College Housing: How To Decide Where To Live
Choosing where to live during college can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Here’s some information to make your choice a little easier.
There are plenty of options when it comes to deciding where to live during college. Selecting your college housing consists of many different choices, from the number of roommates to the location. Every option has some pros and cons; here are the basics.
Where to Live: On or Off Campus
Depending on your university, you’ll have different options for on-campus housing. The most common are dorms, but some universities offer apartments as well.
Living on campus means living close to classes and campus amenities. It is much easier to work late at the library or go to the gym before class when your home is a five-minute walk away. Dorms are also usually located close to restaurants and dining halls, making it easy to get a bite to eat. And choosing your dorm with your course schedule in mind means that you can potentially live close to your classes.
Living in a dorm also makes it easier to interact with other students. There are often activities going on inside the dorm building itself, and it’s easier to get out and attend on-campus events when you already live nearby. It’s a great way to make new friends!
If you don’t have a car, you’ll be stuck with the food options on campus. This can get old after a while. If you’re in a dorm, you’ll also be living in a small space stocked with university furniture. This gives you less freedom when it comes to decorating. You’re also likely to share that small space with a roommate. However, your roommate could also become your best friend!
Living off-campus gives you more options and freedom but more responsibilities as well. Take this into consideration when choosing your college housing and deciding where to live.
There are plenty of great benefits of living off-campus in college. Perhaps the most obvious is the additional space and privacy. In an apartment, you will likely either live alone or have your own bedroom. An apartment is a great way to have more independence. It can also be less expensive than dorm housing, depending on your area and how many roommates you have.
One downside is that you’ll need to supply your own furniture—most apartments aren’t furnished. You’ll also need to commute to class and to any campus resources, such as libraries and gyms. It can be isolating, especially if you live alone. You will likely also need to grocery shop and prepare your own meals. Meal plans are great while living in a dorm but not so helpful otherwise.
Roommates: What Are Your Options?
In a dorm, you may not have a choice whether you have a roommate. However, many schools offer a roommate finder option to help you find someone compatible to live with. In an apartment, roommates mean less independence and privacy but extra income. Having even one roommate can significantly decrease your living costs. How many roommates you should have depends on your budget and social battery.