College Dorms: Should You Give On-Campus Living a Try?

College Dorms: Should You Give On-Campus Living a Try?
Liz Montenegro

Starting college is a very exciting time. Dorm life is full of new experiences, and many scholarships are available that can help cover the cost of your room and board. Like everything else, there are pros and cons to living in a college dorm.


Meet People: Living with roommates in a dorm can have great advantages. As college freshmen who are living away from family and friends for the first time, you can learn the ropes together and help each other along the way. Take the time to explore the campus with your roommates outside of your normal schedule. You may discover a new favorite hang-out spot or a quiet place to study. Becoming close friends with your roommates can help you find support away from home. Not only will you have some company, but if you oversleep for class, your roommate can wake you up. If you get sick, your roommate can bring you soup and some Tylenol. It’s always comforting to know that you have someone nearby that you can depend on.

Student Organizations: A great way to get involved in student life is to join the student groups on your campus, and some even award scholarships. You’ll have the opportunity to meet other students who are passionate about the same things, and chances are good that they also live on-campus. One of the most convenient parts about living in a dorm is that you have quick access to your chosen student clubs, as well as an inside scoop about all the happenings on your campus. By living in the dorm, you have a short walk to class, the library, and the student center.


Lack of privacy: The transition to dorm life can be challenging at first because it can be hard to adjust to sharing certain living spaces for the first time. Most traditional dorm rooms are usually set up with two twin beds per room, but one lesser-known fact is that most are also set up with shared bathrooms (time to invest in a good pair of flip-flops or “shower shoes”) which can take some time to get accustomed to. It’s important to find places where you can “reset” with some alone time when you need a break, like the library or a quiet coffee shop.

Lifestyle clashes: If you have a roommate whose personality differs from yours, it can present more challenges to living together. Some people are extroverted and like to socialize often, and others need their space to have a more low-key, peaceful environment. Also, roommates could also keep vastly different schedules in regards to their class, work, and social life. If one person is a night owl who sleeps through the day and the other is a morning person, it can create a frustrating living situation for both roommates without lots of communication and mutually agreed-upon expectations.

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