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How to Prepare for these 6 Concerns about Living off-campus

Updated: Mar 1

inside an apartment's furnished living room and kitchen

Students who are living alone for the first time may worry about a variety of things, including safety, your finances, maintenance, time management privacy and dealing with feelings of social isolation. However, you are able to prepare for each of these concerns listed below.


Living alone can be a source of anxiety for some students, as they may worry about break-ins, theft, security of their neighborhood and transportation, and other safety hazards.

Solution: Before you sign a lease, you'll view your new place, where you can inspect the property to make sure everything is working (electrical, plumbing, smoke detector's light is flashing) and check the locks on the doors and windows. Research your neighborhood before moving in, consider tenant's insurance to protect your belongings against fire, theft or other damage; and after you move in, make an effort to know your neighbors to help create a sense of community.


Your choice to live alone or with roommates will largely be guided by your finances. Because living alone can be expensive, with the main concerns being about how to pay for rent, utilities, and other living expenses while paying tuition.

Solution: Your search for a home started with a manageable budget and following it even after finding your place will give you a safety net. Be mindful of your utility costs and simple actions that can reduce them, try to have more home-cooked meals, ask your grocery stores if they have any student discounts (most stores will have monthly discount deals), and remember to pay off your credit card monthly as you use it. Lastly, start your search for apartments or a house early. This will allow you to find the best deals and give you time to find a roommate if you need someone to split the costs with.

Maintenance and repairs

Living alone can mean dealing with any repairs or maintenance issues on their own, which can be worrying if students don't have the skills or knowledge to handle it and are worried about financial stress.

Solution: Reading your lease is a good start to know which issues you and the landlord are responsible for. Report any damages as soon as you see them to the landlord. Regularly cleaning can reduce the need for timely repairs in the future (ex: bathtubs, sinks, toilets).

Responsibility & Time management

Between studying, work, and your social life, the increased freedom and flexibility of living alone can leave you feeling overwhelmed. On top of all these, you're suddenly responsible for everything from paying bills, cleaning, cooking and doing laundry. Having to make all these decisions can be overwhelming and cause you worry.

Solution: Now that you have so many more responsibilities to handle alone, following a schedule can help your time management and allow you to plan ahead for each week. Especially in keeping your living environment clean and organized.


While living alone, you will definitely have more privacy; but students may also worry about not having someone around to share in their experiences.

Solution: Know your rights as a tenant and read your lease to understand how your landlord is allowed to access your living environment. Lastly be cautious with what personal information you share with anybody.

Social isolation

Living alone can mean less opportunities for socializing and students may worry about missing out on the social aspects of college life. Being a university or college student is already isolating and this concern can be paired with feelings of homesickness as you miss your family, and having less support for dealing with your mental health. As a result you can end up feeling lonely.

Solution: Connect with your friends and peers by joining school clubs, study groups, and ensuring you're using the school's many amenities to stay active. Make time for your hobbies even if it's only once a month. The goal is to protect your emotional and mental well-being. (Not sure where to start, here are some more tips!)

Living alone will introduce you to new challenges but you have and can create tools to help you overcome them as they come.

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