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Living on campus vs. Commuting/Apartment

jaso9n2jaso9n2 Registered User Posts: 856 Member
edited January 2013 in College Life
What's better for college students? My parents thought it was a better idea for me to live at home, but everyone I've talked to (professors, current students and graduates) say it's better to live on campus. Because every student should experience the college life or whatever.

What do you guys think? Is living in the dorms worth the money? Or should you just stay home and save money?
Post edited by jaso9n2 on

Replies to: Living on campus vs. Commuting/Apartment

  • greensam88greensam88 Registered User Posts: 188 Junior Member
    It would really depend on how you interact with your dorm. If you take time to know people within your dorm and become close with them, I think that it will be worth the money. It's not only the fact that you can meet new friends, but how you can be next door to many of them instead of just for classes.

    If you are more of the type that is very outgoing and rarely stays in the dorm, that you might consider commuting. But still, consider the dorms a chance for you to experience independence and learning to interact more with your peers for advice rather than your parents; your parents would probably be there for mostly financial support at this point.

    Just finishing up my first year at the dorms (and sadly moving on), I would say that the freshmen experience is something that you will never forget. Our dorm went on a few trips together and it has been an opportunity for you to bond with a wider variety of people. Sure, I've made friends from other dorms or even classmates, but you really would have difficulty meeting them unless you planned it out.
  • IcarusIcarus Registered User Posts: 4,336 Senior Member
    It is definitely worth it to live in dorms - don't miss out on that opportunity - you will only have it once.
  • idreamofpuddingidreamofpudding Registered User Posts: 34 Junior Member
    Or at least you will only have one opportunity for a freshman dorming experience. Still, a lot of students (particularly the freshman) are very open to making friendships. This is more so in the dorms, since they're all trying to find a niche. If you have the opportunity, don't miss out on it.
  • MomwaitingfornewMomwaitingfornew Registered User Posts: 5,821 Senior Member
    Others are right: the dorm experience adds an important element to the college experience.

    As for living at home, I will offer my experience as a professor: for a while, I taught at a university that had about equal numbers of students living in the dorms and commuting. I could actually tell without asking which students lived on campus because, as a group, they performed better. They also seemed more connected to the university and to each other. One semester, a girl who was close to failing came to my office in tears. She said that she had chosen to live at home that particular semester to save money, and it was the biggest mistake of her life. It was too easy to sleep through her morning classes. She got caught up again in high school life/friends and was easily talked out of skipping classes and spending time studying. Her parents made demands on her (natural ones, mind you) that made her act like a kid again. She was close to failing not only my class but ALL classes after having (she claimed) all As and Bs in previous semesters. I'm not saying that this will happen to you, but that you should be aware of the dangers.
  • jaso9n2jaso9n2 Registered User Posts: 856 Member
    Wow, that's amazing, Momwaitingfornew. What do you mean by "seemed more connected to the university and to each other"?
  • MomwaitingfornewMomwaitingfornew Registered User Posts: 5,821 Senior Member
    Keep in mind that I'm giving you anecdotal information, about a single student. (Except for the part where I could usually tell who is in residence and who is not.)

    She didn't feel that she was as much a part of the university community, probably because she did not hang out much on campus. She often opted to go home, or to stay home, when she might have been doing stuff with other students. As a result, she felt out of touch with the friends she had made on campus and wasn't making new ones. She wasn't involved. Instead, she spent most of her free time with her high school friends who obviously weren't going to college or who were commuting themsevles. She had no emotional/social reason to stay on campus before or after her classes. The sad part is she probably lost her scholarship based on that one semester. (And no, she didn't fail my class.)

    I'm not saying it can't be done, just that you have to put more effort into being a student.
  • b_22b_22 Registered User Posts: 187 Junior Member
    first year you should live on campus for sure. I know people who lived off and did not get to know as many people as i did. Wait till soph or jr. year to live off campus, u will appreciate it more that way :)
  • jaso9n2jaso9n2 Registered User Posts: 856 Member
    Good advice, b_22.

    Momwaitingfornew, so in your professional opinion, do you think the majority of students are focused enough to live off campus? Do you think most students need that campus atmosphere or no?
  • MomwaitingfornewMomwaitingfornew Registered User Posts: 5,821 Senior Member
    I would think that most freshmen are *not* best served by living off-campus. I see nothing wrong with juniors and seniors doing it, as long as they are living with other students. IMO, living at home is a mistake -- unless that is the only way a student can afford higher education.

    Yes, I think most students benefit from the campus atmosphere. Of course, if the college is entirely commuter-based, or mostly so, then living on campus could potentially be depressing.

    The short answer: don't live with your parents unless you have no other choice.
  • ridewitbd24ridewitbd24 Registered User Posts: 623 Member
    i know two people who commute to Northwestern and they always tell me one thing when I ask how its been: not dorming sucks. not being in a dorm makes it so much harder to make friends and one misses so many college experiences. they had to do it b/c of costs but i honestly would be depressed if I had to stay at home while going to college. that would be horrible
  • undecidedundecided Registered User Posts: 2,029 Senior Member
    Residential colleges are set up to be just that -- if the prevailing culture on campus is to live there, you're going to be really out of the loop if you do not.

    It is up to you whether it's "worth it" or not, but if the campus is set up to cater to those who live there, you're going to find it harder to participate in campus life if you aren't there.

    Tongue in cheek, look at who's giving you advice: your parents want you to live at home, but everyone attending the school says not to? Well, which side do you want to spend your college years with: your parents, or the professors , current students and graduates? :p
  • SportsMamaSportsMama Registered User Posts: 776 Member
    I definitely recommend living on campus. Even though it was many years ago, I will never forget my freshman orientation and first quarter experience at Ohio State. I met several girls the first day of orientation, but they were all staying in the dorms and I went home at the end of the day. The next day they were talking about going to the rec center the night before, etc. I felt excluded even though they were friendly and tried to include me in the conversation. It continued that way after school started.

    It wasn't possible for me to live away from home because of financial reasons. If you can manage it, please stay on campus. You will have a great time! College is about learning, but it's also about making friends and having fun.
  • dragondawgdragondawg Registered User Posts: 634 Member
    yah i went to a community college so i missed out on the freshamn dorm experience, so if you get a chance to do it, do it
  • AUlostchickAUlostchick Registered User Posts: 1,818 Senior Member
    I have experience with both living at home and dorming. My freshman and sophomore years I dormed, while the summer in between I lived at home. I live fairly close (1/2 hour) away from my college, so I figured it would be fine just for the summer to commute. Boy, was I wrong. I knew I had dodged a bullet by dorming during the year because during the summer my mom was superstrict about EVERYTHING. If I had lived at home freshman year, I never would've made any friends! As it is, I missed out on alot by having to be home at a certain time, not being able to go to the town my college was in except 2-3 days a week (I only had classes Tues and Thurs and my mom told me that I could visit on a Friday OR Saturday night but not both). I swing dance on Friday nights with my friends (that's where I met many of them) so if I had been living at home during the year I probably would've never even known about it or found any of my friends. This is just my experience with my crazy overprotective mom, and if your parents aren't like that and you think they would let you stay out to go to parties and do activities and such at night without having a curfew, then you should live at home to save the money. But if you think you will have alot more freedom living in the dorms, you should definitely dorm instead.

    As of now, I live in my own apartment with my cousin and it's awesome having my own kitchen and bathroom and stuff, but I would not trade my dorm experience, espeically my soph year, for anything. I am now a junior.
  • UNLVChic10'UNLVChic10' Registered User Posts: 106 Junior Member
    LIVE ON CAMPUS the friends you make are priceless!! and you're in the mix!! my school again is a commuter school but the pplz that live on campus we're pretty close and know each other soo again LIVE ON CAMPUS and peace oh there's a huge difference between pplz that live on campus than commute pplz that live on campus at my school are much more laid back!! compared to the commuters...
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