Living off campus is all about weighing your options and prioritizing what is most important to you. On one hand, having your own place means you don’t have to sign up for a meal plan, and you’ll have your own kitchen, bedroom, privacy, and much more space. Parties and other rules are far less regulated, and you can escape from campus life, which means you don’t have to see the same people all the time. But, on the other hand, you (or your parents, more likely) are responsible for paying the water bill, electricity, and all other grown-up inconveniences that come with being on your own. The other pain can be the commute and feeling isolated from the constant hum of campus life. Just don’t count on public transportation to get you back and forth—having a car, being an avid cyclist, or even walking are essential.
If you do plan on living off campus, there are plenty of options to choose from and several are right next to campus, but it really depends on what you’re looking for and how much you’re willing to spend. Good areas to check out are Maximo Park, The Wave condos behind Eckerd, along St. Pete Beach, or the Old Northeast corridor or Roser Park sections of downtown, all of which are popular with students and average to good quality. In terms of cost, if you have roommates, you will probably be spending the equivalent of what Eckerd charges for room and board.