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Should I live on or off campus?

QUESTION: I am trying to decide whether to live on campus or off campus. If I live off campus I'd like to live by myself. Is one or the other better for studying? Also I play sports so I don't know how that will affect my decision. Signed, No Room for a Roommate

Dear No Room: Going to college is not only about going to classes. It's also about eating pizza with friends at 3 a.m., cheering your team on at the Homecoming game and playing video games when you should be at the library. Knowing this, what kind of lifestyle do you want and will that choice be possible both on or off campus?

If you're strictly considering studying, you probably would do better off campus living without roommates. Roommates and dormmates can be distracting. Athletics can affect your decision based on your practice schedule and how much time it would take to get from an off-campus apartment to your games and practices.

On a practical level, you would probably have fewer distractions and more focused studying time off campus. But on a personal level, would you have the full college experience? Would you make an effort to get involved with activities and maintain relationships with friends? Plus, you have to remember that some distractions can be good since college is about more than studying.

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Gen & Kelly Tanabe

Gen and Kelly Tanabe are the founders of SuperCollege and the award-winning authors of 11 books on college admission, financial aid and scholarships. Together they were accepted to all of the Ivy League colleges and won more than $100,000 in merit-based scholarships to graduate from Harvard debt-free.