Transitioning From Dorm Life to an Apartment
Living in a dorm is a rite of passage for most college students. You go through it all: bad roommates, fire alarms set off by other students burning Ramen, floor meetings, borrowing laundry detergent, bonding with someone you met while watching TV in the community room, and assembling a big group of people so you all can go eat at the Caf together.
You get comfortable with dorm life. The time comes, however, probably around your junior year, when you consider moving off campus with your friends.
Life in an apartment is somewhat similar to life in a dorm, but there are some big differences. Here are a few things to consider when you’re thinking about making the transition.
If you get in trouble in your dorm, it’s most likely going to be your RA (resident assistant) knocking on your door. If you get in trouble in your apartment off campus, it’s going to be the city police knocking on your door.
A lot of times, RAs can help keep you in line before things escalate too much. And they can also help you work through your roommate issues. You won’t have that luxury at an apartment complex.
Getting Involved on Campus
The big difference is that it’s a little harder to get involved in activities on campus. Living on campus, there are constant reminders about things are going to happen on campus. Reminders that you get when you live off campus come in emails. You still will see fliers across campus when you go to class, but you kind of have to be looking for opportunities to get involved at that point.
If you move off campus, you may need to get a job to help you pay rent. In the dorms, you pay for housing when you pay your Angelo State tuition, which is often just once a semester. But at an apartment, you’re likely to need to pay rent each month. The overall cost may be about the same, but you may need to rethink how you are making those payments.
Having an apartment off campus requires a little more responsibility. Sometimes you may even feel secluded from everyone else but it’s only because there are no more floor meetings and no more Ramen being burned (hopefully).
College is about getting an education, finding your own identity and trying to make a better future for yourself. However, partying is often a part of college, and there are a lot more opportunities when you live off campus.
It’s easy to get distracted by parties, but it can also be a great motivator. Finish your work, study two hours out of class for every hour in class, and then reward yourself.
You don’t necessarily have to go to a party, but do something that will take your mind off school. There are a lot of distractions off campus. If you find a way to balance getting schoolwork done and partying, email me so I can find some sort of balance.
Creating a sense of balance will not only improve your experience as an off-campus student but will also help you be a successful college student. And you’ll probably have a more memorable college experience, too.
Making Your Decision
At the end of the day, no one’s opinion matters except your own, and there are upsides to living off campus as well as downsides.
We all came to Angelo State University to get a better education, and that should be the first thing to be worried about. A good piece of advice that was given to me is, “Everything will work itself out.”
Try not to force the issue if you don’t feel like you’re ready to move off campus. There is nothing wrong with living on campus. The thing that really matters is graduation.