Many college students in San Diego weigh the choice between living in on-campus dorms and finding a traditional rental apartment. Still, there’s another option that can offer even more benefits: off-campus student housing. With that in mind, here are some common misconceptions about student apartments – and why you should consider off-campus housing for the 2022/23 school year.
Misconception: You’ll pay more to live off-campus than if you stay in the dorms.
Fact: Off-campus housing is almost universally less expensive than dorm living–with more space and amenities to boot.
It’s easy to think that staying in the dorms must be the least expensive living option available to college students. After all, dorms are notoriously small, cramped, and low on amenities; they must at least be cheap to live in, right?
Student apartments are almost always cheaper than both dorms and traditional rental apartments, especially in an expensive city like San Diego. To illustrate, the least costly dorm option at San Diego State University – a triple that you’ll have to share with two other students – is still over $900 a month, and opting for a single for privacy will increase your monthly rent by almost 50 percent! On the other hand, off-campus student housing is often hundreds of dollars a month cheaper, and you’ll have the benefit of additional space, privacy, and amenities.
Misconception: Student housing is more restrictive than living in a regular rental.
Fact: You can have as much autonomy living in off-campus student housing as in a standard apartment.
Perhaps the number one reason students choose to move off-campus is to find more privacy and freedom than you can get in the dorms. Often, in looking for alternative living arrangements, students think that off-campus housing will be as restrictive as dorm life and that traditional rental apartments are the only real option for those looking for responsibility and autonomy.
However, regarding restrictions on your freedom, student apartments are just like regular rentals. In off-campus housing, there are no resident advisors policing your conduct, no curfews limiting how late you stay out and no policies limiting who you can have over to your room as a visitor. Just as with a regular apartment rental, you’ll have to work with your roommates to set your own house rules, giving you freedom and responsibility that will help prepare you for post-college life.
Misconception: You’ll lose your support network if you move to off-campus housing from on-campus dorms.
Fact: In off-campus housing, you’ll be surrounded by fellow students, giving you the same bonding opportunities you’d have in the dorms.
While you may be in college to learn and get a degree, your social life over these four years is just as important. The friendships you make in college can last a lifetime, and having a strong support network of fellow students can help get you through rough patches in your college career. That’s why it’s understandable that many students fear losing the closeness of their peers if they choose to move off-campus.
That certainly is a real concern if you opt for a traditional rental apartment, but off-campus student housing offers you just as much of a support network as living in the dorms does. By definition, your student apartment complex will be filled with other students, just as a dorm building is. Living in student apartments can provide you with more opportunities to make friends and take advantage of being surrounded by your peers than dorm living does. That’s because you’ll have the opportunity to choose who you live with and won’t be bound by the restrictions of many dorms that limit your opportunities to socialize.
Misconception: You’ll only get to experience everything that San Diego has to offer if you move into a traditional rental apartment.
Fact: You can enjoy the city just as much – and maybe even more – while living in off-campus student housing.
One of the best reasons to choose a San Diego college or university as a high school senior is simple: you get to live in this vibrant, fun, and exciting city for four years. Of course, getting your degree is your focus, but you want to have the opportunity to enjoy everything that San Diego has to offer during your time here, too.
Getting out of the bubble that on-campus dorm living can create is a significant first step to getting to know San Diego, but do you need to move to a regular rental in order to truly experience the city? Absolutely not! Living in student apartments gives you just as much freedom to explore the city and its restaurants, activities, beaches, museums and more as a typical apartment does–and in many cases, you may actually be in a better position to explore San Diego with off-campus housing as your home base. That’s because the rental market for traditional apartments in San Diego is so expensive and competitive right now; to find an apartment you can afford as a student, you may need to look at neighborhoods that are farther away from the heart of San Diego. On the other hand, student apartments tend to be centrally located and (since only students can live in them) don’t have the same amount of competition that drives up the prices of regular rentals. That means that you’ll be more likely to be close to the things you want to do in San Diego if you opt for off-campus student housing–and you’ll be likely to have the money needed to actually do them!
In short, there are many, many reasons to consider living in off-campus student housing as your weigh your options for the 2022/23 school year, and you’ll likely find that student apartments offer a wide range of benefits and advantages over both dorms and traditional apartment rentals if you’re a college student in San Diego.