Residence, Off-Campus, or Home Sweet Home? Choosing the Right Place to Live as a Student

When it comes to choosing which university to attend, some of the big deciding factors include student life, academics, career opportunities and — of course — living arrangements. Finding and choosing the best housing fit for you is so important to your success. Where you live will have a big impact on your academic and student experience.

Depending on your situation, you may already feel like one particular living arrangement is the obvious choice. But it is key to take time to look at your options and weigh them against the lifestyle you want over the next four to five years. What environment will set you up best to study? Eat and sleep? Keep the monthly budget balanced? Form or maintain social connections?

While your priorities and housing preferences may shift year to year, it's important to feel confident with your choice as you begin this new and exciting chapter. So, let's take a look at some of the reasons why you'll want to choose residence, off-campus housing, or home sweet home.

Pros of living in residence

Here are some of the highlights you can expect when living in residence:

Shared experience

Everyone around you is in a similar stage of life (and maybe even taking the same courses or part of the same clubs!). But now you also share the normalcy of daily routines — eating, sleeping, cleaning, running errands, relaxing, studying... there's always someone on your floor or in your building that you can hang out with.

An automatic social calendar

Your dons will make sure there is always another event to look forward to in res, whether it's a movie/game night, a cooking class, or an afternoon exploring the city. Introverts, don't worry — res is for you, too. It's totally up to you which events you attend and, if you choose to live in apartment-style housing, you'll always have your own personal space to relax and recharge.

Less food prep

Living in dormitory-style residence also means buying a meal plan that will cover the majority of your meals — cooked fresh and available all throughout the day. You'll be able to focus on your courses and volunteer positions by getting rid of the hassle of grocery shopping and cooking.

Close to class

Living on-campus means no car and no commute. Get up, get dressed, brush your teeth, maybe grab a snack for your morning, and off you go — you could be in class in under 10 minutes!

Pros of living off-campus

And here are some of the top reasons you might want to live off-campus, but away from home:


If you thought res was an exercise in independence, renting your own place off-campus is going to feel like the ultimate freedom. Set your own schedule, prepare your own food, arrange your own transportation and arrange your own social life — all the responsibility and rewards of living on your own.

Choice of housing style

Living off-campus gives you options, you get to decide — do you want to live in an apartment? A townhouse? A detached home? Privately owned dorm-style student housing? The choice is yours.

Choice of roommate(s)

Also up to you is who you want to live with (and how many people). Do you already have a friend (or a few) you want to rent with? Are you hoping to make new friends through this process? Or are you looking for somewhere you can live on your own?


If you find a good place and/or a good set of roommates in first year, there's often the option of maintaining your arrangement for another one, two, or three years. Your new place could be home for your whole university experience allowing you to settle in and establish a reliable dynamic with your housemates.

Pros of living at home

Of course, some students opt to say at home, with their parents or guardians. This has its upsides too:

Familiarity and comfort

"Home sweet home" says it best. With so much change, there is something reassuring about coming home to a place you know well.

Proximity to loved ones

Whether you're living with your parents or with a family friend or relative who is closer to campus, you'll always be just a short drive or bus ride back home to debrief about all the exciting things you've learned and experienced. Plus, it'll make celebrating birthdays, holidays, and accomplishments together so much easier.

Cost savings

Even if you do pay rent, it's likely less than you would pay elsewhere. And hey, if meals are thrown in too, that's even more to be grateful for (and a few thousand dollars saved — so don't forget those "thank yous" and a smile during dish duty).

Maintain your lifestyle

If you already have a part-time job, a sports league, or a volunteer position you're invested in, living at home can make maintaining those relationships and responsibilities much easier. Whether they are funding your education, building up your resume or helping your mental health, it's meaningful to stay connected to familiar networks.

We're here to support you, whatever you choose

At the end of the day, where you live needs to support the lifestyle you want during your time at university.

Whatever you decide, we're here to support you. If you choose to live at home or off campus, connect with our LOCUS Instagram community. If res is your first choice, follow us to get the information you need to know.

Learn more about guaranteed first-year residence