College Dorm Room Vs. Living At Home

Any day now the back to school commercials are going to start popping out and a severe case of depression will spread across the planet for all college students. Once the depression goes away we will realize that we need to figure out our living conditions. For some college students it’s an easy decision to move away from home, while for others it really makes no sense. Today I will compare the pluses and minuses of both moving away to a college dorm room and staying at home:

Benefits of living in a college dorm room

Freedom. If you have strict parents or simply don’t like to have limitations placed on you, then living in a dorm room will give you a greater amount of freedom (obvious restrictions if there is an authority for the dorm complex).

Experience. For the rest of your life you can speak of your time where you were a teenager that moved away from home to try something new. The people you meet and the times you will share with them will be with you forever.

Survival. I know that living in a dorm room isn’t like going away for a series of Survivor but it’ll be the first time you have to fend for yourself. Who knows you may ended up learning some of the college essential survival skills.

Taste of adult life. When you live at home your Mom still probably does your laundry (hold your laughter please) and the majority of the bills are taken care of. When you live in your own dorm room, the onus is on you to take care fo everything. Some dorm room packages include cable but more often than not you are responsible for paying all of your own bills at time. You also have ot try to strike a balance between doing all of your school work and keeping your room in decent shape.

Setbacks of the college dorm life

Can be overwhelming. So much to do and so little time to study. You go to John’s party down the hall, then you watch a movie in the recreation room, then you do your laundry, and finally it hits you that you have an assignment due the next morning.

Restrictions are good for you. Let’s be honest here- if it weren’t for certain restrictions in place for us, we would be out of control for the most part. By having a family around you it sets limits for how far you can go.

Advantages of living at home during college

Save tons of money. You won’t save a little bit of money, you will save a boat load of money. If you are lucky enough to have your parents cover the cost of your college dorm room then chances are you wouldn’t be reading a personal finance blog. By attending a college in my town I save enough money to be comfortable and travel a few times a year.

Easier to focus. When your parents are 200 miles away you really don’t think too much about how they will react to that low midterm mark. Knowing your parents are just a few steps away makes you a bit more nervous about your grades. Further more, I have trouble focusing at home when my little brother is around, so I couldn’t imagine living in a college dorm room close to many people my age.

Limitations of staying at home

Emotional attachment to home. The longer you stay at home the harder it is move out when the time comes. I have a cousin that has lived in a different city ever semester because he will work an internship and then go to school alternating semesters.

No chance to step outside of your comfort zone. Aside from the few times I have gone on a vacation I really have no stepped outside of my comfort zone as much as I would like to. It’s really going to be a bit of a shock when I finally get out of here in a few years.

At the end of the day my motivation for not living in a dorm room is simply the money. How have you made your decision in the battle of, live at home vs move away for college?

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