Living off campus can be such a hassle. I've been doing it for a semester and a half now. It was pretty great at first. But I sure got the run-around. This is apartment number three so far.
So let me tell you a few things about living off campus, which may be helpful to keep in mind if you are considering it. Especially if you're new to the city and being responsible for an apartment and everything.
Sometimes, it turns out great. You find a decent place with a decent landlord conveniently located to campus or the CTA with awesome people.
Sometimes, you find out a couple months into living there that there is a mold infestation.
Sometimes, you get stuck with awful landlords who do everything wrong.
Sometimes, the utilities companies will shut things off for no apparent reason, and take days to turn them back on.
Sometimes, your roommate(s) will ditch you for new and exciting places.
Sometimes, you can't find anyone else to move in with you in their place.
Sometimes, landlords are picky about replacement roommates.
Sometimes, you have to move in with people you hardly know because you have nowhere else to go.
Sometimes, that leads to really awesome people and close friendships.
Sometimes, your awesome new roommate has a bird.
Living off campus has been a royal pain. But I don't regret any of it. I'm a lot happier being responsible for things and not living in close quarters with everyone else in the dorms. I've got my own bedroom. There's a bird who likes to talk and sing. Both my roommates are great. I'm all sorts of inconvenient from campus now, but it's getting warmer out, and that's fine.
A big part of college for me has been working my way into responsible adulthood. Living off campus, despite getting the royal run-around several times over, has been a valuable experience for me, and helped me learn to deal with things. A lot of them right after one another, sure, but I've learned nonetheless.
Living off campus is something that needs to be seriously considered before making the leap. If you want to be able to sit and read everything for class over five times, you're probably better off in the dorms. But if you like a challenge, and space, and responsibility... go for it. It'll probably turn out better than you expected in ways you'd never thought of.