This is going to be the first part in a series that I’m titling: “College Residency” where I want people to look at the pros and cons of the different types of residency options available to most college students. Feel free to start up a discussion in the comments about which type of residency you think is the best.
Fresh Out of High School
Many people are applying for college now as the last semester of their high school career is winding down. One of the biggest choices when you apply for school is not only the school to go to, but where to live while you’re in school. Should you live on campus, should you live near campus, or should you commute? Some of these options aren’t even availabe for some people. If you’re not going to a school that’s close enough to your current residence, then you probably aren’t even considering commuting to school because it’s just not feasable. Then you have the choice of whether you want to live in campus provided housing or just move-in somewhere close to the college. So I bring to you the 3 most common residency types and the good and bad for each of them.
Living on Campus is Convenient
First off, living on campus is extraordinarily convenient. If you can wake up and be ready for class in 30 minutes, then you only have to wake up 30 minutes before your first class in the morning. The convenience of that really can’t be rivaled by much anything else. Also, you pay your “rent” as a one-time-fee per semester (sometimes per every 2 semesters depending on the college) and you don’t have to worry about cutting a check every month to your landlord. Which leads me into one of the downsides of living on campus.
Living on Campus Costs A Lot
First off, it might cost a lot of money. For the price that you pay living on campus, you could get a pretty nice two-bedroom apartment or even a rental house and split the rent with a roommate. But the high price is usually remedied by scholarships, grants, and loans. Some colleges won’t cut you a refund check if you move off campus and end up saving money. They might cut you a “Bookstore Bucks” check or a “Cafeteria Cash” check, but they won’t give you the real money. So unless you have a decent paying and somewhat secure job, you might not be able to afford to live off campus even though living on campus will cost you more. And while we’re on the topic of downsides…
You Might Hate Your Roommate(s)
If you don’t have anybody in mind to be your roommate when you move into on-campus housing, you’re going to be put with a random person. Random people are usually going to be nice considering they have to live with you for the next semester or so, but sometimes they’ll be total and complete douche bags. If you don’t believe me, check out Suitemates Suck by Cara. But then again…
You Might Like Your Roommate(s)
Your roommate(s) might be your best friend(s) that you never would have met if you had lived off campus. Also, living on campus is a great opportunity to meet new people that you might not have met while you lived off campus. You might have your dorm door open while listening to music and somebody will come by and talk to you. Or you could just leave your door open and wait for people to walk by and say hi. Dorms are a great place ot meet new people and by living off campus, you just can’t have the same experience. But that leads me to one final point about living on campus. This only applies if you’re thinking about living with your parents instead of living on campus.
You Have Freedom
If you decide to live with your parents while you’re in college, you won’t be able to make your own decisions and live on your own. This same philosophy also applies to people who want to live off campus in their own place while they go to college. In college you have the choice to do your homework and study for your tests or get wasted off your ass, go to parties and play video games into the wee hours of the night. This freedom can sometimes be hampered by your parents, so I suggest that new students either live on campus or live off campus in their own place. You’re going to have to live on your own eventually (unless you plan on living with your parents the rest of your life…please don’t) so it’s better to get started now then to be culture shocked later on.