Many of the Students here at RU choose to rent an apartment or house off campus to live for the year. Radford University’s policy for moving off campus is that one must either live on campus for four semesters, live on campus for two semesters and take a class pertaining to living off campus or transfer in as a junior. Many RU students decide to live off campus after their sophomore year and some find a change in their lives. Some experiences are better than others, but in the end the pros and cons end up being about even. Five students were interviewed about their living situations, and most of them had similar good and bad things to say. This semester is the first semester living off campus for each student.
Some students move because their friends move. Junior Ben Belo stated that he would have been completely content living on campus if his friends had stayed as well. Other students tire of the rules associated with living on campus.
“I got tired of mandatory hall meetings and quiet hours and not being able to have pets,” sophomore Stephen Mustgrave said.
Some students prefer having their own space and freedom.
“I enjoy my privacy. I didn’t like living next door to people every day. There’s too much drama in the dorms. Here I get to pick and choose who I talk to every day,” junior Danielle Lare said.
With moving off campus comes big changes. Suddenly there are rent and utility bills to pay, groceries to buy, gas money to budget in and you don’t have anyone to pick up after you. There’s also a commute to factor in with possible parking issues as well. How much of an impact does all this have on students?
“Having to get up earlier to get to class on time is a huge change,” Mustgrave said.
Also, there aren’t the social ties off campus that exist when students live on campus; they aren’t necessarily around other students all the time.
“I don’t hang out with a lot of people I knew before, but I tend to get my work done more,” Lare said.
Living off campus can impact a student’s responsibilities, privacy and comfort and it could impact their academics in some way as well. RU expects its students to put academics first and everything else after. But how does living off campus impact one’s academics?
“I feel like I do more of my academics on campus now, like at the library because things off campus distract me. Campus has a lot more of an academic vibe,” Belo said.
And for some students the commuting factor of living off campus can be a positive where others would consider it a negative.
“It’s made me a better student,” Lare said. ” I have to actually get up and come to campus and wake up where as when I lived on campus I would just roll out of bed and go to class half asleep.”
There are both good and bad sides to living in an off campus house or apartment. It could help prepare students for the real world or it could make them antisocial. Either way it’s the choice of the student. The university stresses to students that they need to be prepared for the changes that may occur with moving off campus. If a student is not ready to move off campus, whether it be financially or maturity wise, there could be consequences and repercussions that could follow them even after they leave Radford.