When it comes to choosing your living conditions in college, you have several options, each with its pros and cons.
Let’s start with the benefits of living in a dorm.
If you stay in a dorm, you get to stay closer to school, which means you don’t have to spend on gas, or fare if you decide to commute daily. There’s very little chance of missing your class when your dorm is a few hundred yards away from your residence hall. If you’re a heavy sleeper, you will appreciate the proximity of your dorm to your school more.
Daily sustenance is also one of the main reasons why you will find it easier to stay in the dorm. Each residence hall has its common lunch room, and you don’t have to think about where to eat when dinner time comes. Cafeteria food is also predictable enough for you to plan a diet if you’re worried about your weight.
A dorm or a residence hall is a place where the college accepts students from all walks of life, and the majority of students living in a dormitory are from far away cities. If you enjoy getting to know strangers and adjusting to new cultures, living in a dorm can be an educational experience.
Living in a dorm can be hell on earth for you if you’ve never socialized much in your high school and you suddenly have to share a room with strangers. You can’t avoid socializing if you live in a dorm, especially if you have to use communal baths and showers. It may seem like people are always talking, and it’s difficult to find a quiet spot where you can study and just be alone.
Dealing with another person’s mess is also a challenge for those that are accustomed to having their own room at home. If you’re messy as well, you may find it difficult to tell your mess apart from your roommate’s.
You also have a curfew, and some dorms have started implementing visiting hours to lessen the probability of petty theft. You’ll have to find other venues for group all-nighters, and a place to crash when you go beyond the curfew.
Living with friends or relatives off campus is also an option. You’ll be with familiar people and you can get away with leaving your stuff because you trust everyone around. You can also live with a roommate that goes to the same school in a studio apartment. If you’ve known your roommate for a long time and you have the same beliefs and background, you don’t have to worry about adjusting to the idiosyncracies of a total stranger. If privacy as well as the freedom to bring your car and come home late are too important for you, this may be the best option.
The problem is you have to hunt for a cheap restaurant, preferably a place covered by the college meal plan. At times, you may even forego eating in favor of getting to class earlier or riding an early bus to school. If you have your car, you will need to spend extra on gas. Waking up earlier to avoid traffic jams is a challenge if you’re new to the place and you don’t know whether the rush hour in your new environment can get you stuck for hours or minute. You tend to face the possibility of running late or missing class more often when you live off campus.
Weigh the pros and cons of each option and choose one that fits your budget as well as your needs. A comfortable living space should be the least of your worries, which is why you should choose the living option that won’t add to the stress of being in college.