With Freedom Comes Responsibility: off campus living

Melissa Rosman, Editor-in-Chief

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Three years of college dining hall food, 13×10 rooms, and constant supervision is enough to drive anyone off campus. The world of home cooked meals, single rooms and freedom presents a tempting option. However, with freedom comes responsibility. As an underclassman, I always envied my upperclassmen friends who had their own apartments and most importantly, ovens. They could bake cinnamon buns whenever they wanted! The world of off-campus housing seemed glamorous, and it is, to an extent. The ability to wake up in a comfortable bed, with carpeted floors, walk downstairs and cook an omelet with real eggs is surreal, compared to that of a morning in a residence hall. Taking bubble baths, sitting on your front porch, and being able to host casual get-togethers with your closest forty friends are also benefits of apartment life. But, there are always downsides to any situation.

Living off-campus definitely prepares you to face the harsh at-home demands of the adult world we will soon encounter, and I’ve learned quickly that I’m not ready for that. Grocery shopping, cooking meals, cleaning and writing checks are all responsibilities that I could have contentedly put off for another year, or two, or five. When you add roommates and splitting money and responsibilities, forget it. The mess becomes larger, the dishes pile sky-high and the shower is just never clean because your ‘chore chart’ was accidently erased at the party you “accidently” threw.

Another con to the apartment life, surprisingly enough involves campus. SUNY Oneonta neglects to pay attention to the lack of parking spots designated to commuter students. At any time of the day, parking is a cutthroat competition— who can find the only spot left in the Human Ecology lot. Parking quickly turns into a game of musical chairs that involves a little more skill and a lot more patience. However, weaving in and out of parking lots with disappointing results every time, still may beat the fifteen-minute walk from the underclassmen buildings to the quad, especially during the snow ridden months.

As much as I enjoy privacy, not having to abide by “quiet hour” rules and not having to wear shower shoes, there are some aspects of campus life that I appreciate much more now that I’m living off campus. The simplicity of dining, having chefs prepare food for you instead of putting on an apron, and playing chef yourself. Also, having a maintenance and janitorial staff whom met your every need, immediately. However, being able to string hundreds of thousands of Christmas lights throughout your apartment and being able to burn a pumpkin scented candle in every room easily makes up for the lack of on-campus utilities, right?

Being an upperclassman and living off-campus is definitely a right of passage and a worthy learning experience. In all reality, living off-campus and making decisions is actually beneficial to your emerging independence, and to your longing sweet tooth. If only my roommates and I could afford personal chefs, chauffeurs and maids, the off-campus life would be close to perfection.

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