Don’t discount living far off campus

By Brian Bauer, Assistant Photo Editor

Living far off campus can seem like an unattractive option to most undergraduate students. Those that do go through a number of challenges that other college students may not face, but they can reap many enviable benefits.

There are many valid reasons for preferring to to live off-campus. A big one for me was money — I pay very little in rent and the surrounding grocery stores offer better deals because there are so few students nearby. The quiet, homey atmosphere can appeal to those who would like to get as far away from Green Street as possible. Being closer to downtown Urbana or Champaign offers easier access to the variety of experiences to be had in the communities outside of campustown. Plus, being somewhat cut off from other students can create a strong bond between you and your roommates, which will more than likely start as necessary codependence.

But distance makes the heart grow fonder, especially for decent public transportation, something you might find out the hard way. It is often the case with living so far that few buses run nearby or change their route in the evening. If you don’t have a car or bike, this can make the commute difficult, and in the winter it’s just plain awful.

You also sorely miss the convenience of the dorms when you forget something important like your i-card or textbook. And after finally arriving on campus, or home after class, the motivation to do it all again disappears. Leaving becomes a challenge and can get in the way of things like taking part in clubs, going to morning classes and spending time with friends.

In the end, it’s all what you make of it. If you have the means and are willing to put up with the effort, putting some distance between yourself and school can be practical and enrich your time at the University.

Brian is a junior in Engineering.

[email protected]