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Moving off a military base can offer sense of freedom

Published: 01:20PM February 13th, 2014

DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. — Do you hate living in the dorms? Don’t worry ... it’s OK, I sure did.

I think a lot of Airmen look forward to hearing that magic phrase “your request to move off base has been approved” by the dorm managers. This phrase gives them a new sense of freedom.

After hearing that phrase and moving off base, I have realized some pros and cons between living on base in the dorms and living off base.

Even though I disliked living in the dorms, I have to admit, I miss their convenience.

Although I love living off base, I don’t like the hassle of the drive to work. I have to deal with traffic, lines at the gate and inclement weather. What used to take five minutes now takes 30 on a good day.

I also found living in the dorms gave me financial advantages. Moving out of dorms brings rent, water, cable and electricity costs.

Living off base isn’t all bad. One reason I like it is I don’t feel I’m taking my work home. You can separate your work from personal life.

To me, living off base has given me a freedom I haven’t had since I joined the military. Room inspections, boring dining facility food and small living spaces are now past issues. But with freedom comes more responsibility.

Being responsible is a quality the Air Force expects out of all of us. Living on your own is a good way to learn. Living off base, I have to manage my money and my time to pay bills to wake up to get to work on time.

Although I am happier off base, I understand it may be harder for some. Some people like the dorms because of the convenience. If you think you are ready to venture out, make sure your finances are in order and you are ready for the responsibility.