January 15, 2021

7 Tips for Successful Off-Campus Living

Whether you’re an incoming freshman or an upperclassman tired of living the dorm life, off-campus living is likely something you’ll want to try during your time at university. 

Make the transition to apartment living as smooth as possible with the following tips. 


Choose roommates wisely.

Remember that your going-out buddy may not be the ideal roommate for you. Choose someone who has study and sleeping habits, schedules, and leisure activities that are similar to yours to avoid conflict. 


Decide on a general location.

If you’ve had enough of dorm life, that doesn’t mean you have to forego the university experience and student living. Ottawa has plenty of beautiful student apartments available. Before you decide which student apartment to lease, make sure that it’s near campus and you’ll be able to get to your classes without a problem.

The campus should be accessible by walking, or by using a car, bike, or public transportation. You can try a couple of test runs from your prospect apartment to campus to see how long it will take you to get to class.  

If you’re considering a cheaper apartment that’s farther away from school, check to see if the savings you’ll get will be offset by the cost of commuting. 


Get affordable furniture.

You can ask fellow students or previous tenants if you can get their furniture at a discounted price. You can also shop for bargain deals on Craigslist and Facebook.

Consider the space of the apartment when thinking of what furniture to bring. Don’t forget to ask your roommates what they’re bringing to avoid duplicate items.

Moreover, keep in mind that some student apartments are already furnished. Check to see what you’re getting with your lease to make sure you don’t double up on any items.


Manage your bills.

Living in a student apartment comes with plenty of bills. Aside from the accommodations, you’ll also have to pay for cable, internet, electricity, and gas. Make sure to budget your allowance wisely and set aside enough to pay for your living expenses.

Better yet, look for an apartment that conveniently rolls all of your costs into your lease. This will make it much more convenient when it’s time to pay, especially if you live with roommates. 


Learn how to cook.

Living in a student apartment means you’ll no longer have access to a dining hall. You’ll have a kitchen of your own so you’ll need to brush up on your cooking skills. Start with something simple and uncomplicated like oatmeal for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch, and pasta for dinner.


Shop for groceries.

Since you’ll be cooking more often, you’ll also need to shop for food. You can buy nonperishable items in bulk to save money. Ask your roommates if they’re willing to pitch in for common pantry items, or if they prefer to be responsible for their own. For fresh produce with a short shelf life, buy only what you’ll need for the week.


Share chores equally.

In an apartment, you’ll have more space that needs to be cleaned compared to a dorm room. Since you’ll be living with other people, you’ll need to divide the household chores. Split the tasks up evenly and put them in a chore chart where it’s visible to everyone. 

Assign people the household chores they like to do, and rotate the more unsavory tasks among yourselves. Make sure that the cleaning supplies are well-stocked at all times.


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