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Living On vs. Off Campus: A Choice of Convenience or Comfort?

Kristiane Aateigen
Online Editor

LIU Post students often have a difficult decision to make. Where you choose to live can make or break your college experience. The choice often boils down to privacy, comfort and affordability. If you spend your money wisely, living off campus can cost almost half the price of living on campus, but it does not come without its own share of drawbacks.

On campus, you are assigned a room that is around the size of an inmate’s cell. The room has a ‘60s feel and most likely has not been cleaned since then. The walls, made of white-painted cinderblocks, invoke the feeling of being held captive.

For a room and a meal plan you will pay up to $12,534 per year, according to LIU Post’s website. Living off campus allows you to decorate your space however you’d like. You will have furnishing freedom at your disposal,  and you may eat like a king. Maybe like a prince, to make the option more cost efficient.

There is also the issue of sharing space while on campus – sacrifices are to be made when living with roommates. The time when you could turn the light on or off whenever you please is over. Getting sleep without listening to pistachio nuts being cracked open at 2 a.m. is suddenly too much to ask for. Listening to music or television through speakers instead of headphones will feel like a privilege.

“I don’t miss worrying about bathroom encounters and wondering if someone was going to pull the shower curtain,” said senior Psychology and Pre-Med major Kaaynat Afgun, who previously lived on campus.

Afgun also said she enjoys the freedom of living in Hicksville by the Broadway Mall and loves having easy access to the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR). “I live in walking distance from everything, and am not dependent on the shuttle,” she added.

Food choices on campus are limited to what they serve in Winnick and Hillwood Commons when the dining facilities are open, since purchasing a meal plan is mandatory. Constant meal choices include pizza, pasta, burgers, and wraps.

The salad bar would be a better option if it were maintained properly. Living off campus provides more dining options; you can cut fresh cucumbers, grill a steak, make pancakes, and boil eggs if you want to. At 3 a.m., you don’t even have to put on pants or walk outside in 10-degree weather to get to the kitchen.

“Living on campus, you have no privacy, and it is expensive, especially with all the rules and restrictions,” said junior Political Science major Herman Kummeneje, who moved off campus this year. “The greatest difference is having a kitchen and a bathroom. It is pure happiness,” Kummeneje added.

However, living on campus is convenient. Going to class takes a maximum of 15 minutes from anywhere at Post. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served at any time between 7:30 a.m. and 9 p.m., and you don’t have to wash the dishes or buy kitchen supplies. There aren’t worries about traffic, or buying toilet paper or hand soap for your apartment.

Deciding where to live really reduces down to whether you are willing to compromise privacy for convenience. You may enjoy waking up, going to bed, and everything in between on campus or you may want to save money while living comfortably, by your own rules, with a group of friends. The choice is yours.

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