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Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

The Wofford experience from students living on and off campus

The parking situation can be frustrating, according to some off-campus students. More about the pros and cons of off-campus living below. Photo by Madeline Brewer.

When attending college, students make the decision whether to take
advantage of the living quarters provided by the school or to find their own, whether it be in a relative’s house or in an apartment off campus.

Students in either of these living situations may wonder what it is like to do college the other way. Does a student gain something by living on campus versus off?

“I just like (living on campus) because it’s easy to get to everything,” said Georgie McDevitt ‘23. “If my friend wants to hang out, I can just walk over to their house. If we want to go play volleyball, we can just go to the court.”

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“I don’t really have to worry about traffic when getting to my morning classes because the walk is always the same amount of time,” said Morgan Roddy ‘23. “I also get a change of scenery every year because I’ve lived in Greene, Carlisle, Wightman and now the apartments.”

“Living on campus was really wonderful for me as someone who was local. It really helped me become more independent,” alumna Mary Thalassinos ‘20 said. “I was thankful for the bubble of Wofford because oftentimes I really didn’t feel like I was in the same place I’d known my entire life.”

Other benefits of living on campus include a meal plan that consists of meal swipes and Terrier Bucks, quick access to all buildings and an increased social presence on campus.

However, living on campus comes with certain challenges for some as well.

“I don’t really get the convenience of leaving school at school. I live where I study, so it’s hard to take a break sometimes and relax,” Roddy said. “Freshman housing never gave me my own space. I was in front of someone 24/7 and felt like I could never relax.”

“I feel like you’re able to stay on campus, so sometimes it limits you from experiencing the actual Spartanburg community,” McDevitt said. “There also might be pressure to go out on the weekends (even if you don’t want to).”

“My sophomore year suitemate had a pipe burst above her room and our room was flooded with two inches of water,” Roddy added. “(Also,) the walls and floors are paper thin, so living under loud people is annoying.”

As for off-campus living, though some of the benefits provided by the college go away, other new opportunities open up.

“I stayed overnight at a dorm once, and I don’t know how y’all get any sleep with how loud it is, especially on Friday nights, so I’m grateful that I don’t have to deal with that,” Rose Thomas ‘23 said.

“I can shower whenever I want and cook whatever I want because I have a full kitchen, and I really like that,” Thomas said. “I also have privacy, which is really important to me.” She sees the value of separation from Wofford as well.

“I feel like a lot of Wofford students live in a Wofford bubble, and they don’t see Spartanburg beyond downtown,” Thomas said. “I’m glad that I can really see Spartanburg.”

As with on-campus living, living off campus comes with other challenges.

“I’ve been a commuter since freshman year, and it was difficult to be social,” Thomas said. “All of the social events would be around 7 or 8 p.m. That would mean I would just have to hang around on campus until that time, and then bring my backpack to any events.”

“I’ve been late to class so many times because I can’t find a parking space, and it’s really frustrating,” Thomas said. “I don’t understand why Wofford doesn’t have commuter parking spaces like Upstate does. It would make things so much easier.”

Off-campus students also do not receive a meal plan and are responsible for funding their own meals. As for parking, many commuting students find themselves limited to parking spaces on the far outskirts of campus each morning.

However, students who live in an off-campus apartment also receive the opportunity to learn about paying rent and utility bills, even if they are receiving financial assistance.

Students without a meal plan can also add Terrier Bucks to their accounts if they desire to use their student IDs to purchase food. The conversion rate is exactly 1 dollar to 1 Terrier Buck.

Overall, either living situation comes with highs and lows; the key is to identify which one feels the most right for you.

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