Life Off-Campus

Life Off-Campus

Happy New Year Gaiters! I hope that for all of you current Gaiters your semester is off to a great start and I want to extend a warm welcome to all the new students! Welcome to the BU family! And to all prospective Gaiters, I know that your life is probably pretty stressful but we are keeping our fingers crossed that we will see you in the fall.

If you read any of my blog posts last year, I tried to give some insight into the life of a first year student so I thought that I should now give a look into the life of a second year, particularly, the life of an off-campus student. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely LOVED living in residence, but I am having an absolute ball living off-campus this year! Being an off-campus student certainly has its advantages and disadvantages in comparison to rezlife, so here’s hoping that this post will help you make the right decision as to where you should live while at BU.

So first, a bit about my current living situation: I live in a 5-bedroom house with 4 housemates. We live about 10-15 minutes from campus by foot (depending on how fast you walk, the length of your legs, etc.). Two of my housemates lived in Abbott residence with me last year, one was in my frosh group and one I just met this year. No bias here, but they are the best housemates ever. We share living expenses – rent, hydro and internet – and we take turns cooking dinner each night of the week. We are like a little family. So far, everything has been going well and we have been able to solve any issues that have come off. So tip #1 if you decide to live off-campus: choose your room/houesmates carefully. Unlike in rez, you choose who you get to live with, which can be both a blessing and a curse. (If my housemates are reading this, you are all blessings.)

There are many options for living off-campus in Lennoxville. Lots of students choose to live in the Little Forks and Conley area, which is located right before the bridge on College Street when heading towards campus. There are several apartment buildings there (and a new one going up this summer) and a lot of student houses. Advantages of living there include: super close to campus, not too far of a walk into town and you are surrounded by students. I have a good number of friends who live there and really like it, so it is definitely a good option.

A lot of people live above the stores and restaurants in town, such as above the Familiprix, SAQ and Tim Hortons. Truthfully, I have not been in many of these apartments but one big advantage to them is that they are super close to everything in town! Again, there are lots of students living in these apartments so many people make friends with the other people in their buildings. There are more apartments up the College Street hill and I have heard really nice things about them, with the only negative being the actual walk up the hill.

Another option would be my current living situation, which is renting out all or part of a house. Houses vary in location, with there being a few in the Little Forks/Conley area but majority are further up in town and are in neighbourhoods with locals. With a house comes the added responsibilities of taking out the garbage cans, more areas to clean and shovelling the driveway, but it isn’t bad at all. Having a house really gives you a space to call your own and is sometimes a nice break from the busy BU community.

Off-campus life is great in the sense that you really start to build your independence. You deal with real-life living tasks, such as paying monthly rent, buying groceries, decorating and furnishing your living space, keeping your space clean, etc. There are rules set out by your landlords that you must follow, but the rules are different than the rules in rez. To compare costs, it costs me approximately $200 less per month to live off-campus, though I do sometimes miss the cable tv and convenience to places on campus.  I love cooking my own meals,   buying my own groceries and eating with my housemates.  I like having more of my own living space, as opposed to my single room in rez and having more storage space. Living off-campus is not for everyone but for me, it has been a great decision. I hope that if you decide to join the off-campus crowd, it will be the right decision for you, too!

Later Gaiters!

Erica

For another comparison of RezLife vs Off Campus life, you can check out this brochure put together by the BU Residence Department: http://www.ubishops.ca/fileadmin/bishops_documents/residence/files/on_vs_off.pdf

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