Living on campus is much better than living off campus, says a Florida Atlantic University anthropology major, and he wants to make sure other students realize this before it is too late.
Chris Thompson, a senior, used to live in the Heritage Park Towers dormitory. After two years, he was ready to move out and see what life was like outside the campus. He now lives in an apartment complex only a few miles away from FAU.
"I hated living on campus. There was never anything to do, and there was not much to eat, either," said Thompson, reflecting on why he moved out.
Heritage Park Towers is right in the center of the Boca Raton campus. It is close to the buffet-style cafeteria in the Student Union building and the Breezeway Café, which holds fast food restaurants like Wendy's and Quiznos.
"I was tired of eating the same food, tired of getting yelled at by my resident assistant and tired of having a roommate so close to me at all times," Thompson said.
So after completing his sophomore year, he decided to get a job and move into his own apartment.
On average, students living in Glades Park Towers or Heritage Park Tower will pay $740 per semester, and those living in Indian River Towers will pay $801 per semester.
"For what I was paying to live in the dorm, I handled the rent on an apartment and all my bills. I could not have been happier because I was paying for all of this through student loans," Thompson said.
And when he moved into his own place, he was free to eat any food he could buy and do what he wanted in the comfort of his own room.
"I could drink beer in my room without getting yelled at, and I didn't have to eat the food on campus anymore. I had a great summer break," Thompson said.
Then, just as quickly as Thompson moved out, he realized what was nice about living on campus.
"Parking," Thompson said, putting his head down. "I did not realize how nice it was to not move my car and to be so close to all my classes."
Thompson had signed a two-year lease in his apartment because of how excited he was to live off campus during his last two years of school.
"Now I am regretting signing that lease, because if I had the option I would move back on campus, especially with the [Innovation Village Apartments] opening soon," he said.
But it's the parking situation that continues to irritate him.
"I cannot stand having to leave almost two hours before my class starts just to get on campus and try to find parking somewhere," Thompson said.
Thompson is set to graduate after this spring semester, and his graduation date will be the same month his lease it up.
"I am telling everyone I know to stay on campus if they have the chance because it is definitely worth it," he said.