It can be a little overwhelming having so many options about where to live. You can choose to live on campus in a dorm. Or you can choose an off campus apartment complex. You might even decide to rent a house or condo. All three options have their benefits and their drawbacks. Basically, to make a sound decision you need to decide what is most important to you.

A Few Things to think about

1. How willing are you to share a room?

Sharing a room is definitely not for everyone. It can be hard to have someone in your space all of the time, and a lot of the time you might not really ever get to be alone. It can also be really fun though. You pretty much always have someone to talk to. If you get close, you can pretty much always have someone to do things with. You just may not always agree on when to turn out the lights

2. How often do you think you'll do laundry?

This might seem like a strange thing to ask, but it's actually very important. Most apartment complexes have washers and dryers inside of every unit. They may not be the size of your washer at home, but they're still there. Dorms, however, have laundry rooms, and those laundry rooms may or may not be close to where you live. You're also probably going to have to pay to do your laundry and it can get expensive.

3. How much are you willing to pay?

Price is probably the all-determining factor when choosing where to live. A lot of the time time when it comes to housing you get what you pay for. The closer you are to campus, the more you will pay. You will also pay for other things like utilities and security. Don't push your spending limits when it comes to how much you have to pay per month.

4. How far away is it?

Distance from campus is a pretty big factor when determining where you are going to live. If it's not within walking distance, you're going to have to drive or take the bus. Driving might seem more convenient, but finding a parking spot is not always easy. With taking the bus, the farther from campus you live, the longer the bus ride. Complexes might be cheaper farther from campus, but you'll pay for it with an hour long bus ride to get to class every day.

5. Will you have a car?

Parking when you live on campus will almost always be a pain. For most of the freshman dorms, there aren't parking lots near where you live and you will probably have to walk a lot too and from them. If you live in an apartment, you will probably have the option of having an assigned parking spot that no one can park in but you, and if that's not an option, you'll probably still be able to find one pretty close to your building.

6. Don't believe everything you read

Apartment reviewing websites are great in that they give you stories of actual tenants who lived in a particular complex. However, the people who reviewed are more often than not the people who had a bad experience. People are more likely to review something they didn't like or had a bad experience with than something that they're more neutral about. So, get online and do your research, but take everything you read with a grain of salt. For every 1 bad experience, there are dozens on people who don't have any problems.

Unfortunately, there isn't really anything to review on campus housing. But here are a few sites to help you look up the apartment complexes you are looking at. If you can't find any for apartments in your area, you can localize you search.

Apartment Ratings
Check Apartment Reviews
Do Not Rent