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Campus life? - November 8th 2013, 07:03 PM

So, I guess this is a simple question. What's it like to live on campus in a college?

I originally applied saying I would be commuting, but I asked the admissions counselor if I change my mind, if I could apply for housing (provided there's room) because there are things I need to sort out for myself without my parents knowing, and I think recent events made me realize I do need freedom.

I'm trying to think of the pros and cons of living on campus, though.

A con would be that the colleges I'm looking at are about 20-30 minutes away, so it almost seems like a waste of money, and the fact I've never lived away from home or anything before so I'll probably be really scared, and I'll not have my own room, etc. But the distance away is also a pro because it means I can visit home really often if I wanted to, and I'll be able to sort through the things I need to sort through and get the freedom.

Can anyone help me think of more pros and cons? I know that I need to make my own decision in the end but I really do need help deciding.

Can someone tell me what living on campus is even like, though?


   
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Re: Campus life? - November 8th 2013, 11:33 PM

Note: Over here - we go to university, and you might live in a college. Just so I don't confuse too many people.

I haven't lived long-term on campus myself, but I've known a number of students who have and still do. There are issues, generally you start off in shared rooms, and you'll pretty much always have shared bathrooms and living areas. The advantage is that you can sleep in until just before a lecture and still get there on time!

Other things to consider are the food - I know college food has a really bad reputation, but it has got better in the past few years. Does the accommodation include food? You'll also have access to all sorts of social events put on my your college, as well as the chance to make some really close friends.

Are you considering co-ed or single sex?


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Re: Campus life? - November 9th 2013, 12:33 AM

I'd only dorm single sex. One of the colleges I'm looking at is all girls, anyway, but the other one is co-ed, but I'm sure I can get same-sex dorm mates.

But I feel as if I'm too reliant on other people right now, mainly my parents. How can I quickly gain independence and function basically on my own?


   
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Re: Campus life? - November 9th 2013, 01:04 AM

Hi Dez

Moving into college can be very scary. Do you have any friends that would be attending the same college? I've found that having my friends come with me at first to go grocery shopping and such has helped calm my nerves. If you will have someone you know there then it could be beneficial to stick together at first, but make sure you make other friends and branch off in your own direction.

It really isn't too bad to be living in a dorm by yourself. Remember that your parents will still be close by if you need anything. It could help to figure out what your parents are still helping you with currently that you'll need to be able to do in the future. Then you can try and start doing those things more independently.

It does seem like you're going to be all on your own once you get to college, but remember that everyone else will be new as well. You'll likely get a roommate whom you can get along with and they can help you to adjust to campus life. I know lots of people here who stuck by their roommates for awhile and they would go to dinner together and figure out where their classes were together and such. It's pretty easy to meet people who have similar interests as you, just be sure to join some clubs and take classes that you are interested in. You'll be surprised at how fast you make friends.

Moving out is a big step, but it is very rewarding. I've heard several times that it's normal for freshman in college to feel somewhat depressed and stressed out, but that goes away once you adjust. You have to leave the nest at some point, but make sure you feel ready to do so first.

On a final note, all of the residence halls here put on events which are really fun and a great way to meet people who live near you. Your RA's will also plan floor events to make sure you're meeting people and adjusting well. There are many resources on campus to make sure you're doing well, so it's not like your parents drop you off and all of a sudden you have to do everything on your own. It took me a couple of weeks to get used to being away from home, but now I'm at a point where I don't want to leave.


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Re: Campus life? - November 9th 2013, 01:07 AM

OH, if I hit "no" to wanting to live on campus on the application right now, I CAN still call them and ask to apply if there's room, right? I kind of want to talk to someone and figure out if there's a way I can sort my problems out and stay home, but if not I will probably need to figure out dorm life so I can solve my problems without my parents interfering.

Thanks, Nicole! That helped a lot.

-Dez


   
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Re: Campus life? - November 9th 2013, 08:01 PM

I could have commuted to my undergraduate university, since it was only 45 minutes away; however, I chose to live on campus for a few reasons. The biggest reason was that I knew I needed to move out eventually... and I wanted to do it while my father still lived nearby (that way, if I ever needed help, he could hop in his car and meet me within an hour). Moving out for undergrad prepared me for living on my own for grad school, 2+ hours' drive away from everyone I knew.

If I hadn't moved into a dorm room (which, thankfully, was a single), I probably wouldn't have "lingered" after classes ended. I would have gone straight home and wouldn't have joined any clubs/organizations. If I hadn't joined any clubs/organizations, I wouldn't have met my fiancé. =)

So even though there were some obvious cons to living on campus (more expensive, "okay" food, noisy neighbors, limited to public transportation because I couldn't afford to pay several hundred dollars to park my vehicle on campus), I think the pros ultimately outweighed all that. It was an experience, one that prepared me for adulthood and ultimately expanded my social circle to include the love of my life. <3





   
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Re: Campus life? - November 9th 2013, 10:06 PM

The more I think about it, the more I think living in a dom will be beneficial. I've been corresponding with the admissions counselor at one of the schools about scholarships and the like, and I think that when she emails me back (or by Thursday if she doesn't) I will see if there is any way I can apply for housing even though I sent the application in saying I would be a commuter already. I'll just tell her I thought it over during the weekend and decided it would be beneficial for me at this time.

I hope this isn't a weird question but what sorts of thing should I know how to do on my own before living on campus? Like skill wise like cooking or whatever. Or anything else that may be useful.

I can probably talk to my parents before going to campus about coming home on a weekend or day off to do my laundry at home so I don't have to pay.

How should I break the news to my parents? Should I say I think it will help me gain independence?


   
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Re: Campus life? - November 12th 2013, 09:59 PM

I work in a residence hall, and I recommend people live on campus whenever possible. Not only does it give independence, but you're also closer to campus resources (tutoring, office hours, lectures, research opportunities), you get the "full college experience" (friends, learning more about yourself, learning how to have a roommate, developing skills like waking up on time or going to bed before 3, etc) and statistically, grades are higher among freshmen who live on campus. Tell them those kind of things. Even when I was thinking about going to a university in my town, my parents were open to the idea of me living on campus for those benefits. Yes, it can be expensive, but I think if you have the money, I'd highly recommend it.

Oh, and for your question "what is it like?" Awesome. I love living on campus; obviously, I've chosen to work IN THE DORMS. I'm near my classes, I get to live near many of my friends, I have access to tutoring services that run until 1:00 AM, etc. It's wonderful. College in general have been some of the best years of my life, and it wouldn't have been the same living at home.


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Re: Campus life? - November 13th 2013, 12:26 AM

Most colleges will only room same-sexes together but you may end up with a variety of people on a floor.

The biggest risk is a cultural clash or a society clash. If you don't get along with your roommate, there can be huge issues. I didn't like living in a dorm with 3 other girls and instead moved out into a house with 3 guys. Be honest when filling out the roommate questionnaire and I'd do it way before the deadline.

You can also sometimes feel isolated from events that are happening on college if you do not make a huge effort to join those events.

Some dorms have community kitchens where you can make meals. However, you'd have to have pots and pans for that. Most have microwaves and a mini-fridge.

Honestly, I'd just cough up and pay instead of lugging laundry home each weekend. It would save you more to not go home every time you want to do a load of laundry. Plus it would save your parents money too.
   
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Re: Campus life? - November 13th 2013, 10:52 AM

I was planning on going home over the weekends though anyway, so might as well kill two birds with one stone. They've already approved of me going home over the weekend.

I just don't know if I'll know all I have to know about... I dunno, living? To go live on my own.


   
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Re: Campus life? - November 14th 2013, 12:44 PM

I would recommend making it a point not to go home for the first two months at least. I really do. So that way you can make a proper adjustment on living on your own.
   
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Re: Campus life? - November 14th 2013, 01:17 PM

I think you should stay at home unless you REALLY need to get away from your parents. Dorms tend to be expensive, gross, and impossible to sleep in due to loud music and parties. Roommates are a nightmare half the time, and really if you live so close, you might as well commute.

I wish I could have lived at home during college.



   
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Re: Campus life? - November 14th 2013, 08:49 PM

My friend lives on campus and the college that we go to is about 40 mins away give or take. He feels like it helps him keep on top of his classes and whatnot, and he gets to enjoy time away from his parents, however, he hardly ever has any money and it has made certain things go up.

I don't live on campus. I commute every other day. The only thing is I have to pay for gas. I feel like I have more money than he does even though I have to pay for gas(which is no fun because I drive a 4X4 pickup). I personally don't mind staying at home because, no rent, no having to pay too many bills, all of this. However, there are times that I wish I would've stayed on campus.



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