Living away at college is, for the most part, a once in a lifetime opportunity. Yes, it may seem undesirable with the inedible dining hall food, noisy neighbors, and… well… the added cost for housing. However, it isn't all that bad. If living on campus is something you truly are considering, I would 110% recommend committing to the dorms.
And, just to back my case, here's a list of 11 things you'd miss out on if you choose to stay home.
Making friends with others in your building
Sure, there are plenty of ways to make friends, as a resident or a commuter, but living in close proximity to others and sharing a bathroom with them can force you to get to know people pretty quickly. I personally have made some of my closest friends just by having neighboring rooms.
Being able to walk to your friends’ dorms… literally whenever
Even if you don't live in the same building as your friends, you still get to see each other whenever you want. There's no need to use up your gas to go out to see friends when their dorms are an easy three-minute walk away.
Having the library as a quiet place to escape to
Unlike being at home where you can't always guarantee an escape from parents, siblings, or pets, having the library on campus makes for a genuinely nice place to get work done. Not only are you put into the studying mood by having all of the other busy bees working around you, but the silence truly helps to put your mind in the right head space to work.
Having an array of easily accessible late night snacks
From vending machines, to grab and go snacks, I know (at least on my campus) if I'm craving a smoothie at 11 p.m. I can walk right across the street and get one in under five minutes. Sure, having a full kitchen readily available is nice too, but who has the energy to make your own food when you can get premade things instead?
Not having to drive to class
Just like saving gas by not having to visit your friends, you get to save gas by not having to drive to school every single day. Plus, by living on campus, you eliminate the travel time and can wake up so much later. Either that, or you will now actually have time to eat breakfast in the morning.
Being able to take naps between classes
For those nights where you don't sleep a wink, why settle for three coffees keeping you awake when you can have a mighty power nap instead? Commuting doesn't give you the royalty of having your own personal bed in the vicinity of your classes.
Taking advantage of the dining hall “specials”
From waffle nights to Christmas dinners, the dining hall makes up for its typically nasty foods on these special occasions. Nothing makes finals season more bearable than hot, syrupy pancakes being served at midnight.
Having a gym close by
For me at least, this gives me the motivation to actually work out, especially since my dorm is literally right next to the gym. I never have a good enough excuse for why I can't go.
Being on campus for the fun fairs, booths, and events they put on
Most schools will hold back-to-school fairs out on the green, with food vendors and games to get students back into the swing of things. As cheesy as it sounds, these events are actually really cute ways to get out of your room and see what your school truly has to offer.
Learning how to “adult” on your own
For most, this is the first time they're being thrown out into the (almost) real world on their own. You're forced to figure out how to do your own laundry, clean your dishes, and simply take care of yourself. This makes for an extremely effective lesson on how to be more independent.
Gaining more freedom
Similar to gaining independence, as a college student living away from home, you feel as free as a bird. Yes, you have an RA telling you not to do drugs or make noise past 10 p.m., but you don't have to ask them to go out or have friends over. With this sudden freedom, however, just remember to make good choices!