The MHM Blog

Should I live in a Dorm or Apartment?

Posted December 18, 2017

The choice between living in a dorm or apartment can be as difficult as choosing which college to attend. For incoming freshman, the choice is probably already made for you since many colleges require first-year students to live on-campus. Starting your sophomore or upperclassman, you have the choice to live in a dorm or consider living off-campus housing. Before you make a decision, let’s review what dorm and apartment have to offer.

Dorm Life

  • Utilities are Included – Unlike apartments, cables, water, electricity, the internet is typically free in a dorm. Some dorms may charge a small fee for cables or internet, but it’s not nearly as expensive as the monthly fees you would have to pay in an apartment.
  • Social Life – Many dorms often organize and plan social activities each month to help students to meet new people and make new friends. There are several campus activities organized by the school such as football game, movie nights, food events, etc. and it’s usually within walking distance from your dorm.
  • Resident Advisor (RA) – Most dorms have RA and their role is to handle any emergencies or to lend a shoulder to cry with any issues. Think of them as your big brother or sister or supervisor, and often may surprise you with goody bags or occasional pizza party to with your new friends.
  • Fewer Chores – In your first year living in a dorm, you may require purchase meal plans. This means that you don’t have to cook or wash any dishes. Often, some dorms may also provide cleaning services for the common areas and community bathrooms, so you don’t have to clean anything other than making your bed and doing laundry.
  • Free Amenities – Many college dorms are often equipped with game rooms, pool tables, a large screen TVs for watching movies or sports.

Apartment Living

  • Personal Privacy – Often, it’s impossible to have any privacy in a dorm, unless you spend a large amount of money to live in a private room. Apartments provide much more privacy at affordable rates. Even if you choose to live in a two, three or four-bedroom apartments, which are popular at communities near college campuses, you will typically have a private bedroom and/or shared bathroom, which isn’t that bad at all.
  • Fewer Rules – Living in a dorm, there are many strict codes of conduct and possibly even a curfew. When you live in an apartment, there’s no curfew, you can come and go as you please, and often fewer restrictions on what you can do within your own space. Moreover, there are fewer surprise inspections. Despite the landlord may have the access to your apartments at any time, the landlord typically notifies the tenants in advance. Dorm inspections can happen anytime and may occur frequently.
  • More Personal Space – Living in an apartment, you have more personal space than your dorm. You’ll have a full kitchen, a living room, a bedroom and a private bathroom if you were living in a one-bedroom apartment. In the dorm, you may have to share one half of your room that has enough space for your bed and a desk with your roommate.
  • Food is Way Cheaper – Often shopping for groceries and making your own meals at your apartment is much cheaper than the campus meal plans or ordering fast food. When you go to the dorm cafeteria, you must stick to their hours and have few options for meals. Living in an apartment allows you to have more menu options and you can eat whenever you feel hungry.
  • Guests Invitation – In many dormitories, you won’t have to ask permission of the RA or supervisors to have a guest(s) over for dinner to spend the night. Friend gatherings or parties are also easier to host, as long as the neighbors are not being distracted by loud music or noises at all hours of the night.

There are pros and cons living in a dorm or apartment. Living in the dorm is a good choice for those who have never been away from home. Keep in mind that most college dorms require students to leave during breaks, which means you’ll have to find a place to stay for a few weeks every now and then. For those who are looking for more freedom and privacy, apartment living is recommended. Many college apartment communities are actually cheaper than living in a dormitory like MHM Properties. Many of our properties offer one, two, three and four-bedroom apartments option that includes private bathrooms with a common living area and shared a kitchen. Thus, you still get a bit of the dorm experience without all the regulations.

Whether you’re still deciding to live in a dorm or an apartment, consider all the costs associated with both living arrangements. Each will offer different challenges, but both will help guide you on your path toward adulthood and parent-free living. There’s really no wrong or right answer to living in a dorm or an apartment is better. It’s simply a personal choice every college student will need to make.

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