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||Meet Chloe, one of our summer 2017 ICI Interns:I’m Chloe Alexander, a recent graduate of an ICI member campus, where I studied Communications and History. You’ll find me in a library, coffee shop, or thrift store. I speak primarily in English, but also in Spanish with a terrible accent, FRIENDS quotes, and Disney song lyrics. I strive to make my mark on the world by writing, traveling, reading, engaging in critical thinking, and enjoying the arts. Ask me about my adorable dog and I will talk to you for a minimum of an hour.
Finding the Right Dorm
August 3, 2017
Scared of community bathrooms? Really want a kitchen to bake cookies in? Check out this list of options for where to live in college.
The legend of tiny dorm rooms with no space for anything is something that every freshman fears. Rest assured though, I promise that you are not moving into a shoebox. There are many different options for college living.
Here are the pros and cons of several of them.
1. Traditional dorms
Residence halls can vary from college to college. Some campuses have freshman dorms, others have upperclassmen dorms or no class distinction at all. Living in these dorms means that you might have a hall theme, and the community with your hallmates can be awesome. From intramurals to hall dinner, you will spend time with these people and most likely find some of your first college friends on your hall. These can be suite-style, with two rooms sharing a bathroom, or community based, with large bathrooms for the whole hall. The number of roommates will vary from dorm to dorm as well. Depending on the size of the room, you could have anywhere from one to three or even four roommates. Traditional dorms can have a number of perks. As a freshman, it really cements the college experience. You finally are living in a college dorm like every college movie you’ve ever seen. And you might end up in a dorm with a great location. For example, when I was a freshman, I lived in the dorm that was above the dining hall. In the winter, I could walk down a flight of stairs instead of trekking through the snow just to eat dinner.
2. On-campus apartments
Many schools are beginning to build on-campus housing that is apartment style. They often have several bedrooms in addition to a common living space and kitchen. There is much more space in these apartments, and you don’t feel like you had to leave precious items at home because of a lack of space. Some colleges require an upperclassmen status to live here, and there is often an application process to go through. One advantage of this style of residence is that any grant or scholarship money that would go to your housing can be applied in most cases. Living in an apartment also gives many students a sense that they are more of an adult. You have to wash the dishes, find time for laundry, and vacuum the floor, but you also have the opportunity to host people for dinner. One possible disadvantage of an on-campus apartment is that you might feel separated from campus. Not having to leave to make meals is nice, but you don’t get to socialize in the dining hall as much. If you always study at your desk instead of the library, then you may not interact with peers in your classes as much. Make sure you still make time to socialize and be out and about on campus!
3. Off-campus living
Some students opt to live off campus after their first year, either by renting an apartment or by commuting and living at home. As with every option, there are upsides and downsides to this. First, many schools require freshman to live on campus, and there may even be an age requirement to live off campus. But not living on campus can cut costs. Find a few roommates and you can split rent and utilities several ways. This might be cheaper for you personally. You also are able to pay your housing month by month rather than the entire amount being put on your school bill all at once. Some students may live in an actual house, which is usually more spacious. A friend of mine in college lived in the basement apartment of an older lady in the community. He paid rent (which was cheap) but also mowed the lawn and did some general house maintenance and was often rewarded by home-cooked meals and fresh chocolate chip cookies! Living off campus means that you have to pay rent as well as things like electric, gas, and water bills, not to mention groceries and other things like cleaning supplies. Make sure you remember to take these things into account when budgeting to make sure you’re actually saving money!
4. Greek housing
Consider going Greek! This can be an awesome way to meet new people and be involved. Often in Greek housing you will know everyone that you live with. Greeks tends to have a tight-knit community, so you will be familiar with each person in your house. Some fraternities and sororities have what they call “cold rooms,” where your desk, dresser, closet, etc are housed (with your roommates’ as well) and you sleep barrack-style room of bunk beds. This guarantees that you always have a quiet place to nap. Greek housing can be cheaper than regular campus housing as well. And while sometimes the sheer amount of individuals in a house can sometimes cause it to be loud, there is always a social aspect. Want to catch a movie? Chances are someone else has been dying to see it as well. Late-night McDonalds run? It’s not hard to find a friend with a chicken nugget craving. Greek houses often have adults who can aid in your college experience as well, from cleaning ladies, to house “parents,” to mentors and chefs. Make sure you pay attention to how far away Greek houses are from campus though. If they are situated farther from campus, driving to class every day may not be something you’re looking for.
Moving out of your parents’ house for the first time can be scary, but there are so many options for college housing that you can find something that fits your needs easily. Do some research, and don’t forget to ask students on campus about why they love where they live!
Read another blog here!
Unique Experiences at a Private College
July 20, 2017
Going to a private college offers you experiences you might not get elsewhere.
Check out our library of all the blogs from our interns!
Our intern blog covers everything about college life from application tips to finding a school-life balance. Read all the tips, tricks and insights our interns have to share from their college experiences.
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