The college experience is often viewed as an essential component of a person’s life and growth. Your image and expectations of college may include all-nighter study sessions, thought-provoking classroom discussions, and even wild weekend parties. Truth be told, there is no single experience that defines college. It isn’t the same for every college or student. But your college experience can be enriched or ruined depending on a few factors. On-campus housing can be considered as one.
College students need to consider where they will live during this phase in their life. This is also a costly decision. Students who attend schools in big cities can face higher costs for room and board. They tend to live off-campus, especially if they’re in an expensive area. Living in a dorm sure has a lot of benefits, but there are also some drawbacks. It’s imperative to be familiar with both sides, so you can determine and decide which housing option to choose.
College Life On Campus
Read down below to get more information about the pros and cons of living on-campus during your college journey:
- Better Social Life
Besides providing a comfortable place to rest and sleep when students aren’t studying, on-campus housing also creates a sense of community. Incoming first-year students are often required to live on campus because of this. It promotes a sense of university identity and cultivates bonds between students.
The main focus in college classes is learning and the courses you take will be related to your major. So, it would follow that you’ll be spending more time with classmates you share the same major with. However, when you choose to live in dorms, you’ll have the opportunity to socialize with students from all over the world. Having a real-life social network keeps you updated on everything that’s happening both on- and off-campus.
Your campus community will make you feel at home, and you will make new friends. If you arrive at college with no friends, living in a dorm offers an opportunity for students to meet friends right away, like your roommate, for example. The rest of your residence hall mates will also be experiencing the first time away from home. Having a friend to share that experience with will be great. Roommates and other people in the halls of residence often form strong friendships.
- Improved Academic Outcomes
Living on campus also makes it easier to get better grades. Researchers have found that living on campus for even one year can help students achieve better academic results. You can be more engaged at an institution when you have easier access to classes, faculty, and internal facilities like a library. American Avenue provides resources like study tips to enhance your academic experience while living on campus.
Students who live on campus can devote more time to their coursework due to being able to get to and from courses more quickly. The student union, organizations, and study groups are all easily accessible at almost any time of the day for on-campus learners. When classes are finished, you can get a quiet place to study in your dorm room.
Students living in dormitories share academic goals and are surrounded by like-minded people. The atmosphere is undoubtedly conducive to fruitful study. Newcomers residing on campus are reported to have higher GPAs and graduation rates than first-year students living off-campus.
- Time Savings On Commuting
Being on campus makes it convenient not to drive because you can just walk around everywhere, especially if your campus has everything you need. Some campus amenities include an on-campus bank, retail shops, and various snack shops and cafeterias. It’s also better for the environment since you’re not contributing carbon footprint using a vehicle. A reduction in road traffic leads to a decrease in atmospheric carbon dioxide. On-campus, you are making the greenest choice possible.
Due to the high cost of gasoline these days, living on campus is becoming a much more affordable option for college students. Then there’s the issue of time. Sleeping in longer is easier when your 8 am class is just a short walk from your dorm. If you must drive, you should factor in traffic and the total time you need to find a parking space and to walk to your classroom.
Would you like to sleep for 20 minutes before your first class will start? You’ll have no trouble; your dorm is just a few meters away from the academic buildings anyway. Are you starving and can’t find time to cook? That’s fine too; there are many foods and meals available in your campus pantry and cafeteria.
Have you been very busy with tight deadlines that you can’t find time to help clean the communal areas? That’s fine, too; some schools hire their own cleaning staff to keep communal areas squeaky clean. In short, living on campus will ensure your daily needs are met without worrying much about them. There will still be many responsibilities, of course, like cleaning and organizing your room, but on-campus housing can make living arrangements much simpler.
- Access To Clubs And Services
Students are well aware of the importance of clubs and sports teams on the college campus. Attending club meetings is convenient for students who live on campus. Recreational and dining facilities are typically located nearby. Every residence building likely has internet access, so students can easily research classes while sitting in their rooms. The Resident Assistants in most dorms can also offer support to residents regarding any issues.
It extends beyond cleaning and cooking to provide students with the convenience of campus housing. The typical residence hall features amenities like wireless internet, fully-furnished rooms, gyms, study halls, shops, and laundry areas.
You may not like some furniture provided by your dorm, but at least you won’t have the trouble to bring in your own. Not to mention incurring more expenses to buy all your needed furniture and fixtures. You’ll also have less worry about a late-night study session at the library due to the 24/7 on-campus security guards, CCTV cameras, and check-in systems.
It makes sense to apply tips to study smarter and not harder. Yet this could be pretty challenging to use when there are just too many distractions surrounding you. Students in dorms often live a noisy, active lifestyle. The day is filled with visitors, neighbors, and friends. In addition to not feeling lonely, socializing also interfere with studies. If friends always stop by, you won’t be able to focus on your tasks.
Dorm neighbors who play loud music may distract you. You’re equally tempted by all the activities or even parties around you. It’s tempting to attend some fun events across the hall rather than study. When you choose off-campus housing, where there are fewer college students in an apartment complex; there will be less traffic to and from your apartment.
- Less Privacy
Although life in a dorm can be filled with fun times for making friends, it can also be difficult to avoid some people. For quiet people who need more privacy and space, living in a dorm can be challenging. Although having people around can be enjoyable, on-campus housing may not be the best environment for studying, spending me-time, or even sleeping.
Nevertheless, before you move off-campus, make sure you check out the housing options at your school. You can choose single-bedroom apartments or shared apartments that offer common space but a separate bedroom in some schools. There are different cultures in dorms at other schools, so if you require a quiet, studious setting, see whether your school offers housing with restraints on noise and curfew.
- Limited Space
The accommodations in dorms are not typically huge. For the school year, you’ll probably live in a room with some basic furnishings and some cabinets, and that’s it. Residents of the dorms share a bathroom that includes both a toilet and shower. There is simply not enough space for all of your belongings in the dorm, so you will have to leave some behind.
Furthermore, you’re likely to be assigned a roommate. Your belongings and activities must all fit in that small space. When you share a small room with a roommate who values different things or has different housekeeping methods, the area will feel even more uncomfortable.
- Lesser Freedom
When it comes to policies, it’s vital to understand what living in a dorm entails. Even though it’s accessible and social, communal housing only works if rules are strictly enforced and overseen.
On-campus housing is generally governed by policies that should be adhered to by all college students. Many schools impose restrictions on substances, visitors, and furnishings. Other rules are understandable, but some may be too extreme. Private or religious universities will typically have stricter housing rules than public ones. You should be aware and prepared for the dorm rules before signing up for one if prescribed environments challenge you.
If you’re a freshman, you might have been warned about things you shouldn’t do. But you get to enjoy your college experience when you try living on campus. Meeting new people is one of the best parts of college. The campus community offers new students a chance to experience adulthood at a leisurely pace while getting a taste of university life.
Compared to off-campus schools, the on-campus environment is tough to beat because of the abundance of support and academic focus. But there are also downsides that you should carefully consider. At the end of the day, weigh which ones are more preferable and suitable to your lifestyle and habits, and choose them.