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Written by Gilburt L. Chiang
Off-campus housing is highly recommended at OSU, but only after at least one year of campus life. It's almost expected that you'll move off campus eventually-the biggest question is when. Having your own place shouldn't cost any more than living in the dorms, and if you do it right, you can actually be paying less. Prices vary drastically depending on what you want, however. Planning early is the best idea, no matter what type of housing you seek-start looking after winter break, at the very latest. Pick roommates early (if applicable), and start looking at what's available. Wait too long, and you'll find yourself out of options and facing another year in the dorms. After you're done with freshman year in the residence halls, you have a better idea what campus life is like. Students recommend getting a quad with your best friends on South Campus as an alternative to moving into an apartment-at least for the second year. If you do move off campus quickly, try to live somewhere close. The number of people you meet plummets when you move out of the residence halls, so try to make as many friends as possible while you're in the dorms; you might be glad to have those connections later on.
Be sure that you're ready to pay your own bills, buy your own food, deal with neighbors (sans RA), and handle many other responsibilities before you decide to get your own place. If in doubt, check out the off-campus housing Web site and pick up a copy of the OSU renting guide. Most realtors in the area are also friendly, and they're quick to help students find housing and work through whatever problems may arise.
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