Moving out to go to college can seem daunting. Many people worry about making the right choice when they are picking between the dorms and living on their own or with roommates in an apartment.
There are pros and cons to both styles of living arrangement and what is right for one person might not be right for another.
Some of the answers to which choice is the right one to make has to do with your own ability to take care of all of your needs. Are you ready to cook, clean for yourself, and pay for all your bills for electricity, internet and water, and garbage?
There are some things that are taken care of for you when you live in the dorms that will not be handled on your behalf when you live in an apartment.
If you want to learn more about the difference between living in an apartment or a dorm, read on!
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Pros of Apartment Living
Apartments are awesome if you love the privacy and want to have a larger living space that includes your own bathroom and laundry room and kitchen.
Apartments are often quieter as well and you will usually have included parking with your living space that you would not have with the dorms.
Apartment life can be really fun since you can decorate your own space and have all the comforts of home in your apartment that you would have had in your home with your parents.
Cons of Apartment Living
The cost of apartment living is often much higher which means that you will probably have to have some roommates help you with bills. This can lead to conflicts over parking and the use of spaces in the apartment.
You might also find that apartment life means that you have to travel much farther to stores and campus. There are often apartments right on campus but they might be too expensive for your needs.
When you move into an apartment, you will have to deal with paying all your bills, handling grocery shopping, and taking care of possible roommate conflicts as well.
Pros of the Dorms
The dorms are often located within walking distance of everything that you need to have access to and they are frequently fairly affordable. You will get a meal card with your dorm room that offers three meals a day and sometimes even snacks.
You will have access to the support that you need for your move into the dorms as well as having access to easy assistance whenever you need help or advice.
The dorms are meant to make social experiences easy to come by and you will have limited responsibilities for the care of your living space. You will not have to pay your utilities, take the garbage out, or clean the carpets if someone spills soda on them.
The dorms are meant to make studying easy and to help you to have the time and energy for school rather than caring for your living space.
Cons of the Dorms
The dorms do lack privacy, which can matter a lot to some students. They are also noisier on average and you will have a small living space that is designated for you.
The dorms are also usually meant to be shared with another roommate and you will likely have to share your living space that is already not very big with another person that you may not know.
The dorms are also not a good place for electronics or anything else that might get stolen since it can be hard to count on your room being secured when you are away.
Reasons That Many Freshmen Live in the Dorms
There are many reasons that most freshmen are encouraged to live in the dorms for their first year of college. The dorms are social and you will gain access to help and support whenever you need it which can be a big help now that you are away from home.
Not having to worry about your meals or about cleaning a house or parking a car can be a big help as well.
There is enough that you will have on your plate to adjust to when you are a new college student that the dorms can be a big help. While some students are ready to move into an apartment right away, there are many more students who need a little time to adjust to being away from home first.
Plus, if you are a really social person, being in the dorms will make sure that you have easy access to all the fun social activities that you could ever want to enjoy.
The small annoyances of limited storage and a shared bathroom are often well worth the easy access to the buildings that you study in and the support that you need as you navigate campus.
Many people report that the roommate that they live with within college becomes one of their longest-term friends even after college is over. You will make lasting friendships and bonds in college that you could not enjoy without dorm life on your side.
Dorms and Apartments Offer Unique Benefits
The reality of the situation when you are choosing between the dorms or an apartment is that they are both good choices for you to make for your college journey. College is all about learning who you are and what you need from life and school.
You might find that you have moved into the dorms and you are not enjoying the experience. That is fine because you can often move out next term into an apartment.
Being able to make your own choices and have your own adventures is important to the college experience and you will find the right living situation is easy to work out for yourself once you are there.