By Maria Jose Fernandez
Going to college in Miami is a blessing, but it is also a curse.
This world-famous city is known for its top-notch beaches, amazing weather, and abundant nightlife. But these remarkable perks do not come without a similarly remarkable cost.
According to RealtyHop’s Housing Affordability Index, Miami has surpassed Los Angeles and New York City and now ranks as the most expensive place to live in the United States.
That being said, being a college student in a big city such as Miami has its fair share of challenges. With such a high cost of living, the price of rent, food and transportation are only a few of the factors that make living in Miami difficult for college students.
This means that for Barry students, choosing between living off campus or living in the dorms is often not a simple decision. While both commuting and staying on campus have their own set of advantages and disadvantages, there are many factors students must consider when deciding where to live.
One issue to consider when deciding between on or off campus living is transportation and whether to make the drive to school or opt for the walk from the dorms.
While living in the dorms on campus may not be the most glamorous lifestyle, it does provide a fair number of advantages. For one, it saves time and makes it easier to design your class schedule. Those who live on campus do not have to worry about the honking, the congestion on roads and highways, or dealing with the infamous drivers of Miami.
Roy Shohat, a junior majoring in exercise physiology, says that not only does he feel safe living on campus, but that living and working in the same place has its perks.
“As an athlete, it is a huge benefit that after your morning and afternoon practices you have a place to chill in between classes,” he said.
Dominique Pineda, a senior majoring in Public Relations, has lived in both the dorms and in her parents' home during her time at Barry. She says that living in a dorm is an easier transition into college life.
“If you are already living on campus you don’t have to rush to class, you have time to sleep a little more," said Pineda.
Pineda also points out that living in the dorms, you get more help from the school itself.
“The cafeteria and the dining halls can make it easier when you are living on your own because you don’t have to worry about cooking or grocery shopping,” Pineda said.
Some students also feel that living on campus helps them create more memorable and lasting friendships.
“Living on campus helps you to be more social and is the perfect place to start making friends, especially if you're not from Florida or you are an international student,” said graduate student Carla Davila.
Apartment living also has its own set of benefits. For one, living off campus allows students to expand beyond the walls of the school and possibly even explore the city a bit more. According to Pineda, living in an apartment can help with personal growth and independence.
Nils Bucheler, a senior majoring in international business and finance, lived in the dorms for two years before he decided to move off campus.
“It was nice to have a space outside of the university where you could just move freely,” Bucheler said. “I decided to move off campus because I wanted to live more independently. Having a cooking area with a fridge also makes my life more flexible.”
A member of the men’s soccer team, Bucheler lives in a house close to school with six other student athletes from the basketball, soccer and tennis teams. He says that sharing a house or an apartment with friends is an affordable way to live off campus.
“It is important that you trust the people that you want to live and spend the most time with, because if you don’t enjoy the time with those people, I think that could be the most horrible part of living outside of campus and not in the dorms,” Nils said.