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Tips for college students living off-campus

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It is so exciting to get to live off-campus! You are getting on some exceptional adventure that will last for several years and can become a blessing or a disaster. Yes, we don’t want to lie to you — there are lots of stories about living off-campus that didn’t end well. However, in 8 of 10 of those stories students could do better if they planned this experience from the very beginning. The results of emotional decisions are fun to watch from the side, but they are difficult to bear when you are the main hero of the story. That is why we want to offer you some tips for college students living off-campus. We realize that it is impossible to follow all of them at once, some of them won’t be applicable to your situation. Focus on the ones that you see the most relevant and proceed from there. Good luck!

Plan your finances wisely (we mean — pessimistically)

Why do we talk pessimistically when it comes to finances, especially when students are involved? First of all, we talk from experience. Students rarely know how to handle money, and it is easier to economize when you live on campus. Living off-campus is much closer to real-life than many students realize which means spending more money on things you never anticipated you would need. Why is it so frustrating? Because your budget will collapse during the first week. That is why you need to plan pessimistically when choosing to live off-campus. 

Start looking from the campus-closest apartments 

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The logic is simple: start not from the places you may like more than others but from the budget-appropriate places that are situated closest to your campus. Later, you will thank yourself for this decision. Time is priceless, and time for students who don’t have time to sleep enough is even more priceless. If you find a place that is close, and a place that looks a bit nicer, or is in a fancier neighbourhood but is relatively far, don’t tell yourself lies like “oh, i can easily wake up an hour earlier.” No, you can’t.

Prioritise safety over “coolness” whatever it is for you

Safety is even more important than the location, but mostly those terms are interconnected. Look for safer neighbourhoods and apartments. If you cannot afford a safe enough place on your own or with your friend, think about inviting more roommates, but don’t rent an unsafe option. Don’t lie to yourself, again, don’t think that you can handle it. This advice is related to students of both sexes.

Take a good look at a kitchen – you will have to start cooking now

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Eating off campus may be both difficult to organize and, again, more expensive than you expect. That is why we offer to pay extra attention to the kitchen space and appliances. Does the stove work? Does the fridge work? You will have to start cooking, you cannot live on ordered pizza forever. Students often oversee this issue and have to regret it later. Looking for a nice kitchen doesn’t make you less cool. It just shows that you are smart enough to think about such things. 

Make sure internet connection is stable

It is another critical issue that you should keep in mind. When living on campus you always have at least a basic decent internet connection, and your college administration is responsible for it. When living off campus, you are on your own. Unfortunately, no matter how hard you try to plan it or fix it, you will get in trouble from time to time. If it threatens your deadline, just address a reliable custom writing service, such as Smart Writing Service, for professional essay help. You can order a college paper in a few clicks just using your phone. While you are dealing with your wireless connection issues, professional writers will be preparing a quality paper for you. Don’t miss deadlines and don’t get in trouble with your professor just because you live off campus and have to face real-life problems now. Remember, real-life problems require some real-life solutions. 

Get renters insurance

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It is a must. It is more important than that party with beer you were going to throw once you rent some decent place. Renters insurance protects you from more trouble than you even can imagine. Don’t even think about renting a place without it. It may sound emotional now, but we know what we are talking about.

Look for tips on smart grocery shopping

It is normal that you don’t know how to shop smart right now. We all learn and mostly when it comes to money and real life “survival” skills, we learn the hard way. Google some shopping smart tips and you will avoid at least the most basic mistakes. Remember, there is nothing wrong in economizing, especially when you live on your own and you are the one fully responsible for your budget and savings. 

Consider telling everyone you have a very strict landlord

Well, it may sound a bit silly now, but later you will understand why it is a good idea. You will have needless friends and acquaintances interested in partying or crashing at your place. It may feel like fun from the very beginning but rather soon you will start hating it. The key idea is just to switch the responsibility to some crazy strict landlord or landlady who doesn’t allow you this or that. This way, you will control the situation. 

We bet that all of it may sound a bit overwhelming. When you think living off campus you have some nice, tempting picture in your head and that picture is most probably far from reality. When trying to apply at least some of these tips you will realize it much better. There is even a chance that you will want to change your mind, and stay on campus. We want to assure you that it is also an absolutely normal decision. Choose wisely.

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