Finding the good in off-campus living

Caitlyn Payne, junior integrated education studies major, walks out of her apartment door — her off campus apartment door — to find two young girls playing on the sidewalk.


“It feels so homey knowing there are people making their lives here,” said Payne. 


Chapman students have the difficult decision of whether to live on or off campus after their first year in the residence life communities. Living off-campus can be a scary step, but overall it has more pros than cons, according to Catie Kovelman, sophomore creative producing major.


As long as one approaches it with the correct precautions. 


“You don’t have to deal with campus rules. No RA’s, parking struggles, or room inspections,” Kovelman said.


Bu, while living off campus sounds good in theory, freshmen, like international business major Ellie Karayan, feared moving off campus for various reasons.


“I’m scared it will be too expensive and not as stable,” she said. 


Karayan is referring to the fear of being at the mercy of a landlord. However, she was still willing to take the risk, and move outside of Chapman’s housing.


At first it can be a struggle to find off-campus housing, Karayan said. Thankfully, freshmen have resources within the community to find non-Chapman housing. 


Illustration by Tram Dang

One of which is an off-campus listings page on the Chapman Residence Life webpage. It contains listings available to Chapman students looking to lease an apartment or house. Ultimately though, other resources seem more reliable, such as friends and seniors who are giving up their current leases. This is because a relationship with the landlord is already established.


“I found the online listings to be limited. My sorority sisters helped me find my home,” said Karayan, a member of Alpha Gamma Delta. 


Dani Platt, senior environmental science and policy major, found second-year off-campus housing with a group of students with whom she did not consider herself close; she even noted some tension among them.


According to Platt, finding affordable housing with people you like is difficult because everyone else is looking for housing at the same time. You need to start early to make sure the setting is good, the location is right, and you really like the people.


“I ended up in a situation sophomore year when I was rushed to find housing and ended up in a not great situation,” Platt said,  “However, I still prefered it to living in the residence halls. People can learn so much living in an environment that is completely their own.”


While on-campus living may leave desires unmet, Karayan notes she will miss certain aspects of the on campus experience. 


“I will miss being able to open my door and see my friends. It’s a community living on campus,” she said. 


Overall, the positives have outweighed the negatives for living off-campus after a student’s first year at Chapman.
“I get to make my place my own with all my décor and belongings; a home,” Payne said.

+ posts