My first semester at Florida State University is coming to an end. In order to get the full college experience, I decided to spend my first year living in a dorm on-campus. I must admit that there are definitely some days when dorm life can be a real pain. Unfortunately, I can’t blast my music or enjoy the comforts of a full-sized bed, but overall, I’ve had a great experience with on-campus living. Unlike nearly everyone I know, I’ve actually had such a great experience that I’ve decided to live in an on-campus apartment in my sophomore year. Although most people are so quick to name the cons of on-campus living, it’s really important to take into account all the advantages of returning to campus for the second time.
1. It’s only a five minute walk to, well, anything!
The convenience of rolling out of bed 15 minutes before class and still making it on time is priceless. If you were to live off-campus, you would need to give yourself enough time to catch a bus, which can be really problematic if you don’t make it to the bus stop on time. Or you’d need to save time to drive to class and find parking, which (at FSU) can take up to 30 minutes when all the garages are full. However, if you choose to live on-campus, literally everything is walking distance!
2. No monthly bills or fees to stress over.
While any leasing office can draw you in with low-monthly costs, it’s extremely important to take into account any extra expenses you’ll be charged for, like electric and water bills. The cost of these bills is typically a sum of the whole apartment’s energy use, divided by the number of residents. So even if you have great conservation habits, you’ll still be getting penalized if your roommate takes unnecessarily long showers or forgets to turn off her lights. On campus, the cost of your bills is included in the housing fee, so you won’t have any random monthly expenses to stress over.
3. You can still have your own room.
One common (and logical) complaint about on-campus living is the lack of privacy in a typical suite-style dorm. It can be a drag to live in tight corners or not have your own room. This can easily be resolved, however, by choosing a single-style dorm or an apartment-style dorm with private rooms. FSU has two apartment-style residence halls that only have private bedrooms (Ragans and Traditions). If you don’t want to spend the extra money on apartment-style, you could also always dorm in a single-style room in any of the other residence halls; this would still allow you to have the same privacy and freedom you’d get if you had your own room off-campus.
4. Better safety and security
In your apartment-hunting adventures, you’ll find that the majority of affordable off-campus housing options are located in fairly unsafe areas. You’ll find outdoor complexes with no gates or swipe-card protection, apartments located across the street from gas stations, and housing on sketchy roads with poorly-lit sidewalks. The beauty of living on campus, however, is that you’re living right in the middle of the university, surrounded by class buildings and dining halls. On-campus residence halls also require a swipe card to enter the building and then a key to enter the dorm itself. Apartment-style dorms also have a separate key to enter your bedroom, giving you a total of 3 layers of protection. Finally, every hall is manned by an RA at the front desk 24/7 to ensure that you are safe and out of harm’s way when you return home.
5. There’s usually an apartment-style layout option.
The most common complaint about on-campus housing is the inconvenience of a suite-style dorm layout. These layouts lack a common living area and a kitchen, which can be a drag for anyone who likes company or cooking. However, many universities have an apartment-style living option that includes a kitchen (pictured below) and a common room, as well as individual bedrooms.
Courtesy: FSU Housing