the new independence they have on campus, there might be a lot of distractions and procrastination that may make it difficult for your child to put in the effort to study. If your child is having problems adjusting to the new style of studying, encourage him or her to speak to a professor and seek help on campus to overcome the difficulties.
Accommodation options available
For most parents, university accommodation is one of the main concerns, especially when their child has enrolled in a university abroad. Most universities today offer some form of accommodations to students for the first year. There are several different options to choose from. Traditional residence halls with meals, self-contained apartments, hotel quality private rooms and shared accommodations are the few options available. Each accommodation type has a different cost attached to it. While a private room is definitely the most comfortable, parents should also remember that their child would be responsible for cleaning and cooking. With their academic and social obligations, they might not always have enough time available to do that.
Living with a roommate
In most cases, your child will have to share a room with a stranger. This may present a few problems if your child has never shared a room with someone else. It is important for parents to talk to their children and explain that adapting with another person is an essential skill that will prove to be helpful every stage of their life. Encourage them to discuss all issues with their roommate and try to resolve them in a healthy manner instead of letting problems grow.
Dealing with homesickness
Even if your child is excited to attend university, he/she may soon experience homesickness as they try to adapt to their new environment. If your child comes home every weekend, it may take even longer for them to adapt to their new life. Encourage your child to spend as much time as possible on campus so they can experience university life, make friends faster and make the transition process easier. During their time on campus, parents should communicate with their children on a regular basis and discuss their problems.
University offers students an excellent opportunity to meet like-minded students and form solid friendships that may last a lifetime. Most universities today cater to a variety of interests including academic, cultural, social and sporting and students can easily find something that suits their interests. Parents should encourage their children to participate as much as they can since it will allow them to meet new people and discover their own interests in the process. If your child’s university has a student exchange program or a study abroad program in place, it would be a great opportunity for your child to experience a new culture and gain valuable life experience.