When you go to college, in most cases you will be going away and not living at home. While at college, you can choose to live in a dorm room or in an on or off-campus apartment. Living in a dorm is generally cheaper than renting an apartment. When living in a dorm room, you will be around more of your friends, people your own age and classmates. In either situation, you can expect to be a part of a wonderful community environment; and you will be expected to keep up on the cleanliness of your room no matter where you live.
Going to college is really expensive, but it can be a little cheaper if you choose to live in the dorms. When living in the dorms, you won’t need to buy groceries if you also sign up for a meal plan and you will not be required to pay monthly utility bills. When living in an apartment, you are responsible for your own meals, monthly rent and utility bill payments. As a college student, having so many different monthly financial obligations could be a struggle and add extra stress.
Besides money, friendships are a big difference between living in a dorm room or living in an apartment. When you live in the dorms, it is a large building full of people the same age as you that you can socialize with; out of that group of people, you will find those with common interests that may become lifelong friends. In an apartment setting, you will have fewer friends living with you and you may or may not know your neighbors. If you rent an apartment with a friend, its possible you won’t make new friends and instead just stick with what you know.
One thing that will be the same whether you choose a dorm or an apartment, is the community environment you are a part of. Generally, the community of people is friendly and welcoming where college campuses are located. Whether you live on or off campus, you can experience everything that community has to offer. The town will have everything needed to survive at college.
It doesn’t matter if you live at home, in the dorm, or in an apartment, maintaining order and cleanliness is important. It would be rude and disrespectful to a roommate in your dorm room if you didn’t pick up after yourself and left things dirty. In an apartment, there are likely consequences at the end of your lease if you have not kept things in good repair, so clearly there could also be a financial impact for being messy, dirty or careless. It isn’t hard to keep your area clean, you just have to be consistent and accountable.
When going to college, you will be faced with the decision to either live in a dorm room or an apartment. Living in an apartment is likely to be more expensive because of the added expenses and it could separate you from other college students. The community environment will be present in either living situation and you can count on needing to keeping your area clean or at least picked up no matter where you live.
Kendyl Bennett is a student at Fillmore Central High School. She is one of eight area students participating in the Journal Writing Project, now in its eighteenth year.