Why I Will Never Live in a Dorm Again

When I was in high school, I was so excited to go to college. I could not wait to choose my own classes, attend football games and take part in all the extracurricular activities. Most of all, I was excited to live in a dorm. I had grown up seeing how positive dorm life was – at least, that was how it was portrayed on television. Movies like Pitch Perfect and Sorority Wars show dorm rooms and bathrooms that are huge and so nicely decorated, with the students who live in them having such a great time.

Well, that was not how the experience was for me. Looking back, perhaps my expectations were a little bit too high, but all in all, I was extremely disappointed with dorm life. For me, the biggest issue had to do with stress, as I found that the dorm room was an extremely stressful environment for me.

Firstly, it was extremely noisy. In the dorm I lived in, around 48 girls lived on my floor, and we were all on top of one another. If you wanted privacy, you were not going to get it. The walls were extremely thin, and I could always hear conversations that were going on in nearby rooms. It was not the best environment to try to study or get anything accomplished in.

Then there was the issue of cleanliness. On my dorm floor, there were only six toilets and five showers for 48 girls. Since the bathrooms were only cleaned on the weekdays, they were pretty dirty during the weekends. I remember being warned before moving into my dorm that germs could spread very quickly if someone were to get sick, and I know now that this is true — I found this out the hard way. I was constantly getting sick, and one time my mother had to drive two hours to my dorm to take me home because I caught a really bad case of the stomach flu.

All in all, I was constantly sick, constantly stressed and always unhappy in my dorm room. Fast forward a year later, and now I am enjoying life off campus in an apartment. Moving to my off-campus apartment has shown me the benefits of off-campus life, and I feel that living in an apartment is far superior to living in a dorm.

Now I have way more privacy. I have my own bedroom and bathroom, which means I can concentrate better, relax more and not have to worry about getting sick (from my living arrangement, that is). In the short few months I have lived in this apartment, I already feel so much healthier and calmer. In addition, I can rest easy knowing that I am actually paying less to live in this apartment than I was in last year’s dorm.

I also believe living off campus has given me a better taste of adult life. Living in a dorm, I was pretty sheltered. I walked to all my classes, I bought necessities from the on-campus convenience store, and I never cooked because I had a meal plan. I never actually left my university campus my freshman year. To me, that sort of life is not one that really prepares a person for life after college.

But now, I am forced to cook. I am forced to ride the bus and drive to class. I am forced to leave campus and actually venture into unknown territory. I am not sheltered anymore, and I love it. I feel more like an adult, and I am actually starting to mature.

My point is not to discourage anyone from living in a dorm. Some people love to live in a dorm, but I personally did not enjoy the experience. My advice to potential high school students is to try both on-campus and off-campus living and see which lifestyle you prefer. College life is too short to live unhappily.

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