You have decided that you do not want to live in the dorms anymore. You are sick of dealing with RA’s, stale, repetitive dining hall food, and the general inconvenience and hassle of not being able to be truly independent.
Have you thought of the ways life will be different when living in an apartment compared to living in the dorms? Between location, the amenities, rent and deciding who to room with, the differences abound. Here are four big differences in living in a dorm compared to living in an apartment.
Here are a couple questions you will want to ask yourself when determining the ideal location for your dream apartment.
Do you want to be around the hustle and bustle of campus town, i.e. bars, restaurants, and shops; or do you prefer the quiet and quaint setting of an apartment a mile or two away from it all? If you want some peace and quiet to yourself during the week and on weekends, the second option would be better.
Would you prefer to be as close as possible to class and minimize travel time, or away from the cluster of people and students resulting in a lengthier travel time to class? This is why it is a major difference. Dorms are usually positioned closer to the heart of campus.
Money, especially for college students, is a resource that needs to be maximized to its fullest extent especially for living expenses.
A $650 a month apartment with all utilities included might not necessarily be the same as a $550 a month apartment with no utilities. In addition, tuition per year needs to be well-defined to see what average living costs would come out to. This is where some reflection and projection is needed in terms of utility usage.
Would you be able to plan out your monthly allotment for non-included utilities to make sure it does not exceed a similar apartment with all utilities included? If you are a cautious person and would rather play it safe and not be on a stringent usage, search for apartments with all or most utilities included to maximize enjoyment of your apartment and to minimize stress.
This is a factor when apartment hunting compared to living in the dorms that is sometimes overlooked. If you are looking for a more modernized apartment, you might be looking for an attached pool, in-unit washer and dryer, in-complex gym or rec center, modernized appliances, reserved parking, an enclosed outdoor or indoor social area, etc.
The age-old question of who you want to live with can play a big role in determining whether or not to hunt for an apartment and is a big influence on all of the other factors mentioned previously. Do you enjoy the camaraderie and company of a friend or two to live with to help make a new apartment experience more enjoyable? Do you consider yourself your own best friend and prefer to keep it simple and worry about yourself?
An important note to remember is that if you decide to live in an apartment, you have more freedom in deciding where to live and who to live with. With the dorms, that freedom may not be available.
One major task nearly every college student faces is whether to live in a dorm or apartment. An apartment offers more freedoms in terms of college experience but dorms offer a more reliable, easier route. Whichever the choice, be sure to take the time to research the most well thought out decision.