Life @ U of T

To live on or off campus?

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With residence application deadlines coming up, I have spent the past couple weeks wondering about my plans for residence next year and to be extremely honest I can’t seem to decide if I want to stay in residence or off campus. Of course there are pros and cons to both and I wanted to talk about them here maybe to gain a little clarity myself and for others facing the very same conundrum. As much as I love the community life that comes with staying in residence, I also would like to be in charge of my own schedule in terms of meal times and quiet hours etc which is a lot more realizable if I stayed off campus. The benefit of staying in residence is the availability of a meal plan, which reduces a substantial amount of time from what I would have to set aside to cook and clean. However, staying off campus allows me the luxury of choosing my own meal times as well the content of my meals. Residence buildings have housekeeping staff that keep the washrooms and common areas clean which will be something I’d be in charge of if I had to stay off campus. Also, I really enjoy the community life that comes with staying on campus, the house events and meetings really help from a social perspective. However a place of my own will allow me to have my own social gatherings without having to adhere to rules regarding quiet hours and guest policies. I also think residence is a great way to meet new people and network. On the other hand, I think living on your own teaches one responsibility and important life skills including how to be independent which will be an asset later on. Staying in residence is also fairly safe because we have campus police and safety systems and also because of the card/key systems that don’t allow non-residents to enter these buildings. Another thing to note is the distance from campus. Since residence buildings are on campus, almost all classes are in a fairly small radius from each residence building that can be covered by a ten to twenty minute walk. However, staying off campus requires either taking into consideration commute time or living close enough that all campus buildings/libraries/common spaces are a short distance away from one’s home.

Please let us know in the comments below if you plan to stay on or off campus next year and if you can add to the pro/con list here to help your fellow students!

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