College students have to make a decision about whether or not they want to live on or off campus while attending school. While there are certainly pros and cons to each housing option, here are some great benefits to living on campus during college:
1) Social life: Trust me and let me reiterate, really really trust me that unless you are very involved in many activities while you are at school during and around school hours, it can be quite tough to make a solid group of friends. This does, you must note, depend of course on the college culture itself and how prone the students typically are to clique type behavior. And while, certainly, living off campus can lead you to many friends through the classes you take and through parties you might attend, there just isn’t anything like being right there in the midst of all the action. You always know about the parties and events without having to eavesdrop and find a way to invite your way in, or find out from a friend of a friend who lives in a dorm and end up showing up the occasion knowing nobody. Don’t get me wrong, partying is not in the least the only thing college life is all about, but meeting people for friendship, study partnership and well, future networking purposes is really an important part of the college experience. There are also many downfalls when it comes to living on campus or in dorms, but I genuinely feel that if you are looking to establish a good group of reliable friends, it is so much easier to achieve this in on campus housing.
2) Could possibly be cheaper: Depending on where you live, the dormitory lifestyle could end up costing you less for your living expenses than an apartment off campus. Usually on campus life allows you to take part in a meal plan (paid by in most cases your parents or financial aid), and many schools offer some kind of credit card with points that can go toward late night snacks at the college convenience store.
3) Safety and Security: As far as feeling safe while you are inside the on campus living facility, that is almost a definite given, for most colleges have security guards constantly staking out the surroundings of the campus for suspicious intruders not to mention the 24/7 presence of those designated as the “front desk student ID checkers” (at many schools) who adhere to a very strict entrance policy. And when you are outside walking between campus buildings, chances are the area is well lit and full of other students. This is not to say that dangerous situations do not occur, as unfortunately they do quite a bit around the college campuses in the US, but at least on campus if you are careful you have reason to feel, in general, typically safe.
4) Gain independence and learn life strategies- Living on campus is a great segue into real life on your own, all by yourself. Without your parents around to remind you to take care of your responsibilities, you are forced to grow up and take charge of your own life. At the same time, you have a team of authoritative support around you most of the time, such as campus staff, security, counselors and your dormitory RAs who you can go to for help if you do find you need someone to talk to or to obtain some sort of emergency type of parentally typical advice about something.
5) If you don’t live on campus you will likely either live with relatives, your parents, or in your own apartment. In the case that you stay with your parents, like most students do to save money, you tend to stay in a sheltered environment that can make growing up and gaining independence fairly difficult. It also puts stress on your social life and personal growth. On the other hand, if you choose to reside in your own apartment off campus, by yourself or with friends, you do still get forced into the lifestyle of independent living, but depending on how your family living situation was, there is the possibility of this happening too quickly. Being thrown into a life where you are 100% dependent on yourself for basically everything (and it ends up being quite a lot of things) can be overwhelming and sometimes mentally paralyzing for a person. This is why transitioning out of the parents’ house into a dormitory situation where there are people constantly available to guide you, is a new college student’s best bet.
6) Easy Access to important resources: Living on campus is great when you have a paper due last minute and you don’t feel like getting changed out of your pajamas. If you are lucky enough to live in a building near the library, you can simply throw on some casual comfy shoes and stroll down to the library, books in hand, half asleep and get working once you settle in there. Being close to the library is much more underrated than many people realize. The library has all the resources you might need to study with; it has the Internet (though most have it in their homes by now, probably), photo labs and other types of workshops if applicable for your area of study, a fitness center, and the best, a laundry room. Finally, there are people to field your large boxes of care packages your parents or boyfriend/girlfriend sent you from home. No need to worry about missing the postman’s arrival only to have to find time to go down to the post office to pick up your parcel since your signature was needed. No, the dorms usually have it covered. There are people who work in the mailroom who are pretty much like your college version of a concierge. It is quite nice and something that is easy to get even a little too used to.