Home is Where the Heart is: Your Guide to College Housing
On college campuses across the US, you will find many different types of student housing and student living situations. Join student blogger, Katie Overby, as she shares her experiences and the pros and cons of different types of student housing!
Most colleges and universities have on-campus housing in the form of student dormitories.
For me, this meant sharing a small room with my roommate, as well a shared bathroom with two additional students. Some dorms may have different setups, such as a communal bathroom, where everyone on the floor has to use one large bathroom. I have also visited campuses where dorms are very large, almost like an apartment, and everyone has their own room with a shared common space. Each university has its own style of on-campus living, so each experience will be different, however, in my opinion I found dorm life extremely difficult. The first con is there is relatively no privacy. I found it very difficult to not have my own space and alone time. I moved into the dorm, not knowing my roommate very well and we ended up not enjoying our living situation due to a variety of differences in cleanliness, schedule, and overall compatibility. Another con was the price. In my particular area, it was actually more expensive to live in a dorm than an apartment in the nearby vicinity. However, there were definitely pros to my time in the dorm as well. It was very easy to meet people, as there were usually weekly social events planned by the dorm’s staff. I made friends in my dorm that I am still close with almost four years later. It is also really convenient to be able to walk to class and not have to commute from off-campus.
After my first year in the dorms at Louisiana State University, I felt that it was time for me to find an apartment of my own. In my first two years off-campus, I lived in a studio apartment by myself. This meant my bedroom, kitchen, and living area were all in one big, open space. At first, I really enjoyed my time in this apartment and enjoyed being able to come home to my own space, where I did not have to try and cooperate with roommates, however, over time living by yourself becomes expensive and a bit lonely.
This year I moved into a larger apartment with 3 other girls and 3 cats. This has definitely been an adjustment, due to me living by myself for so long, but I really enjoy being able to spend time with my roommates in the evening, watching our favorite shows, studying, or cooking together. The biggest con to apartment living is the commute to campus, our apartment is just over a mile from campus, so luckily it only takes 5 minutes to drive there, but I have to give myself enough time to find parking and walk to my classes from the parking lot. The pros include more privacy, as each of me and my roommates has our own bathroom and bedroom. We are also able to have more freedom as far as decorating, guests, and pets go.
Dorms and apartments are just two of the most popular housing options for students. Other options include living with family, renting or buying a house, or living in a Greek Life facility. In my experience, I have enjoyed living in my four-bedroom apartment the most, but everyone has their own preferences and expectations. To find out more about housing options in your college or university’s area you can get in touch with your college’s residential life office, research nearby apartments, or attend a housing fair. Happy House Hunting!