Student Living Face-off: Apartment vs Dorm

Author: Alecia Pirulis

Dorm life

Congratulations! Attending college is one of many milestones in your life, and deciding where to live is one of the first adult decisions you will make. Since renting an apartment is a big responsibility, living in a dorm might seem more appealing. However, living on campus isn’t usually all that it’s cracked up to be, so we’ve compiled some great reasons why renting an apartment works for many college students across the country:

Choice of  Roommates

Living on campus often means your college will assign your roommate. This person will probably be a complete stranger, and it will take time to acclimate to their personal quirks and personality. You’ll be rolling the dice, and your first semester in college could be disastrous if the two of you don’t get along.

Renting an apartment with a friend or two makes your first venture on your own easier to adjust. You can even interview potential roommates and make a decision according to your own set of qualifications. At least you will have the opportunity to find people your compatible with.


If you’re a private person, living on campus will be difficult. Not only will you share a small space with someone you know nothing about, you’ll  share restrooms, showers and even a television with a number of other students in your dorm. When you’re renting an apartment, you have a greater chance of having your own bedroom, and if you’re lucky, a private bathroom, too!

Eat What You Want, When You Want

Most college students living in dorms are subject to cafeteria hours and the food they’re serving, especially if a meal plan is included with tuition and housing fees. Apartment living provides more dining options, and you can go grocery shopping and whip up some delicious budget meals whenever you feel like it.


Dorms come with a built-in social life, but you might want a break from school and campus activities. You shouldn’t feel obligated to attend parties or school functions. Living in close quarters makes it nearly impossible to escape social activities that don’t interest you or will disrupt your sleep or study time.

Apartment communities are usually calmer, and you have more opportunities to relax in peace and quiet. Also, aside from your landlord or community manager, there aren’t any adults supervising you 24/7. You won’t have a curfew, and you can act freely (and hopefully, responsibly).

(photo credit: Editor B via photopin cc)