We are glad to start the week with this interesting hot topic; where should you live while you are in university – on campus or off campus?

For some, the answer to this question is straight forward. They want to live off-campus, as far away from their parents as possible. We understand the sentiment. You need your freedom. You don’t want to be seen as a mummy’s boy while you are in university but is that really the best option? What are the advantages of living on campus as opposed to living off campus? Is there any correlation between where you live and the grades you achieve at the end of your degree?

Like a lot of things in life, where you live while you are in university is a personal decision. That decision can be swayed by various factors; the location of your university, accommodation options on campus, how much money you have and so on. It is important to bear these factors in mind before being resolute about where you want to live. For starters, we would recommend that you live on campus for your first year. Most universities abroad usually guarantee you an accommodation on campus for your first year as long as you apply early for it. Different rules apply for universities in Nigeria where most times it is usually on an allocation basis which can usually be swayed by who you know. Living on campus in your first year helps you to adapt to the university culture easily. You also find it easier to make friends as some of the people you live with may also be in your faculty or department. Since you spend less time on transport and other things, it is easier for you to focus on your studies but please note that this is not always the case for everyone.

Beyond your first year, living on campus depends on what you like. Some people prefer the ‘campus’ life. They love living around other students and coming home to listen to the latest gossip on campus. For some they stay back because of money. Living on campus is usually cheaper than living off campus. The rent is cheaper. You spend less on transportation as most of your lectures are a walk away. For those that are far, there are campus shuttles which may be free or cost little to use. In some campuses, food is cheap. Although, we would recommend that you make your own food. Regular take-away will take its toll on your money. Finally people choose to stay on campus for personal reasons. They don’t want to live alone or their family house is not conducive enough for them.

Whatever decision you make, think wisely first. Don’t follow the crowd. The worst thing you can do is to follow a group of people, who you have barely known for a year, to rent an accommodation off-campus and they turn out to be flatmates from hell. It can have a negative impact on your academics. Don’t join the bandwagon. Live off-campus because you have weighed the pros and cons and you feel that it is the best option for you. Also be mindful of the people you choose to live with if you do decide to live off campus.