Gaining admission into a tertiary institution in Nigeria is not a walk in the park. And if you are fortunate to be offered admission, you still have to deal with the issue of accommodation which can be really tasking especially in state universities. In this article we take a critical look at what students should know about off-campus accommodation.
Over 90 percent of our tertiary institutions are faced with a major challenge of coping with the teeming population of students that gain admission into higher institutions annually, especially in the area of accommodation. But like they say, one man’s pain is another man’s gain.
Over the years off-campus accommodation or hostels built around the vicinity of our various higher institutions scattered around the six geo-political zones of the country have managed to stem the tide. Hence, this leaves landlord with properties in such locations smiling to the banks.
For the property owners, it is business as usual but is it all rosy for the students? Do they really get their money’s worth when they decide to stay in an off-campus accommodation?
Finding somewhere suitable to stay in tertiary institutions in Nigeria is a major challenge for Nigerian students. Often times our tertiary institutions don’t have the capacity to deal with the population of students that gain admission annually. The hostels on-campus are usually congested, yet more than half the population of students admitted can’t even find a space in the hostels on campus.
Many students who are fortunate to get a space in the hostels on campus are not even as fortunate as some of us may think due to the fact that the conditions that they are made to cope with there is no different from what is obtainable in a standard Nigerian Prison. A lot more have to manage with legal occupants or friends while their belongings are scattered in different places.
The privileged few that manage to live off-campus have to contend with the soaring price of off-campus accommodation or hostels.
However, the conditions in off-campus accommodation are a whole lot different from the hostels on campus. The comfort students find in off-campus accommodation makes on-campus hostels a no-no for those who can afford it.
At an off-campus accommodation, a student won’t have to battle for space or fight tooth and nail to get privacy. Although in situations where three or more students stay in a room or self-contained apartment finding space and privacy can be a bit challenging.
In a way, living off campus helps improve social life in the sense that you get to meet new people away from your higher institution.
However, staying in an off-campus location means you are spending more. You have to spend on furniture and also deal with transporting the furniture back home after graduation, that’s if you don’t have the option of selling. You have to spend more on transportation and even food. There are also unforeseen expenses that come with off-campus accommodation.
Then there is the issue of safety which cannot be guaranteed in most off-campus hostels. Many rape cases have been reported in off-campus accommodations with few happening on campus. Same goes to robbery cases and cult-related activities.
Safety is a major edge hostels on campus have over off-campus accommodation. Security of lives and properties of students is at risk it in off-campus locations.
Also, off-campus students have the issue of transportation to contend with unlike their on campus counterparts who just stroll to their various lecture rooms and stroll back to their hostels after lectures. They don’t have to worry about how they will get back home after lectures. Hence, coming late for lectures or missing a lecture(s) entirely is a trend among off-campus students
There also the issue of moving around at night, this is something off-campus students dread due to security challenges
Not-forgetting the issue of reckless living especially by students who can’t cope with the level of freedom that comes with staying in an off-campus accommodation. Some students who go to live off-campus do have ulterior motives, especially male students.
We have seen situations where male and female students co-habit in off-campus accommodation, a scenario that can’t take place on campus. Furthermore, sex orgies, fetishes and unwholesome parties take place in most off-campus accommodation occupied by students.
Simply put, in off-campus hostels, obscenity and immoral vices are the order of the day
Nonetheless, living off campus prepares students for the outside world because living in an off-campus hostel means more responsibilities.