Beginning sophomore year, students at UMass are allowed to move into an off-campus location. Moving off campus last year has been one of the most enriching and fun life experiences I have ever had. Near the end of sophomore year, my friend group and I ultimately decided we all wanted to live together in an apartment. After researching and touring multiple places, we ultimately decided upon Brandywine Apartments due to the price and proximity to campus. I share my apartment with four of my closest friends and have learned SO much from them.
This past year I can now proudly say that I have learned how to cook for myself! When previously living on campus, the only real thing I could cook was pasta and MAYBE microwavable mac and cheese. This past semester, my roommates and I have even taken part in a farm-share; every single week we get LOADS of fresh vegetables. In turn, we have all gotten into the habit of eating much healthier than our previous years, which is never a bad thing. Believe it or not, buying groceries is much cheaper than eating on campus and has the potential for a more balanced and nutritious diet!
Another great aspect of living off campus is the ability to decorate a whole apartment! My roommates and I have plastered the walls with sketches, paintings, and random decorations we have accrued over the past few years. Being able to completely design a space has been a great bonding experience as well as good practice for my future living spaces!
Living off campus has given me the ability to spread my wings even further and has helped prepare me for life after college. If you are thinking of moving off campus at some point, start researching early. Many apartments and houses are in-demand and get taken early so it’s good to be on top of your game. Regardless, always make sure to look into all opportunities to see what option is right for you.