The Pros and Cons of Each Housing Option for Students

college students with moving boxes

One of the biggest decisions you need to make when starting university is where you’re going to live. Making the right decision will ensure you’re comfortable and happy during your time at university and able to do well academically. There are pros and cons to each option — make sure you evaluate them carefully to figure out what’s right for you.

1. Student Residence

Many students choose to live in residence when they start university. An obvious benefit is the convenience, as living on campus means you’re close to your classes. It also simplifies things for students who don’t yet know anyone, as they don’t need to find roommates to share with — the university does this for them. Students also like living in residence because it gives them a chance to meet more people quickly.

Living in a student residence usually means sharing a bedroom with at least one other person and sharing communal living spaces with all the other students on your floor. There may be a bathroom to every bedroom or just one for the whole floor. A major disadvantage to this setup is the lack of privacy. You’ll also have limited space for your belongings and no chance to prepare anything more than the simplest meals (students need to purchase a meal plan). Lastly, student residence tends to be more expensive than other housing options.

Whether you’re comfortable in student residence will depend a lot on how happy you are to be around other people all the time, who is your roommate, and if you get along with the other students on your floor.

2. Renting an Apartment with Other Students

After their first year, many students choose to move off campus and into an apartment with other students. It’s also possible to do this from the start — it just requires some extra work, as you’ll need to find potential roommates, such as by using social media.

A major advantage to living in your own apartment is you’ll have a private bedroom and perhaps an en suite bathroom. Typically, apartments are furnished, including with a fully-equipped kitchen where you can prepare your own meals. The best apartments are within walking distance of campus — it’s important to start your search early if you want to secure one of these. Living farther from campus will mean you need to figure out transport. Another potential downside is you’ll need to be more independent, such as paying bills and sending maintenance requests to your landlord.

3. Renting Your Own Apartment

Students who want their own space and are concerned about living with people they don’t get along with (especially during their first year before they’ve had the chance to make friends) sometimes choose to rent their own apartments. This is not ideal for everyone — for instance, you may end up spending much less time around other students. As it’s also more expensive than sharing an apartment, you’ll need to consider whether it’s within your budget.

4. Living at Home

Staying at home is only an option if you’re attending university near where you already live. Whereas this is definitely the cheap choice, it will mean you miss out on some major aspects of the student experience. You may also have a much longer commute than most students, which may mean waking up extra early to make it to class on time and missing out on activities in the evenings. It’s typically only mature students who have families of their own and students who need to care for a parent, sibling, or grandparent who choose to do this.

It should be clear now that there are far more pros and fewer cons to having an apartment than living at home or in student residence. Ottawa students can find the ideal off-campus housing at 1Eleven. This has none of the disadvantages of some off-campus apartments — for instance, we’re just steps for campus, rent includes utilities, and you have the option to live with friends, ask us to match you with roommates, or even live in your own bachelor apartment. Book a tour to see where you could be living.

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