You truly don’t understand how hard loneliness can hit you until you step on a campus where you don’t know anyone, and you suddenly feel most isolated than you did in your hometown. You may feel unmotivated but curb this feeling by getting involved in college. When you’re living on campus, it’s relatively easy and ideal to get involved. I mean, you’re basically on campus 24/7, you really have no excuse. As soon as you get out of your dorm, you’re within walking distance to everything on campus and you’re constantly surrounded by other students. I’m sure that the “grass is always greener on the other side” is true here. I always wanted to live on residence in first year but I’m sure if I lived in residence, I would have wanted to move out by October. The constant noise, and people would have probably drove me crazy.
Living off-campus was a struggle in first year since I lived at home with my parents. It takes a lot to get involved on campus when it’s not thrown in your face, especially when you feel as out of the loop as I did. Below are 7 struggles that those wanting to get involved but live off-campus face, and 7 ways to combat these struggles:
You’re Still Living With Rules
You feel so independent living on your own, and you’re off-campus so it essentially means no rules. While this is the dream, the reality is that you’re not as independent as you think you are. If you make the slightest noise at an ungodly time, you know that a noise complaint is being filed. On the other hand, you may be living at home with your parents. It may feel pointless to go out when your parents are constantly calling you or you feel like you should be home by 1. It might suck that you feel the need to leave earlier but the first step is still making an effort.
It’s A Hassle To Go Back & Forth
Many off-campus students go to campus solely for classes, and head home to crawl into bed, catch up on shows, or make food. Once you get home, it’s usually hard to leave again though – you can work out, study, and eat at home. Instead of staying home, pack a lunch and some gym gear and stay on campus outside of class. Most college students have access to a free gym, and a microwave. Most gyms on campus offer workout classes, attend one with a friend and who knows, you may make another friend. Take advantage and stay on campus – you’ll have a bigger chance of meeting people, and you’ll likely be more in the know.
You Feel Left Out
It might suck at first to see that everyone already knows everyone since they’re in the same dorm, but don’t let that deter you. You want to get involved but it feels like there’s no point. For example, my university has a group of students assigned to the Off-Campus group during Orientation week. Other colleges are likely to have similar programs and resources for you to turn to! Seek these out, they’re a great way for you to meet other Off-Campus students, and be a part of a group.
You want to get involved but you don’t know how to. You swear that you’re missing out, and you almost want to say f*ck it, and just stay home, “I have all the friends I need anyways”. Don’t give up, and follow your school on social media – whether it’s Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, or Facebook. Each school is bound to have an account and it’s a great way to be In the know. Also attend your school’s Club Week, and sign up for some clubs!
You’re Busy With Your Off-Campus Life
It’s easy to be busy with life outside of school with your high school friends, family duties, or work. You might feel overwhelmed and feel like you have no time to get involved on campus. Trust me when I say that getting involved on campus will benefit you in the long run. Ease some of the workload by applying for a job on campus – it’s easier and way more convenient for you. You could also see if the things you volunteer for have a club on campus.
While you may think that you’re not getting the full college experience by living off-campus, don’t let this emotion deter you from getting involved on campus. You don’t want to spend the next four years just stuck at home! While it may be hard to do so in the beginning, you’ll be thankful that you did so in the long run. You can get the best of both worlds – be involved on campus and go back to your cozy room off-campus.
Featured Image Via Theo Gosselin.