Tips For Preparing To Live Off Campus For The First Time

Moving from the dorms to off campus housing is a rite of passage for most college students, and can be a major step toward adult independence. You no longer have to share a tiny dorm room with someone or be under the supervision of an RA. Living off campus also takes extra responsibility and planning. Here are four tips for preparing to live off campus for the first time:

Opt for Official Off Campus Student Housing

Off campus student housing organized by your university is a very practical option, because it gives you the freedom of off campus living with some of the reliability of dorm life. Typically, your university will own and manage the off campus apartments, though some universities simply compile a list of apartments that are trustworthy and safe and have ties to the university. Off campus student housing will help you avoid some common pitfalls of renting, including unscrupulous landlords or unsafe buildings. 

Create a Budget

It's easy to keep track of your expenses when you live in a dorm, because your housing and meal plan are usually pre-paid at the beginning of the semester, and you don't have to pay utilities. By moving off campus, you are taking on the responsibility of remembering to pay (and having the funds for) rent, utilities, and food each month. Whether you are paying for your apartment and living expenses from a part-time job, financial aid, or your parents are helping you out, it's a good idea to create and stick to a budget. Free online sites like Mint are a great place to start. 

Choose Your Roommates Wisely

While you may have been assigned a roommate at random in the dorm, once you move off-campus you normally have a lot more say in who you live with. When deciding to live with friends or acquaintances, think carefully about what you are looking for in a roommate. Someone who is thoughtful, responsible, tidy, and pays their bills on time will make your life easier than a friend who is a lot of fun, but irresponsible and messy.

Plan to Furnish Your Apartment

Once you have an apartment and roommates, it's time to make a plan for furnishing your new place. Talk to your roommates over the summer to determine who will supply which items, and try to spread things out so no one is over-burdened. Thrift stores and yard sales can be great sources of cheap but cute furniture, dishes, and household accessories.

By following these tips, you will ensure you have a smooth transition from dorm life to off-campus housing. For additional information, you will want to contact a company such as RK Rentals.