Take a deep breath and relax: No one's getting voted off the island—or kicked out of the bubble, as the case may be. As the housing crunch has worsened, people have found it increasingly easy to obtain campus housing exemptions which allow them to look for places to rent in the area. All in all, you will save some money and won't be forced to look too far from College Avenue or National Road West (Route 40). Students often use connections with friends who rented previously and get together to rent houses close to campus. Certain houses have become co-opted by Earlham students and have earned familiar nicknames like "345" and "Blue Shutters." There are virtually no one-bedroom apartments close to campus, and those looking strictly for apartments may want to consider their transportation situation and evaluate whether they are willing to have a longer commute to campus. Also, living off campus gives the over-21 crowd the freedom to drink legally, but puts you in reach of the often-cursed Richmond law enforcement. Having parties with underage drinking is serious business to the RPD.
Students generally find off-campus living appealing but not necessary. The decision to move off campus is best made once you've been living on campus for a while and have had a chance to figure out what really works for you.