In your opinion, what are the pros and cons of living on/moving off campus?

Share what type of things you consider when making your decision about housing for next year. Be mindful that this board is public. Include your email address if you are a current student and you wish to be entered in the contest to win one of 14 Top Lottery Picks! Winners announced Feb. 6.

Read one student’s list of pros for campus apartments in The Village Life: TopΒ 10 reasons to live in an on-campus apartment. Do you agree or not? Share why.

72 thoughts on “In your opinion, what are the pros and cons of living on/moving off campus?”

  1. Living on campus gives you a more social environment and a closer proximity to events, classes, and amenities. However, living off campus gives you more independence because of things like a kitchen, convenient parking, and more private gathering areas.

  2. Living on campus is great because it’s closer to your classes, makes it easier to meet new people, and it’s really convenient because of on campus buses. The only con is not having a kitchen and having to share a room with someone. The cons of off campus are you get your own room, kitchen, and living room but it’s farther from campus and not as convenient.

  3. Living on Campus:
    Pros: Better sense of community, easier commute, you can get more involved on campus because you don’t have to worry about bus schedules/walking at night/etc.
    Cons: Sometimes you get resident halls that are farther away/that you don’t like/random roommate issues, drug policy, electronics policy (watts/lights/etc)
    Living Off Campus:
    Pros: Sometimes cheaper than living on campus, furnished with own kitchen, bathroom space, single room, sometimes parking, can host events at residence for larger groups of people
    Cons: not necessarily under UNC campus security, sometimes farther away, may have to rearrange day around times to get home, rules of tenant, sometimes more expensive.

  4. Living off campus can help you establish a sense of independence. It can definitely be nice at the end of a long day to have a clearly established difference between “Home” and “School”. Living on campus, it is harder to draw firm lines and know when it is time to leave the library or just relax.

  5. Living on campus is by far the most convenient. You will always be around for evening events, don’t have to catch a bus or drive to class, and have food, friends, and libraries immediately at your disposal. Living off campus can be a nice way to integrate yourself into the greater Chapel Hill community, though. Living in a neighborhood or mixed apartment complex can help you branch out and realize the world is even bigger than just UNC!

  6. Living on pros: You get to meet lots of new people because they live in such close proximity and it is also very convenient because everything is within walking distance.
    Living on cons: There is less of a sense of independence than if you lived off campus because you are still rather dependent on dining halls and are taken care of by your RAs.
    Moving off pros: You are able to experience kind of what living on your own is like and you get your own space and some more privacy, which can be nice on some days.
    Moving off cons: It is far less convenient because of the commute.

  7. Being a student who lived off campus and is now trying to move back on campus I have seen the pros and cons of both situations.
    LIVING ON CAMPUS PRO: you do not have to worry about paying for rent or utilities more than twice a year, you have access to a unique network of fellow Tar heels 24/7, SAFER, and residence halls always have fun events going on!
    LIVING ON CAMPUS CON: washer and dryer can be so far away, limited access to your car (especially on game days), and your motivation for getting up to go to class may diminish.

    LIVING OFF CAMPUS PRO: your own space so your own rules, might be great to detox after a hard day at Carolina, easy access to your own car.

    LIVING OFF CAMPUS CON: if you do not have a parking space on campus getting to and from campus is a hassle, mentality that “once you get on campus, you are not leaving campus until you are done”, have to pack your lunch if you don’t have a meal plan.

  8. I think living on campus is more convenient, especially if you don’t have a car. I can stay late in the library and usually feel pretty safe walking back to my dorm in the early morning. I can reach all the places I need to go pretty easily. I recently discovered how to take the bus to go food shopping and found that it wasn’t as bad as I thought.

  9. I think living on campus helps you stay connected to campus life. Getting food is extremely convenient. You can almost always find someone to hangout with, and there are plenty of things going on. You don’t have to wake up as early to get to class. Also, when we beat Dook, you can rush Franklin from your dorm and get a more authentic experience.

  10. Living on campus is a GREAT way to assimilate and adjust to college life while also feeling more connected to the UNC community. Your classes are closer, you’re living with your peers and closest friends, you don’t have to worry about having a car, paying for gas, or depending on the bus system to get to class or home, and it’s just the best way to get the full college experience!

  11. Pros to off campus – Sometimes cheaper than living on campus, you have your own place, more freedoms, not having to hassle with Housekeeping.
    Cons – Having to commute to campus, not in all the action campus and sports have to offer, dealing with renting companies and owners of the house or apartment you live in, and you must pay the bills.

  12. Living on-campus is convenient and fun! You’re never far from class or Franklin Street, and you are constantly surrounded by all of the activities on campus. It’s easy to go to a performance at Memorial Hall, meet up with a study group, or just hang out with friends!

  13. first of all youre way closer to class! and if youre lucky enough, close to a dining hall. best of all if youre living in hall style you dont have to worry about cleaning up the bathroom at all! and of course if youre on campus you get a completely different social experience

  14. It is much better to live on campus than off in my opinion. If one is seeking privacy they could simply live in Rams or Odum Village. You are much closer to class so there’s an increased chance of being on time. You don’t have to spend money to take the bus if you stay on campus, you have to cook your own food and constantly buy groceries, laundry utilities are automatically provided and you have athletic games and Franklin Street right at your disposal. Off campus sole advantage simply seems to be independence, which don’t get me wrong is nice but being on campus provides a true Carolina experience! #GoHeelsGoAmerica

  15. The benefits of living on campus far outweigh the benefits of moving off campus. It’s more convenient. You don’t have to wake up as early to ensure that you arrive to class on time. You also don’t have to worry about being stranded on campus without transportation back to your home because you can walk there. One negative aspect of living on campus -especially north campus- is that sometimes it feels as if you’ve never left school. Being able to see the building that you have class in from your window is no fun.

  16. The on campus lifestyle is much more convenient and an essential experience for a student at UNC. Everything is within walking distance which means not spending money on commuting and the dining halls are close by. I have not had to spend very much money at all on food because my meals are already paid for. The residence halls also ensure that a student gets to meet lots of new and different people.

  17. Living on campus has made things so simple. I never have to worry about how late I’ll be getting back to my room after a meeting (especially since the P2P stops right in front of my building), and I’ve had the opportunity to meet so many people within my residence halls during my time here. Although I had thought about moving off campus, each day I realize I made the right decision.

  18. Living OFF Campus:
    – You have to wake up early to either: A) make that JOURNEY of a walk to campus for classes, B) wait a millennium for the crowded bus to arrive to take you to campus, or C) drive to campus (which would require gas, which requires spending unnecessary money, which results in you going broke, which means you don’t have extra spending money to go out with friends, which means your college life sucks.)
    – You have to make time to cook your own food or constantly eat out (which means you have to take at least an hour out of your busy class and homework schedule or eat unhealthy, greasy, calorie loaded food everyday)

    =RIDICULOUSLY INCONVENIENT

    Living ON Campus:
    – The dorms are more welcoming and social (which makes it easier to make new friends)
    – Classes are near (so you can get that much needed extra half hour of sleep!)
    – You can run in the dining hall to get something to eat in a jiffy (no pots and pans or groceries needed)
    – You’re in the midst of it all! The real college experience!

    =CONVENIENCE AND HAPPINESS πŸ™‚

    Is there really a comparison?! πŸ˜€

  19. There are many benefits of living on campus in my opinion. They include being close to all your classes, being closer to the gym/dining halls, and having a chance to meet more people. Also, you do not have to worry about having a car on campus or trying to catch a bus.
    However, moving off of campus can be beneficial to many people as well. It brings a new kind of independence and responsibility, because you have to do a lot more. A lot of people like being able to choose your own space, pay less money (in some cases), and have more room. You can also avoid the dining hall food and cook in your own room!

    I think that either choices provide students with a great opportunity and experience at UNC. Everyone has different interest, preferences, and priorities, and based on these, people choose what they would prefer. I think that living on campus during the first and second year of college, and then moving off campus to an apartment or house your junior or senior year can be a good choice for many people. It gives you a chance to experience both living types!

  20. Living on campus allows for you to divulge yourself more deeply into both classes and academics as you never have to worry about catching a bus or a ride. In addition, you have a more relaxed lifestyle- if you forget a book in your room, you can run back to grab it, if you need to change for an event, you’re so close to your dorm, and if you wake up late for class, you don’t have to depend on the bus to get you there on time.
    Moving off campus, however, allows for you to become more of an adult- you most likely have your own kitchen, your own room, your own parking spot. Personally, I think it allows for someone to be in that transition stage between being a college student and becoming an adult as you are responsible for paying rent, bills, etc., but you are also not held responsible by an RA or a roommate.

  21. The benefits of living on campus are enormous. Not only are you within walking distance to all of your classes, you are close to sporting events for entertainment, Franklin Street for some great food and shops, and to the libraries during the dreaded finals week. By living in the heart of Carolina, you are able to become a bigger part of what is going on and will be more informed on events that are happening on campus.

  22. Living on campus is such a wonderful experience, but it’s not always glitz and glamour. For starters, living on campus makes everything from classes to organization meetings accessible. If you live on south campus and need to get to north campus there are plenty of buses that can make that happen. The plethora of resources available to students on campus makes it a place of attraction. If I have a break in between classes I can always go to my room and take a nap or grab something I eat. Additionally, living on campus makes life alot easier; however there is one negative side to living on campus. If you have loud neighbors or if you live on a noisey floor, it can be difficult to study or sleep.

  23. Living on campus means you are always surrounded by classmates, great places to study, food, events, and more. It may mean you are more likely to be social or involved in extra activities. Amenities like laundry and cleaning are provided for you and you have easy access to cooking pans, DVDs, and sports equipment in your community. Living off campus, however, can give you access to a full, personal kitchen, a more personal space, and more freedom. But, it is not close to campus activities, requires more responsibility, and is often more expensive.

  24. Being in the marching band, living on campus in a dorm is the easiest way to get around to all those band practices, gigs, games… and the list goes on! There’s not as much a rush to get to games or anywhere for that matter because the residence halls are ON campus, so there is no point in leaving early for a parking spot, bus ride, or long walk! And the same is true with classes everyday!

  25. Living on campus is great because everything is so convenient and you get the real feeling of living on campus of one of the greatest universities. You are able to meet all different kinds of people and make friends with those who you may have never had the chance to meet! The general atmosphere is a huge pro. You can walk pretty much anywhere and you get the chance to meet so many other students. However, living off campus means you are able to have your own room and bathroom.

  26. Living on campus is great because you are never too far from an activity or sporting event. Also, you can walk back to your room or take the P2P for those late nights in the library instead of worrying about the bus schedule or having to go back and get your car before returning to campus. But living off campus is nice because you don’t have to share things like kitchens, washer/dryer, and bathrooms.

  27. I love living on campus because you’re in close contact with all your friends. You also have easy access to facilities like the gyms and libraries. You really get to experience the livelihood of the Carolina community.

  28. I love living on campus here at UNC! First off, the convenience of being able to sleep later and avoid driving or taking a bus to campus should be enough of a reason for most of us college students! If that doesn’t appeal to one, the sense of community spirit that you feel in the residence halls should be enough! There are so many opportunities to join clubs or organizations, and living on campus makes it easy to do anything you want quickly and conveniently!

  29. Most of my junior and senior friends want to live off campus–get an apartment or a house–because of the privacy, own bedroom/bathroom, place for your car, etc. that it provides. However, for me, there are more pros than cons for living on campus. Everything is much more accessible, classes are closer, you can attend meetings for clubs or study group sessions after the bus stops running, jog on campus (which is safer), get books if you forgot them for class, access to food and Franklin Street and helps integrate you better with people on campus, on your hall and make new friends! People say that living on campus is restricting, but you can still cook in the kitchen, go grocery shopping and decorate your room (to an extent). My favorite part is free food on campus from halls and RA’s!! I could go on, but these are just the top things that come into my mind about living on campus. πŸ™‚

  30. If you live on campus you are engaged in a community. You have events with your dorm, greater access to events happening on-campus, which all equals being more connected to people. Plus if you live off-campus you’ll probably have to cook for yourself!

  31. By living on campus, students are able to feel more integrated in campus life and what it means to be a tar heel. I believe students are also more social and interact more with groups on campus. With athletic facilities on campus, and also both the dining hall and gym it seems like the perfect decision!

  32. The best part about living on campus is the fact that you are surrounded by students and in a very convenient location. Even though the south campus dorms are pretty far from classes they are still convenient in the sense that theres a dining hall and a gym really close by.

  33. My favorite part about living on campus is being around all your friends. When you live off campus it is much more difficult to hang out with your friends than it would be if you lived on campus. If you live on campus there are also many ways to get involved with student organizations that have regular club meetings on campus. However, a benefit to living off campus is having a CAR that you can easily get to without having to ride a bus to get to it.

  34. Living on cmapus keeps you connected with whatever may be going on. Residence halls also give you a much better way to meet new people. Moving off campus is good if you have a set group of friends you want to live with, but it is much harder to make new friends and commuting to campus can be a hassle.

  35. Off-Campus lets you cook for yourself and set your own schedule more and comes with a lot more independence, but it also means that you usually don’t come back to campus once you go home. Staying on campus for two years allows you to find a really good group of friends and figure out how you want to be involved, but my junior year you can have UNC figured out. So by junior year, moving off campus is more beneficial.

  36. I look at the room to see what best accommodates my needs. I want to be close to campus as well as within walking distance of Rams and mid campus, etc. I want a clean dorm and friendly community. I want to be more involved in my community so I plan on being active and social in my new housing situation.

  37. Living on campus is safe and you get to be so much more involved. Everything is almost a walking distance and you know you’re always going to be surrounded by Carolina students.

  38. Personally, I think that living on campus is a much better option than moving off campus. When you live on campus, you are not only closer to your classes, but you are also closer to your friends, your professors (since most of them stay on campus fairly late anyways!), food, and of course, Franklin Street. When you live on campus, you have the opportunity to become more engrossed within the Carolina community. Extra-curricular activities are much easier to be a part of if you’re around all of your fellow club or committee members! Personally, I feel that the biggest pro of living on campus is the lack of transportation you’ll need! I didn’t bring my car with me to campus this year, and I was completely fine with it (after worrying that I wouldn’t be!). You can walk to your classes and to Franklin Street, and everything else within the Triangle Region is just a bus ride away!

  39. Living on campus is definitely better, especially for those of us who don’t have cars. It would be rough having to worry about the bus schedule to go to class and to get on campus. And living off campus, especially somewhere very close, can be really expensive.

  40. I think that living on campus makes you more connected with the rest of the students and gives you the opportunity to spend time building those relationships without worrying about traveling back and forth or parking the car. There is an ease that comes with living on campus because you are literally next door to amazing sporting events, world-class resources, and an environment unmatched anywhere else.

  41. Living on campus is in my opinion better because everything is convenient and provided. I don’t have a car, which would make living off campus hard. There are cons to living in a residence hall, but it is an overall good experience. A pro of living off campus would be that you could live in a nice house/apartment, but that is usually expensive.

  42. Living on campus provides you with easy access to alll of the campus resources. Most important of these are the classrooms. I feel like it is much easier to get to class when I do not have to drive.

  43. Studying abroad flexibility and ease with using scholarship money to pay for my housing plans are the greatest pros for living on campus. Sure, living off campus means I get more space, get to live only with my friends, and can easily cook at any time of the day. It also means I mostly just socialize with the friends I already have, it means more money out of my own pocket, worries about my plans for studying abroad, more responsibilities on top of the ones I already have, and it requires a lot more energy when it comes to going to class πŸ™‚ At the end of the day, living on campus takes a load off of my back while helping me better be part of UNC’s community

  44. The biggest positive about living on campus is the convenience of being close to classes and other events on campus. You don’t have to arrange your schedule around the buses but can make it to places on your own time. I think the other biggest positive is not having to worry about other bills such as utilities. You only have to pay one flat rate at the beginning and everything is covered.

  45. I think that being on campus is great because I never have to worry about traffic or long travel to classes, study sessions, etc. Also, it is such a great opportunity to meet new people. ADDED BONUS: you don’t have to pay monthly utility bills, rent, wifi, etc! It is more expensive than you may be able to find off campus, but for me the simplicity wins out.

  46. There are definitely both positives and negatives to living on and off campus. As a first or second-year student, I would say that living on campus is the way to go. By being on campus, there is no better way to meet new people and make new friends, as you will be surrounded by all of the people in your residence hall and can easily interact with them daily. You are also at least relatively close to your classes, and you can enjoy all of the benefits that the residence halls have to offer you. As a third or fourth year student, after you have gotten used to being in college and have made some close friends, then you may want to consider living off campus in an apartment or house. This way, you can get away from the hustle and bustle of campus life (which you may be tired of) and live with people you know in a more close, secluded environment.

  47. On campus living is definitely much more convenient for all starting out in Carolina. It’s not only closer to classes, extra curricular activities, resources, amenities, but the social scene as well. I would definitely recommend living on campus for the first two years to really have an established base in campus. There are benefits to moving off campus as well. The cheaper price as well as greater access to the outside city area and single rooms would be major perks. Thats something I would recommend to juniors and seniors, which is also what I am planing on doing.

  48. For starters, living on campus is definitely more convenient as a community-active student as opposed to living off campus. It not only is centered for walking distance to most part of campus, it is also a great way to be able to have flexible schedules to stay a out a bit later at night to socialize, work in the library, go to club meetings, or eat at Rams, etc. In addition, living on campus is a great way to meet new people in your same situation! You can make a lot of friends easily in your building and it’s really easy to see them!

  49. On-campus living is more than just the quintessential college experience. It is convenient to resources, amenities, and classrooms and puts you right in the hub of campus life. Living on campus means that Carolina really does become your home.

  50. A college campus is truely unique, and there is nothing else like it! Living on campus makes every student feel like a part of the UNC community. Most everything you need is on campus or a short bus ride away! Not to mention, this is a beautiful campus, in a beautiful community, in a beautiful state. I would definitely recommend living on campus!

  51. Living on campus is something that every college student should experience. You only have 4 years of undergrad, where you live next door to other students just like you. On the other hand, you have the rest of your life to live on your own in a house, apartment, etc. On-campus dorms and apartments are a great way to meet people, especially if you’re a freshman still finding your way!

  52. I’ve debated living off-campus for the past year, but it’s hard to beat the pros of living on campus. Being in the middle of the UNC community and being able to wake up in the morning and walk to class, instead of stressing over which bus to take or where you’ll be able to park your car is definitely a plus. Although it is nice to have your own room, it’s not uncommon for Juniors and Seniors to have singles on-campus, and many times, they can be on the same floor as the kitchen (in case you’re tired of having a meal plan). Definitely say live on campus for your first 2 years, and maybe even your third.

  53. Living on campus is great! You live close to the academic buildings and the recreation buildings. Walking everywhere saves a lot of money on gas! Living on campus also provides a great opportunity to meet many people. I recommend living on campus, because it gives you a chance to familiarize yourself with the campus as well as make many new friends.

  54. Living on campus not only lets you be around your friends, it also lets you be closer to main class buildings. Since I have only lived on North campus during my two years here, I have come to enjoy living on campus and the benefits it provides. I am able to wake up half an hour before my class and still get there before everyone because my dorm is just a little walk away. Living on campus also gives you access to the dining halls, though sometimes eating off campus might sound better. And Franklin Street isn’t far away either! Campus dorms are situated so that you are relatively close to all major stores and buildings. You also get to be around your friends and can they can come and go as they please. If you all live together and you get into arguments, you can’t really avoid or stay away from the situation. I highly recommend living on campus, at least for the first two years at Carolina, so you can get used to the campus, make good friends and experience everything UNC has to offer!

  55. I guess my considerations align pretty well with the linked top ten list, except 7, 8, and even 9 aren’t that critical. The ease with which study abroad is handled really opens things up more. However, the idea of being off-campus has a certain charm to it, as well. I suppose that part is more about how much one wishes to be involved on the campus.

  56. Living on campus comes with a large array of amenities “in-the-box”, stuff that you’d have to pay for and deal with separately in an off-campus situation. On-campus is extremely convenient for this reason, but also because of the people one can interact with on campus. The environment is totally different–why would anyone want to skip out on the Tar Heel experience for even a moment, much less actually LIVING off-campus?! Off-campus is good for some things, sure, but can it ever make up for its lack of Carolina spirit? I think not. The cons of living on-campus are nothing compared to this, the most fundamental pro! There’s really nothing else to bother considering!!

  57. Living on campus allows you to be surrounded by people who are going through everything you are. Whenever you are feeling down and gloomy or happy and crazy, there is bound to be someone you can talk to or share your feelings with. Living on campus gives you the opportunity to establish friendships that could last not only this year, or throughout college, but for your entire life. Not to mention, it gives you the opportunity to be a leader, help others, and get involved very easily. Living on campus is the best way!

  58. For me, there was no question about living on campus next year. I’m only going to be a sophomore and it’s just so much easier to be involved at UNC when living on campus. You get to experience living in a community of your peers and interacting with them everyday, something that you can exclusively experience in college.

  59. Living on campus really gives you the college experience! You get to meet new people, make new friends, and take part in a lot of campus activities. For instance, many dorms have special nights just dedicated for students, like game nights and even nights where you can get food. Its also easier to get academic help if you live on campus in case you are struggling. One major con of living on campus is if you live far from your classes the walk can be tedious at times, but it can be overlooked because it never hurts to exercise!

  60. Living on campus makes you feel as though you are right in the mix of things! You also have easier access to campus activities/events, which makes for very enriching social experiences. Lastly, living on campus just makes you feel like you’re apart of the tar heel family!
    One con of living on campus is that you might not be as aware of events/happenings that are out in the local community. Another con is that you have to adhere to certain housing restrictions that are already put in place.

  61. Living on campus IS the Carolina way. I believe students receive the best opportunities by living on campus where they have access to so many resources and diverse people. Living off campus can also be fun, but you do not have the experience to bond with a suite or attend floor meetings.

  62. By living on campus you get the true experience of being a college student. Learning to deal with all kinds of people, how to share, and how to successfully meet people are all dealt with while living at UNC, and they are important life skills.

  63. Living on campus you are closer to classes (if you’re North Campus you can wake up almost 5 min before your first class if you rush) and you are more actively engaged in student life. I prefer living on campus since you don’t need a car or have to adjust your schedule to the bus schedules also.

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