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For college, do you suggest living in a dorm or living in an apartment not too far from the campus?


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Jennifer’s Answer

Hi, Zemira!

For your first year or two, I would highly recommend living in a residence hall rather than an apartment. As a new member of the college community, you'll want to be where you have quick access to your resources as well as the opportunity to meet and socialize with new people who are experiencing this new adventure alongside you.

Once you have completed your first couple of years and become an upperclassman, living close to campus in an apartment may make more sense. You will have developed your way of navigating campus and friend groups and may be ready to delve into "adult life." I wouldn't rush it though -- you have plenty of time to be an adult later! Enjoy your time in college!

Thank you! Zemira M.

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Cameren’s Answer

I would definitely suggest living in a dorm for at least your first year at university. Living in a residence hall will make it is for you to make free, explore activities, and is a good transition step before having a place of your own. It makes it easier because you will have a dining hall for your meals and won't have to cook for yourself. You will be able to build a sense of community in a new place! However, after the first year or so you'll probably transition to an apartment/house with friends you made during your time in a dorm.

Thank you! Zemira M.

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Gloria’s Answer

Hi Zemira,

I lived in a dorm for two years. There are pros and cons to living.

Pros
- An immediate community especially for people who are from out of state
- On campus so classes are close and you don't have to have a car or pay for parking
- Cafeterias let you have a food plan, rather than having to figure out food all the time

Cons
- If you don't get to choose your roommate, it can create extra stress
- Cost. It can be very expensive to live in dorms

I felt lucky to have a community. The cost of one year in the dorms would have been worth it for me.

Gloria

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Angeline’s Answer

When making such a decision, first thing you need to consider or lay out is your financial status. this includes thinking about what you future expenses might be. Compare your financial state now with the added expeses of paying for your apartment or dorm room.

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Blaine’s Answer

HI Zemira. Under normal circumstances I would definitely suggest living in a residence hall your first year for the reason's outlined by Jennifer and Cameren. COVID has caused me to rethink that. It may still be the right choice, but you should carefully consider the university policy toward COVID and gauge the viability of social distancing in a residence hall environment. An apartment environment, while not perfect, may have more options for social distancing.

In my specific case, the school my son and daughters go to went to full on-line classes and residence halls were required to be vacated. For some students, going home was not a viable option and they had no place to live. An apartment would solve that problem in that situation.

Thank you! Zemira M.

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Jackie’s Answer

It would be a good idea to live on-campus at least for the first year. Usually most institutions guarantee on-campus housing at least for the first year. I agree with the others above that the current situation is much different with COVID-19, so if you are going to college this year or next year, this answer will be different than under normal conditions. The college that I attended offered on-campus housing all four years, so I personally lived on campus all four years and loved it! It is closer to classes, on-campus activities, resources on campus (gym, dining hall, study rooms, etc) and the apartments on campus were nicer than off-campus apartments. Given COVID-19, it will definitely depend on the institution to decide what is best for you.

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Robert’s Answer

Hi Zemira,

Under normal (non-pandemic) conditions I would recommend living in a residence hall on campus for at the least the first two years. This is a great way to be a part of the college community, to network, and to get to know other students. Learning to interact with others and manage your social and educational calendars are two important skills you will better learn on campus. And if you then decide to move into an off-campus apartment later you will have multiple options for roommates with whom you are comfortable.

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