Why I Left College Dorm Life and Rented an Apartment

dorm life

Dormitory residents love their privileges. They have amazing private pools, rooftop sports courts, and even climbing walls. The films about gorgeous teens’ college life serve better than any advertisements. But university housing styles are more difficult to choose once you are already a college student. Living in dorms is exciting and troublesome at the same time. And you won’t believe it, but renting an apartment is relatively cheaper than residing at the dorm. So you have to picture your ideal college dorm life and pick the housing price wisely.

Start by Imagining Your Ideal College Life Experience

Emotional peace comes first?

As an Asian, I wanted to ensure that I would feel secure with my surroundings. 

My first recommendation is to analyze which student housing options suit you. The Japanese are very collectivist and I’ve never been ready to become a part of the individualist community all of a sudden. Simultaneously, I’m certainly not an introvert. And studying marketing predisposes you to establish durable contacts. That’s why I had a double reason to take care about my socialization perspectives. 

I believed that heading for a dorm could guarantee me a lot of communication. 

As far as I believe, it’s normal for anyone who’s going to another country. You can still apply for the desirable dorm accommodation online in many cases. 

This requirement is also common for those who’ve never been to the country of choice before. My second recommendation is to research the area you’re moving to. For example, you can be naturally afraid of becoming an outcast. And that’s definitely not your greatest expectation from the dream destination. At this point, my plan seemed clear. Considering all of my worries and needs, I’d chosen to stay at the dormitory. Moreover, before moving to the United States, I’d been spending hours on Pinterest. 

Visualizing my dorm as a perfect girly household had been my favorite thing to do. 

And the issue is that I hadn’t been dreaming about something unreal. There are real-life examples of fantastic dorms in the USA which remind of the doll houses. 

Once you see a picture of the room from Ole Miss dorms, you want to be there. I had been so inspired to find a dorm like this! But I had hesitated if I would fit into the local community easily. Such dormitories make you recall favorite movies instantly. However, the closer you are to reality, the more these illusions fade. 

I’m not saying that having a fancy dorm living style is impossible. I just want to confess that it can be exhausting. 

You really have to consider all of the dormitory rules first. And only then you’ll have the chance to try adapting to your siblings’ behaviors and schedules. The latter will challenge your own activity priorities and organization anyway. I would do anything to save my grades, even stay at the rented apartment alone. 

Examine Disadvantages of the College Housing Options First

Judging by the tremendous number of students who prefer the dormitory life, people do love dorms. They can offer anything you need for a careless routine. Dolby cinema halls, unlimited Wi-Fi access, cozy study lounges, brand new dormitory rooms. The most widespread room types include shared or private rooms in corridor halls or suits. There are also shared and private apartments with the basic facilities like kitchens and bathrooms. The latter is mostly advantageous for families with little children. The last popular variant is finding a private room thanks to a host family. 

While the average price of dormitory accommodation ranges between 8,700$ and 13,300$ a year, your rental payment can be lower than 1000$ a month.  

All you have to do is pay the fees in time and study well. For me, the latter has become the biggest trouble. I had even hesitated before choosing my campus building because of students’ noise. I was too engaged in our parties and other students’ problems.  

Realizing this let me finally understand why Harvard students root for blocking groups. While the university dorm does not allow you to pick a dorm, you can choose whom to live with. In my situation, I could take a shared room in a hall, but I could not influence other habitats. In Harvard dorms, to freeze your friends’ company, you need to create a blocking group. In this case, the university cannot provide you with housing in different locations. But the system will still pick the dorm setup randomly, which had feared me before. I’d been trying to choose the studying location with the best college dorms. And I had had to pay attention to the socially matching factor instead. It’s only now when I’ve come up with an alternative idea. I could simply find new friends online to live in the dorm with. Thus, college apartments give you more freedom and the opportunity to space out. 

dorm VS apartment

How to Benefit from the Challenges of Your Dormitory Routine

I’m not complaining – the entire story has become another valuable lesson on marketing. And, initially, I even hoped to examine my neighbors’ dependence on such marketing trends either. “The more people I watch, the deeper an insight I’ll have,” – I thought. But motivation to study is not enough to satisfy your daily needs, obviously. So, the maximum I could do was to rely on my knowledge from the psychology course. Even when it came to my initial roommates’ habit to make fun of my Dragon Ball collection. 

Either you choose to take things with humor or you risk being depressed too easily. 

In Japan, we react to help requests eagerly. And my dorm siblings would take advantage of me in this way. I had no time to complete my assignments properly. Students adore the way teachers and parents cannot control their life at the campus. But there will always be other students who can affect your independence. 

That’s what helped me to acknowledge that paying 10,600$ per a shared dormitory room is too pricey for me. I’m not the kind of person who’s ready to live in dorm rooms like these. I’d love to become a part of the special dorm community. It looks so sweet when a graduate student like me says goodbye to their “second” home in the movies. You can appreciate residential assistants. Or you can seek contemporary amenities and the priceless opportunity to make lifelong friends just like me. But even friendships with the most wonderful people in the world could never stop me from achieving my goal. Neither living in a dorm could. 

If the dorm decreases my learning productivity – I cannot stay there. 

Renting an apartment alone will always let me invite my friends for fun anyway. If you ever find it boring or lonely here, you can choose your roommate individually via online. Don’t take unexpected changes dramatically – you never guess which one will make your genuine dream true.

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Akari Saito
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Akari is an undergraduate Marketing student in New York. Though born in Tokyo, Akari’s heart belongs to the Big Apple. In her free time, she enjoys drawing anime and cartoons, reading, and learning as much as she can about whatever niche topic she’s interested in at the moment. She never gets tired of enjoying her collection of Dragon Ball characters.