Reasons Why I Recommend Commuting as a City College Student

View of Lake from Chicago from DePaul student point of view

1. To explore new neighborhoods

When I moved to Chicago for school, one of my main goals was to explore the city. While living on campus was convenient and the dorms were nice to connect with other students, I wanted to broaden my experience after my first year. By moving off-campus into an apartment with my first-year roommate, I was able to immerse myself into a neighborhood I had only passed by. I found a second community to be a part of in Chicago and now, through two apartments, I have established my roots in Ravenswood (at least for now!).



A group of about ten Pathways Honors student standing in a circle introducing themselves to one another. It is a crisp, fall day.

2. To Broaden your Outlook of the City

Chicago is such a vibrant and multifaceted city, with culture and community around every corner. With busy lifestyles it is easy to stick to the same spots, but moving off-campus has forced me to explore outside of the ‘campus area bubble’. This has allowed me to find my new favorite spots beyond Lincoln Park and the Loop, which has been really exciting. I feel like it is easy to associate your college with how you perceive the entire area, but by commuting you can avoid that obstacle and understand your college to be one piece of the puzzle.



3. It’s Easy to Make Flexible Commuter-Friendly Schedules!

A lot of students who are from the suburbs will commute since they are already so close to the city, but it is a great option for everyone to consider. My classes are pretty flexible at DePaul so it is easy to find chunks of time to be at home for. With some universities that meet more than twice a week for class, you want to be right on campus to avoid awkward gaps of time between lectures. Here, I finish my classes after a few hours, so I do not need to wait on campus all day if I don’t want to.

A picture of a large inflatable snowman at the DePaul University Ugly Sweater Party.
View of Lake from Chicago from DePaul student point of view

4. To Find your Personal Space for Post-Grad

I definitely like to think ahead and I am also indecisive, so for big decisions I need to plan early. With all the career opportunities in Chicago within the Public Relations field, I knew I wanted to stay here post-grad. I was nervous about juggling apartment hunting and job hunting at once, so starting to commute before I graduated eliminated that overlap. I have time to figure out if I like the location and pricing for my apartment now while avoiding any indecision and stress later on!

5. For More Living Space

One of the obvious benefits for me with commuting is the space I have living in an apartment versus a dorm. My dorm was spacious (shoutout Munroe Hall!) but I needed some more privacy, a living room, and just the freedom and independence of having my own place. Since I can expand my reach beyond Lincoln Park, I was able to find options that are within my price range and had more space.

I will say, I did not know during my initial apartment search that DePaul also has University Apartments for students to apply for! These are basically apartments in layout, just on-campus. If you aren’t ready to take that next step for off-campus living, I recommend checking that out! Everyone who I’ve spoken to that lives there has loved it. Good luck with your search through housing!


Search off-campus housing near DePaul here!