Here it is, a new school year in beautiful Boulder, Colorado began as we welcomed in the Class of 2020 into the university. As many of you know, the welcoming of the incoming class brings about some annual late-August traditions in Boulder such as; traffic, the magical disappearance of any and all parking spots, Target’s attempt at the world record for most people crammed into a store, and so on. However, seeing the freshman acquire new freedom as they move into their new dorms trumps all minor inconveniences, as we all know that they are about to embark on what might turn out to be the best 4 years of their lives thus far. Almost every student can admit to aiding to the madness of move-in during their first year, but lest we forget that while the dorms are slowly becoming occupied, many older students are beginning their own journey of living off campus. Some of us choose to live in our Greek Houses, others opt for apartments or houses with friends, but the adjustment is the same for all us newly displaced off-campusers.
There are some differences between living on and off campus that are immediately apparent. Being a very typical college student, my mind immediately jumped to food. When living on campus, the convenience of having dining halls in close proximity to you, sometimes even in the same building as you (RIP Libby Dining Hall), can be taken for granted. For the freshman reading this blog, I’m sure by now you’re probably sick of the C4C already it was going to happen sooner or later—but don’t take for granted the convenience of being able to pop into a dining hall for a quick bite to eat between classes. Off campus, save the Greeks, we need to buy our own food (for the parents: it’s not just ramen). While this does give us freedom into our own meal choices, it does leave wiggle room for some major oversights, such as forgetting that we now have to pack our own lunches from home four days in a row. On the bright side, I just recently bought some lunch meats, so I can now treat myself to something other than my usual butter sandwich for lunch for here on out! To conclude with food, there are pros and cons to on vs off campus, whether its convenience or freedom of choice, it just depends on what your priorities are towards what you’re throwing in your stomach.
Obviously, what would a blog about on- vs. off-campus be without actually talking about the living situations. Again, what dorms on-campus lack in terms on amenities and comfort, they do most certainly make up for it in convenience. Gone are my days of waking up at 9:55 for my 10 am now that my trek to class takes 15 min, minimum. On the flip side, being off campus provides the opportunity to live with whom you choose, and with that comes the comfort of having accessible amenities, such as a kitchen and decorative freedom… but mainly the kitchen. Most (except for the Greeks) living off campus have also graduated from having a roommate to having a glorious 2.5 ft3 bedroom all to themselves! It all depends, again, on your priorities. Do you prefer being able to sleep as long as possible, or sleeping without a roommate who potentially snores?
Wave good-bye, parents. Your kids are all moved in, wherever they may be. Take solace in knowing that they are in good hands, accommodation-wise, wherever they may be! And hey, if your child doesn’t like their living situation, nothing has to be permanent! So go on and vacate the Target, say your final farewells, and watch from afar as we all try our best at “adulting”. Yes, we give you all permission to quietly chuckle in the background at us, we’re trying our best.