One of the perks about going to college is that for the first time you get to experience what it's like to live on your own. Meaning, you don't have your parents living under the same roof. But while it's great that you get to have your own place, it's important that you are aware that living in a dorm room and apartment are completely different. And where you choose to reside in can ultimately alter your college experience. To learn what are the pros and cons of each living arrangement, and to help you figure out which housing option is best for you, continue reading below.
College dorms are perfect for students who aren't familiar with the campus, like freshmen and transfer students. Since you will be submerged in the atmosphere 24/7 you will know the in's and out's of the campus. You will also be constantly informed about campus events and parties, even of those that may occur spontaneously. So, in a sense you'll always be "in the know." A campus dorm is also a perfect place to reside in if you don't have a car since everything is walking distance. This includes restaurants, clothing stores and most importantly your classes. It's fantastic to have your classes walking distance for three reasons. 1) If you're running late you can get to class in a jiffy 2) You can sleep-in a little longer since classes are so close 3) You can go back to your dorm and take naps during your breaks. But the huge downside is that dorm rooms are extremely small; there are strict rules regarding visiting hours and items that you can have in your dorm room; you could get a monster of a roommate; and you might have to share a communal bathroom with people who live on your same floor.
A college apartment, on the other hand, is perfect for those who want more privacy. While you still will get assigned roommate(s), you will get your own bedroom and bathroom. You will also get a living room and thus have more space to entertain friends and family when they visit you. While on the topic of visitation, you are also at liberty to invite guests whenever you want. In addition, you can cook in your apartment, which means you might be able to save more money by eating out less and stay healthier by avoiding fast food places. And some apartment complexes also allow you to keep your pet as long as you pay a deposit. An apartment is also perfect for those who want to "escape" from campus every now and then. It can be a real stress reliever to be able to actually get away from the place where you spend most of your time studying and taking tests. But living in an apartment does have its disadvantages, one being that you have to drive to campus or take the bus to get to class. To get to class on time, and or find a parking spot which can be extremely difficult, you'll have to head towards campus almost a whole hour earlier. You might also be out of the loop with campus events since you are isolated in an area away from campus. Or you might know about the event but be too tired to drive all the way to campus to attend it.