Living on campus better in the long run than paying rent off campus

Nov. 9, 2015

Taylor Garcia
tgarcia@uccs.edu

When I first came to UCCS, the university wasn’t prepared for the amount of freshmen that enrolled.

I was placed in the overflow housing down on Nevada Avenue by Costco, in what was then called the Sunset Creek Apartments.

The university turned buildings of two bedroom apartments into dorm rooms to accommodate the overflow.

Two-bedroom apartments aren’t very big, even just for two people. UCCS also decided it would be a good idea to put two people to a bedroom.

A shuttle system was implemented to help get us to campus. If you ride the bus now, you know how difficult it is to make it to class on time.

That one semester I lived at Sunset Creek, I had to ride the bus that left the apartments at 6:30 in the morning to make my class at 8 a.m.

Sharing a one-person closet with someone else, one bathroom between four girls, learning how to cook, figuring out why no one does their dishes and running out the door without shoes on to make the bus.

It was all a part of the magical college experience.

Bullshit.

At semester, my roommates found a way to get on to the main campus and I found a house to move into, which was great. But, you have to have a good enough reason to withdraw from campus living, or buy your way out.

It cost about $950 to get out of my contract. The university explained that the price included a month of rent and other living expenses such as meals.

Living on campus was rough for those five months, but it was easier to be angry at my “landlord” because it was the university in its entirety. It was the man, the institution, there was no specific person that my anger could be channeled upon.

That changed when I moved off campus.

The first house I moved into was great. I was with teammates and I had my own room, the landlord was kind enough to let me know that it had been converted from a utility closet to a bedroom. Regardless of the size, it was my room.

I didn’t mind living at that house, it was expensive because the house was completely furnished and our landlord was extremely helpful. But this spoiled me for my second landlord.

I went from a furnished, six bedroom house to an unfurnished three bedroom duplex. Despite the reduction, my rent didn’t change by that much.

The first time I realized that my roommates and I may have an issue with my third landlord was when we sat down to go over the rent agreement. He claimed he paid for our water usage, a statement that turned out to be false.

He also raised the rent without letting anyone know. I soon began to realize the difference between dorm life on campus and living on your own.

Rent per person on campus is about $880 a month (give or take) and rent for me each month is usually between $440 and $460.

I know I can’t complain, but now I miss on-campus living.

If you live on campus, enjoy it. You don’t have to worry about parking passes and walking from Alpine Village can be a pain, but walking 20 minutes each day (uphill) to class and then another 20 minutes any time you may need to go home is a pain.

But running back to your dorm? No problem.

Almost any kind of scholarship you receive can be put toward living expenses as well as tuition. You can’t always do that off campus.

And lastly, you pay one bill all at once. That is mind blowing, since after each month I get four or five different bills that don’t conveniently come at once.

My advice? Stay on campus and count your blessings.