Why You Should (or Should Not) Live in the Dorms

by Alyssa K. Priebe

Why You Should (or Should Not) Live in the Dorms

Read on to discover if you should be pinning dorm hacks or browsing furniture on Craigslist.


The terrifying question all college students face: where should I live? It’s true, some people belong in spacious apartments and some do better with the social atmospheres of dorms, but how do you know which one is right for you? Easy, this list will help you decide just where to call home.


Live in the dorm if:


You are new to the school.
Sorry freshies, but it’s true. Moving to a new place means you need to spend time meeting new people, learning your way around campus, and adjusting to the independence that comes with college life—and there’s no better place to do that than residence halls.

Organizing small spaces excites you.
Hello DIY and Pinterest! If you’re a pro at using storage cubes, lofting, and packing things into small, but organized places you’ll do great in the dorms.

Your cooking skills rely on microwaves and a campus meal plan.
If you don’t have the whole cooking a meal thing down and you can’t afford to eat out multiple times a day, you should probably be in the dorms. I hope you like Easy Mac, becuase that’s basically all you’ll be able to cook. But hey, the meal plan is there, and there’s always pizza!

pizza all day every day


Being alone terrifies you.
Whether it’s studying on your own or just sitting in a room, dorms mean open door policies and that means you never really have to be alone.

You want leadership opportunities.
Nothing boosts your resume quite like leadership opportunities. And here you can get involved with your floor or the entire building.

You can problem solve like a boss.
Tiny cramped spaces mean confrontation, and you can’t just go to your room and close the door. Don’t worry, as long as you know how to speak with your roomie about leaving their crap everywhere, you’ll do fine.

life with a roommate


Snoozing your alarm and oversleeping are routine.
Ten minutes til class? No problem. Hop outta bed, toss on your yoga pants, and you’ll make it. Heck, when you live on campus you may even have time to grab coffee before that 8 a.m.

Getting involved is your forte.
Not only do you want leadership roles, but you want to try everything from unique sport groups to philanthropies. Your week is filled with meetings and you wouldn’t have it any other way.

Body confidence is not a problem for you
Walking across the hall in nothing but a towel, someone else hopping in the shower the same time you are, changing in front of your roommate. Not everyone can handle it.

Mila Kunis looking confident



Live in an apartment if:

Dorm life drove you nuts.
We get it. Dorms aren’t for everyone. So as long as you gave it a shot we have no arguments against you moving to your own place.

Cooking doesn’t intimidate you.
Perhaps you already have a signature dish, or maybe you’re eager to learn and asked for a cookbook for your birthday. Either way if the thought of sweating over the stove doesn’t scare you, then you’ll do just fine without that meal plan.

A twin-size bed isn’t for you.
Not everyone can sleep on a skinny bed, no matter how long it is. An apartment lets you pick what size you want—full, queen, king, it’s up to you. Maybe not the king though.

Comfy bed with enough space


You have a car.
Do NOT, we repeat, DO NOT get an apartment without a car. Sure the bus is great, but chances are you won’t be within walking distance of campus or your favorite restaurants. And do you really want to be bumming rides off people all the time? Didn’t think so.

Your closet resembles Cher’s from Clueless.
A lot of clothes require a lot of space. Get an apartment with a closet. And if you’re still cramped, try installing a closet organizer—or ya know, downsizing. Just saying.

The idea of showering in the same room as someone else traumatizes you.
Let alone actually doing it. If you’re not down to share a bathroom with 20 plus people (let’s be honest, who is?) then apartment life is the life for you. Bonus: you get to sing as poorly and off-key as you want. #nojudgement

Singing in the shower


You have a job or intend to get one.
It’s called rent, and it ain’t cheap. Don’t be fooled though, you can still get a job while living in the dorms, it’s just not a definite need.

Owning a cat, rabbit, or any other animal besides a fish excites you.
Pets in a dorm? Forget it. But when you have your own space the options are limitless. Just be sure that 1) You have the proper time to give your new friend, 2) You follow your landlord’s rules, and 3) You talk with your roommate. Trust us, you don’t want that drama.

You already have a roomie in mind.
Sure you don’t need one, but it definitely helps when rent is split two or more ways. You can’t go wrong with picking someone you trust and who meshes with your style.

Parks and Recreation high five


No matter which living situation you decide, there are tons of ways to make your small space feel like home. Just pick which is best for you and you’ll enjoy every minute of your college experience—well except maybe finals.