Living in a residence hall or an off-campus student apartment is largely determined by the financial capability of the student through this varies from campus to campus. We find that living in dorm can be fun but also it has its limitations. There is no certain measure to determine which one is cheaper between the dorm and the apartment. In some colleges, living in dorm is much cheaper than the apartments but in other colleges students prefer to live in apartments which are charged at a lower cost than the dorm. Some of the benefits associated with living in a hall of residence include.
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The students have a lot of freedom because their parents will not be around to control their children’s everyday life and most of the students prefer it that way. One cannot be lonely for there is always someone to turn to in case of boredom. The dormmates provide a friendly atmosphere for socializing and making new friends. “One is not expected to pay monthly bills, the space for cleaning is less and this makes life to be easier and simple.” (Naomi, 2007) There is convenience for the students can stay late in the library and also they don’t have to deal with the hassles of commuting to be in class on time. In some rooms, students are provided with free internet access as opposed to the apartments where one has to pay for him/herself. Dorm living enhances interpersonal skills and coping or getting along with other people outside the campus becomes easy. Students also feel that they are part of the campus and they own the institution. It is also fun and most of the students find it exhilarating for they share a lot with the roommates. Apart from the benefits, there are some drawbacks that are associated with living in hall of residence. For instance, there is lack of privacy for in most cases you are sharing some items with your roommate. Conflict may also arise and especially when there is a disagreement between the roommates. “Apartments are much quieter than living in dorm and that is the reason why some prefer not to live in hall of residence.” (Williams & Thompson, 2004) Socializing can get worse for some of the people that you meet may not be the one you want.
The grapevine, gossip and rumor mongers may bring a lot of drama and this is as a result of too many people living in a very small space. The meals provided by the campus sometimes may be of poor quality and also one has no choice but to take what is provided on the cafeteria. There are those students who prefer living in apartment as opposed to hall of residence. However, they experience some problems. Keeping with classwork as well as maintaining the apartment cleanliness may affect the performance of the student because the size of the apartment may be big enough. There are so many restrictions from the apartment personnel of dos and don’ts which need to be followed meaning that freedom are curtailed. Sometimes a student may decide to stay late in library and therefore they will have to risk their life commuting to their apartments. They also strain their budget to cater for their daily upkeep and traveling expenses to and from the apartment. “The liabilities are so many and they are not under their control.” (Crystal, 2007) There is so much boredom and the tenants do not socialize and in some cases they hardly know each other. One of the tenants was heard saying “last night somebody broke into my apartment and replaced everything with exact duplicates….when I pointed it out to my roommate, he said, “Do I know you?” (Steven W, 2005) Sometimes the neighbors may produce a lot of noise that will affect the concentration of the student. There is no inducement to go out at any time they feel like for the apartment may be in unsafe environment. Apart from the disadvantages of apartment living, the students enjoy some benefits in that they have the freedom to relocate to a different apartment if they are not contented with where they live. This means they expand their career as well as lifestyle opportunities that may be offered in another city or state of residence. The concentration of people offer amenities that is not possible to get if one is living in a hall of residence. The issue of insecurity is minimal for the gate access is manned by hired trained security men. This is also fun especially during their leisure time since disturbance is minimal. Apartments offer “relaxation with pools, convenience with laundry, no hassle utilities like cable and internet access and a built in neighborhood that any student would be envious of.” (Angel & Julia, 2006).
In conclusion, what students should remember is that neither living in apartment nor dorm living is perfect and what they need to know is that both have something to offer. The trick behind deciding where to live should be based on the focusing on the good side of each place and learn to live in different places as the nature will provide. As for my opinion, the apartment living provides great opportunities and growth. Those students living in apartment enjoy stress free lifestyle and they enjoy the freedom of choice on where to live.
Angel & Julia, Does anyone actually like living in apartment? New York: Macmillan 2006.
Crystal Ray, The Disadvantages of Renting an Apartment: It is not for Everyone. New York: Harvard University press 2007.
Naomi Rockler-Gladen, Should You Live in a Dorm room? New York: University of Houston. 2007.
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Steven Wright, Apartment Living. New York: Harvard University. 2005.
Sue Williams, Jimmy Thomson, Apartment Living: The Complete Guide to Buying, Renting, Surviving and Thriving in Apartments. New York: ABC Books, 2004.