Living in an apartment off-campus is a bold choice for college students, most of whom believe the best living arrangement is the default one, which is living in a dorm on-campus.
But while there are obvious upsides to the dorm life such as its proximity to class buildings and getting immersed into the entire campus dorm culture, living in a dorm leaves much to be desired, so much so that living in an apartment might actually be the better choice.
Here are some of the best arguments for the case of living in an apartment, instead of a dorm, for college:
1. Undisturbed privacy
It is very hard to maintain even just a semblance of privacy in a dorm room. For starters, you’re going to have to share your sleeping quarters with a couple of roommates. Worse, there’s a pretty good chance you’d have to share bathrooms with the entire hall.
Having a quiet place all to yourself is very important, especially in light of how stressful university life can be. College students face a lot of mental health triggers, which is why you could use a private space to deal with personal troubles without other people constantly banging at the door or getting into your personal space.
2. More room for other endeavours
Another benefit of having more space to yourself is that it gives you the freedom to explore endeavours, may it be for personal development or to earn a few on the side. For instance, it could get pretty challenging to meditate in a packed dorm. There are a lot of business ideas you can run from an apartment which may not be possible if you lived in a dorm.
3. Better amenities
Needless to say, you get better amenities when you rent an apartment than pay for lodging in a campus dorm. A fully-equipped kitchen, for one, can make all the difference in how healthy and how satisfying your college meals would be. If you live in a dorm, the best you can do is a microwave, an electric kettle, and maybe a toaster, if you’re lucky. On the other hand, an apartment will allow you to have a complete range, a baking oven, and some apartments even allow a grill on the balcony.
Home cooking is one of the best things college students miss when they leave for their dorms, but that doesn’t have to be the case if you can live in an apartment.
4. Getting to pick your electric company
Living in a dorm room gives you very little freedom when it comes to your utility providers. There’s no way to change electric companies even if you want to subscribe to a different one by reason of lower rates or your inclination to supporting businesses with a bigger share of clean energy in their portfolio.
On the other hand, if you go to a university in a deregulated US state like Connecticut, and you find a flat that has its own meter, you can actually shop for the best electric suppliers in CT and choose which one best fits your needs.
5. Taking better control of your bills
As a result of having the freedom to choose your utility providers, you can also take better control of the bills you receive in your apartment. Living in a dorm means you’d have to share utilities communally, which forces you to pay an equal share for water and electricity as everyone else regardless if you consume less than them. In an apartment, you only ever pay for what you consume.
6. Fewer restrictions
Curfew hours, lights out, and guest decorum policies are stuff that only affects dormers and not apartment-dwellers. If you really want to start living independently when you start college, then don’t go to a dorm where a manager or student assistants man most of your moves. Living in an apartment will give you much better training at managing your freedom and making sure you’re ready for the real world after college.
7. Getting to choose roomies
There are definitely pros and cons to living with a roommate but even if you can’t or don’t want to rent an apartment all by yourself, at least you’ll get the chance to choose your roommates, unlike in a dorm room where you are basically forced to share quarters with total strangers. Sure, that’s a great way to make a new friend, but sometimes all you need to thrive is to be in close proximity with people you are already comfortable with from the get-go.
Now, doesn’t heading off to college to live in an apartment with your friends sound really fun?