Benefits of living in a dorm

I Chose To Live In The Dorms For Two Years In College, And That Was The Best Decision I've Ever Made

Even though it's now time for me to move on, being a dorm resident for two years was the right choice for me.

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At my university, students are only required to live in the dorms or private certified housing organizations for their freshman year of college. The university sees this requirement as a way for students to acclimate to college life before having to be entirely responsible for themselves and do the whole "adulting" thing. After freshman year, students can choose whether to continue with dorm life or private certified housing or venture out into the "real world" and take on apartment life or move into a sorority or frat house, among other options. However, you have to make this decision in October of freshman year, just as you're getting settled into your routine.

I was not in a position to say goodbye to the safety of my dorm and hello to living on my own at that point in time. Therefore, I chose to stay put and do the dorm thing one more time before moving on with my life. While there are moments that I feel like there are too many rules, that the showers couldn't get any grosser, or that there is no way I can eat another meal from the dining hall without hurling, I've found that the decision I made as an overwhelmed 19-year-old in a new world was the one a strong, well-adjusted 20-year-old would be forever grateful for. Here's why.

1. You get to take on leadership roles

Leader

This year, I got to serve as an Ambassador in my Living-Learning Community. I love that I've been able to help and befriend students who were in the same position I was a year ago. Without staying in the dorms again, I would not have had this opportunity in the college setting.

2. You get to participate in housing traditions for another year 

Free Food

At least at my university, the housing department puts on events throughout the year, including specialty meals in the dining halls and holiday activities. One more year in university housing = one more year of fun, FREE things to do and try.

3. You are in the same building as your friends

Friends

The apartment I am living in next year is about five blocks away from our friends' apartments. That's not going to be a fun walk in the winter. Right now though, we are enjoying living in the same building on the same floor, something we would not have had otherwise.

4. Very few messes are your responsibility 

mess

Nasty smell in the bathroom? Crumbs all over the lounge? If you didn't cause it, it's not your problem in the dorms. At your apartment however, your friends' messes are your messes to clean unless you want to live in filth.

5. There is always food ready to eat when you're hungry 

hungry

Dorms come with dining hall meal plans. Apartments do not. Apartments come with a kitchen and the need to prepare your own food for every meal. Need I say more?

6. You live relatively close to all of your classes 

arrival

Most dorms on most campuses were built with students in mind—they were built in close proximity to where classes are held. The same cannot necessarily be said about apartment buildings. I got one extra year of not having to walk more than 10 minutes to any one class. Even if the distance was far, there are bus stops right by the dorms. Once again, apartment complexes are not factored into these sorts of decisions made by the university.

7. The environment is pretty well noise-controlled 

noise

If someone's being too loud near your room at 2 a.m. in a dorm, the RA on duty can swoop in and rescue the remaining time you have to sleep with a reminder of quiet hours. In an apartment building, what are you going to do? Go knock on someone's door and tell them they need to shut up in their own apartment? I don't think so.

8. The opportunity to make new friends is still easily accessible

Friends

Dorms force you to socialize with other people because it is impossible for you to stay in your own space 24/7—you have to at least go to the shared bathroom at some point or another. As a second-year dorm resident, I felt much more comfortable talking to people on my floor than I did previously. This has led me to meet new people I wouldn't have met if I had decided to do the apartment thing as soon as I could.

9. You don't have to become an adult before you're ready 

adulting

I think this is the most important I've learned throughout this dorm life experience. I firmly believe that no matter how much I felt like an adult, I was absolutely not ready to move on to the next phase in my life last August. I needed this one last year to truly feel out who I am as a grown woman. Now, I am very sure of myself that childhood is behind me and I am ready to take on this whole life in front of me.

This year when I pack up my room, it will be quite bittersweet. I'll be saying goodbye to the industrial-seeming building that has become my home for one final time. Although it is time for me to move on, no matter how fun and exciting apartment life may turn out to be, nothing will replace the satisfaction I've found living in my dorm for two years.

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52 College Student Discounts That Are Extremely Real And TOO Easy To Use

31. Goodwill - 20% off on Tuesdays with college ID
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College is great.

But college is also expensive AF.

The cool thing about that is everyone knows that, and everyone — businesses included — knows college kids can't afford to spend *too* much money that they do NOT have. So you know that student ID you have?

It gets you college student discounts. Lots of them.


Entertainment

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Discounted tickets on Thursdays

2. Apple Music

50% off.

3. Cinemark

Discounted tickets.

4. Regal Cinemas

Exclusive deals!

5. Spotify

Spotify Premium for $4.99/month!

6. New York Mets

$10 tickets with college ID.

Technology

8. Apple

Free pair of Beats with Mac purchase!

9. Best Buy

Exclusive deals!

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10. FedEx

20-30% off shipping!

11. Microsoft

Multiple discounts!

12. Sprint

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Insurance

14. Allstate

20% off.

15. Geico

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16. Nationwide

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Travel

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Education

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Clothes

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31. Goodwill

20% off on Tuesdays with college ID!

32. JCrew

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33. Kate Spade

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34. ModCloth

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36. Topshop

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37. Urban Outfitters

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38. Vinyard Vines

15% off with college ID!

Food

39. Arby's

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40. bd's Mongolian Grill

Student Night - $9.99 bowl of stir fry!

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Other

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Discounts vary by location!

Cover Image Credit: ASMR Darling//YouTube

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Coming Home From College For The Summer Is Much Needed

Wait, how do you drive a car again?

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Since finals week began, I believe I can say for all college students that we were ready to come back to our hometowns for the summer. We had grown tired of eating at the dining hall, spending countless hours in the library, and pulling laundry from the dryers for it to still be damp. Being home for the summer rids you of those worries and only provides a sense of comfort and security with a furnished home and bedroom to yourself. We sometimes forget how things were before college, with a fully stocked refrigerator and even a dishwasher to keep things clean. Coming home often makes life much easier.

Coming home means revisiting all of your favorite places around town — restaurants, parks, or museums — with fresh eyes. Being away from these places for months on end only causes you to develop a deeper appreciation for the little things. In my case, the first thing I did upon arriving home was take a trip to my favorite local coffee shop. Not only is the coffee delicious, but going back to the shop itself also brings back numerous memories made over the past four years.

That is one of the best things about coming home — it's as if you're rediscovering parts of yourself that you left behind.

Being back in your hometown also enables you to reconnect with only friends and classmates whom you haven't seen in months or even a full year. Whether it be going for a walk together or grabbing breakfast, being able to update one another on your year of college life makes for great connections. You oftentimes find yourself missing your old friends more than you thought, but once you all get together again, it seems like nothing has changed.

One of my favorite parts of being home is spending more time with my family. I have never felt so grateful for home-cooked meals or a real washer and dryer until I stepped into my house again. Rather than talking on the phone with my parents about our days, I can sit down with them at the kitchen table and have a conversation in person. I also never realized that I would miss my parents — or my dog — as much as I did over the past year.

Though finding activities to pass the time can sometimes get "boring" in one's hometown, spending some time away can reinstate plenty of ideas. My sister and I found ourselves making a list of things we can do throughout the summer, and though some of the things we had done before, it sounded so much more exciting after spending the school year in a different city.

In the end, coming home makes you appreciate your town even more.

Even if you didn't love it before, being home for just a few months keeps you from taking life's finer things for granted. Especially when it's summer, you can relax on your own couch without the stress of school in front of you. Enjoy your city while you can, because it is always there to welcome you back.

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