For many people, one of the challenges of living off campus is understanding the responsibilities that come with it. How you approach living off campus can have a significant impact on your academic and residential experiences.
Here are a few tips from a veteran Community Ambassador on how to make the most of living off campus:
- Understand your responsibilities as a tenant: Make sure you’ve done your homework regarding your living options off campus. Depending on your living situation, you may have the responsibility of paying bills each month, shoveling the sidewalk in front of your house, and navigating odd and even parking in the near-University neighborhood. Understanding your budget and the style of living you prefer (traditional college flat, apartment complex space, etc.) can make a big difference!
- Communication is key: If you choose to live off campus, initiate a relationship with your landlord or property manager. Get to know them and let them get to know you. If there is a problem with your apartment, let your landlord or property manager know immediately. Positive relationships are a good thing and can only begin with communication.
- Living with friends: If you are going to live with your friends, don’t let it be your best friend. There’s a chance that you may get sick of one another after spending every waking moment together. If you are going to room with a friend, try someone you don’t know that well. It’s a chance to build a new friendship, while also having some sort of background with them. Finally, though, don’t be afraid to “go random.” This campus is filled with incredible people and you never know who you’ll meet.
- Respect your neighbors: Like your landlord, get to know your neighbors as soon as you move in. There are many residents who live in the near-University neighborhood year-round. They would love to make your acquaintance and get to know you. Some even might bake you cookies!
- Seek help: Most importantly, seek help if you need it. Living off campus can present some challenges that you may not be prepared for. Just because you live off campus doesn’t mean that you can’t utilize campus resources when you are in need. If a need arises, immediately contact Off-Campus and Commuter Services and they will assist you with how to approach any off-campus issue you’re facing.
If you are looking to start your off-campus housing search, the Syracuse University Off-Campus Housing Finder is now live! Just log in with your SU NetID and password.
Written by: Peter Lok ’17 G’18