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College! Where should I live? - August 29th 2012, 09:13 PM

So I'm debating on wither I want to live in an apartment with a few people or dorms. Apartment sounds like a lot of fun and less stressful, it is what I would prefer. However, my parents will be paying for my living expenses and I'd feel super guilty for making them pay more just so I could live in an apartment. So I was wondering if there is any way that, with maybe a lot of people to split rent, that it could be around the same price as dorms?

Do any of you have experience with living in dorms or an apartment in college? Which would you recommend?
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Re: College! Where should I live? - August 29th 2012, 09:34 PM

Living in an apartment OR a dorm room can be stressful, depending on who you live with. I have lived in an apartment with two people (had my own room), a dorm with three people (had my own room), and a dorm with nine people (had my own room). They were all about the same stress-wise, because as you've probably noticed, I had my own room all three times. =P

If you can find a few good people to help you split the rent of an apartment, then I say go for it! Most people recommend living in a dorm room your first year so you can get the full college experience. If you're living with other students in an apartment, though, then you're not likely to miss out on too much, as they will keep you informed about upcoming events.

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Re: College! Where should I live? - August 29th 2012, 09:47 PM

It depends on where you are going to College. Sometimes its easier to get a dorm or an Apartment. You'll have to research the area. If you're looking for roomates for an apartment look for other students that are also. Just remember that your roomate can act in any number of ways. It could be the reason you love it or hate it.

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Re: College! Where should I live? - August 29th 2012, 10:09 PM

All of the "dorms" are apartment-styled at my college. I live on campus in a two-bedroom apartment. I've actually lived alone for the last six months, but I'm getting a roommate on Monday.

My friend moved off campus into an apartment with his roommate in February. Living off campus costs about the same after you factor in gas prices (in my area, anyway).

But like the post above said, it depends where you go to college. I've personally never lived in a dorm room (other than for a week when I went to Clarinet Camp). I don't know if I could picture living in one room the size of my living room every day, and having to move every semester... I haven't moved since March 2011, and that was just up a floor. I haven't moved buildings since I came to college in September 2010!

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Re: College! Where should I live? - August 30th 2012, 01:14 AM

Dorms are easier to access and you don't have to worry about paying rent every month, but honestly, apartments are much more laid back and you can actually do whatever you please, without having to worry about late night/early morning fire alarms.
Depending where you are, you might be able to get a decent apartment for a decent price. But you do have to take into account that dorms tend to be on campus, and you may have to commute from an apartment.

Not sure where you are, but even if you live in a large city.. Getting an apartment between 2 to 4 people will wind up being much cheaper than dorms if you price it right. For example, in a city.. if you go towards the least popular/not as nice areas, you could be saving a few thousand dollars a year just by getting an apartment.

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Re: College! Where should I live? - August 30th 2012, 01:47 AM

Apartments tend to be cheaper, but a lot of them are unfurnished, so after you factor in the price of furnature and gas depending on how far from campus you actually are; it might be about the same. The furnature would be a one-time purchase though so after the first few payments the expenses would go down. You can leave your stuff in the bathroom, but you have to clean it yourself. Depending on the size, you might have more space.

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Re: College! Where should I live? - August 30th 2012, 06:10 AM

There's no clear yes-no answer because they each have different variables to consider. Apartments require rent, payment for utilities and so forth, so you either need your folks to pay for it or get a job. Many people will either split the rent and all costs 50/50 (or however many people you have), or one person will be responsible for, say, utilities only, another for TV and internet only, etc... . Your roommates pretty much always agree to split the costs, so it's a matter of who pays what and how much. Unfortunately, you can run into a problem where one of the roommates is unable to pay on time, which requires you or the other roommates to cough up the money. Additionally, apartments will rarely ever come furnished, which drives up the cost when you initially move in. Most people buy furniture for the apartment as opposed to bringing high-quality furniture from home. so you have to bring furniture and other stuff from home, or buy it. The last issue to look at is how far it is from campus and grocery stores. People certainly do transport groceries on the bus and train but if you're taking a lot, it can be a hassle.

Dorms also require payment, however, they are paid up front (this may vary depending on your college). The benefit is you don't need to worry whether your roommates or yourself can make the rent and utilities payments. Another benefit is the dorms come partially furnished. Some college dorms will provide a desk and bed, whereas others would provide only the bed frame, so you have to check with your college. One major drawback is the partying can be incredibly loud, last pretty late into the night and make it difficult to concentrate. Universities and colleges often have a bar or pub on campus, so it's not uncommon for students to drink. Unfortunately, you're forced to gamble whether your roommate is a party animal and it's difficult to change rooms, especially after you've settled in for a short while. When it comes to food, the dorms will provide food at a price but it's not always good. Although I didn't pay for dorms, I often slept overnight there studying with my buddies and the food varied from somewhat edible to shit. Again, this varies tremendously according to university and college. The dorms give eating and cooking areas so you can make your own food if you want but if you're in a hurry, as lousy as it may be, I'd just buy the food if I were you.

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