Pros and Cons of Off-Campus Housing in LA – Interview with Students

Living off-campus in Los Angeles comes with its own unique set of experiences. I recently sat down with a few students to get their take on the pros and cons. From budgeting challenges to newfound freedoms, here’s what they had to say.

The Benefits of Off-Campus Living

Independence and Freedom

One of the biggest draws for students moving off-campus is the freedom it offers. No more curfews or RA rules to follow. You can cook your meals, decorate your space, and truly make it your own. For instance, living in Antares homes offers a blend of privacy and communal living with high-quality amenities, making it an appealing option for those looking to experience independence.

Real-World Experience

Off-Campus Housing in LA

Living off-campus gives students a taste of what it’s like to live independently. This means budgeting for groceries, paying bills on time, and managing household chores. It’s a great preparation for post-college life.

More Space and Privacy

Dorm rooms can feel cramped and lacking in privacy. Off-campus housing often provides more living space, a personal bedroom, and sometimes even a yard or balcony. This extra space can be a game-changer, especially during study sessions or when you just need a moment to yourself.

Potential Cost Savings

Depending on where you choose to live, off-campus housing can sometimes be more cost-effective than dorm living. Splitting rent with roommates, cooking your meals, and finding the right place can lead to significant savings.

The Challenges of Off-Campus Living


Transportation Issues

Getting to and from campus can be a hassle. Traffic in LA is notoriously bad, and relying on public transport can be time-consuming. Students often have to factor in extra travel time, which can eat into their study and leisure hours.

Higher Responsibility

Living off-campus comes with a lot of responsibilities. From dealing with landlords and maintenance issues to ensuring bills are paid on time, it can be overwhelming. Some students find this added responsibility to be a significant adjustment.

Potentially Higher Costs

While there can be savings, off-campus living can also be expensive. Rent in LA is notoriously high, and finding an affordable place close to campus can be a challenge. Utilities, internet, and groceries can add up quickly, sometimes making it more expensive than staying in a dorm.

Social Isolation

Living away from campus can sometimes lead to a feeling of isolation. Being off-campus means missing out on spontaneous hangouts, late-night study sessions, and campus events. Staying connected requires more effort, which can be a struggle for some students.

Student Insights


What They Loved

  • Flexibility: “I love being able to cook my meals and have friends over whenever I want.”
  • Personal Space: “Having my own room and not having to share a tiny dorm is the best part.”
  • Life Skills: “Learning to manage my own place has been invaluable.”

What They Struggled With

  • Commute: “The traffic is a nightmare, and sometimes it feels like I’m wasting so much time.”
  • Costs: “Rent is really high, and when you add utilities and groceries, it can be tough.”
  • Feeling Disconnected: “Sometimes I miss the convenience of just walking to a friend’s dorm or a campus event.”

Tips for Future Off-Campus Students

  • Budget Wisely: Plan your budget carefully. Factor in all potential expenses, including utilities and groceries.
  • Choose Roommates Carefully: Living with friends can be fun, but make sure they’re reliable and responsible.
  • Stay Connected: Make an effort to stay engaged with campus life. Join clubs, attend events, and stay in touch with friends.


Living off-campus in LA offers a mix of freedom, responsibility, and real-world experience. It’s not without its challenges, but for many students, the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. If you’re considering off-campus living, weigh the pros and cons carefully, and make the choice that best fits your lifestyle and needs.