General Question

clairedete's avatar

Live on campus or live at home?

Asked by clairedete (331 points ) February 9th, 2009

I go to the University of Minnesota. The campus is about 15 minutes away from my parent’s house. I am trying to figure out what I should arrange for my living situation for next year. I currently have a place reserved in a 4 person/4 bedroom apartment on campus. The price of that is $7,073 for the year not including food. Living on campus would give me the opportunity to be centrally located and possibly meet people. The downsides are, I tend to feel kind of stranded when living in that type of situation because a reserved parking spot would be quite expensive and is basically out of the question. Also, the apartment would be quite a ways from my job and without having my car with me I would constantly have to travel home on the bus to get my car making it impossible to work on the week nights. Another downside is that living on campus makes it hard to see my long time boyfriend and has become a slight strain on our relationship. I could live at home with my parents saving them a lot of money since they are paying for my schooling. To get to school I could drive my car to a nearby park and ride and take the campus bus to the school for free. I would basically be living at home for free other than possibly some of my own money that i may need to spend on food and gas. The downsides are I would basically be cutting all possible avenues for meeting new people and I tend to be very unproductive when at home.
I can’t decide which would be a better choice. Personally, the social aspect almost outways the financial aspect because even this year I have not made too many social ties.

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22 Answers

steelmarket's avatar

Sounds like the easiest solution is to live at home and figure out other avenues to meet people. Maybe a car pool could be a good start to meet people.
When I say easiest, well, I don’t know your home situation.

StellarAirman's avatar

I’d personally definitely live at home. But I’m not a very social person as far as frat parties and that type of thing goes. But saving money for both you and your parents is always a good thing, at least in my opinion. And it’s not like you won’t meet people just because you don’t live on campus. You’ll meet people in class, at sporting events, the cafeteria, various clubs on campus, etc. Very easy to still be social in my opinion.

blondie411's avatar

Since your already past your freshman year it seems it doesn’t seem to me that you need that acclimation year to get adjusted to college. Since you live so close, and assuming that your home life is ok I see no problem with it. If you’ve made friends already thats even better. You’ll make friends in classes, study groups and no matter if you live on campus or not how involved you want to be with your school depends on you.

dynamicduo's avatar

I was in a similar situation. I chose to live at home, then moved out with my partner into a very modest apartment for the remaining year and a half. I think it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Yes, it did limit my social activities, but that was mostly because my commute was a full hour each way. Then again, because I paid for my education/books/etc, I also did limit my social activities in consideration of my financial situation (such as not going drinking each weekend).

In today’s economy, you would be doing both yourself and your parents a great service by living at home and saving at least a bit of your money for when you do move out after university.

And there are way more ways to meet people than simply by living in residence. Go join a campus club of something you like to do or are interested in. Go hang out at the local hanging out area. Ask your undergrad department about any upcoming social events. There are always meet and greets going on at university, you just need to find them.

Les's avatar

The worst year at college for me was the one year I lived in an apartment off campus. I was a resident advisor the two years before, and lived in the residence halls the first year. Those were the best because they gave me more of a social life (friends were closer) and I felt more connected to the university. When I moved to my apartment, I no longer had that close family of friends so near to me and I felt like I didn’t even really belong at the university.
In the end, it is up to you what will be easier. But I always tell people to live on campus for as long as they can stand. It is so much better.

melly6708's avatar

well.. right now i am living on campus and well i dont really have much friends.. i am not really that social i prefer being alone… ehhe but anyways you would meet people in class.. if i were in your position i would certainly live at home.. its much cheaper.. more relaxing and less stressful.. i have to worry about my annoying room mate, money, paying the rent for my dorm.. even if i am right on campus and can go as i please i would still prefer to be at home.. i have fallen out of ties with my friends and i feel alone over here.. i would just stay home but home is about an hr away

like people said before you can join clubs.. sorority or something like that.

veneziana's avatar

Live at home. Bank some cash and in a few years put the money to use and buy a condo or house.

Bri_L's avatar

This is a soon to be 40 year old looking strictly at the question in hindsight.

Focus on what you can get out of the institution of school. The friendships will always follow. You have a boyfriend you care about. The money is WAY important.

melly6708's avatar

PS…LIVE AT HOME… THE DORMS ARENT THAT GREAT AS THEY SEEM.. i swear these girls that live on my floor are so disgusting.. i dread taking showers.. eheh (BUT I TAKE THEM!! OK ) using the bathroom sucks.. its like using the bathroom at a restaurant .. theres paper everywhere and trash. the food here isnt that great.. pure ramen noodles because i dont really have time to go eat at the cafeteria seeing as i have classes after classes.. ! i plan on moving to an apartment that is managed by housing.. its way better.. about 4 girls in one apartment.. 2 rooms, 2 bathrooms, living room and kitchen.. cant wait!!

GAMBIT's avatar

The positive is that you will be near your parents.
The negative is that you will be near your parents.

hitomi's avatar

I think it really depends on the way the situation. I live extremely close to my college campus, but I chose to live in housing all four years. It was a fantastic experience for me and I can’t imagine having NOT lived in the dorms. My brother, on the other hand, would have been miserable living in the dorms (he graduated from the same school the year before I started).

There are a lot of really good and bad things about dorm life…if you’re already done with your freshman year I suggest talking to people that lived in the dorms and see how they liked it and their opinions.

If you do decide to live at home, I was involved in Student Activities for four years and it’s really important for commuters to get involved and put an effort it. It’s easy for the residents to make friends and do social things because most events are on campus and designed to get the residents out of their dorms; as a commuter you will have to put the effort into going to events and getting involved with things to make those connections.

cwilbur's avatar

Part of the point of going away to college is learning how to live on your own without having your parents breathing down your neck all the time. The college environment is set up so that you can screw up and there will be people there to catch you; the real world is not so forgiving.

There is no way I would have lived at home for college. Every single person I know who did that is still living at home—and we’re talking 30somethings in their parents’ basement. You have to cut the apron strings sometime; doing it when you go to college is not that much more expensive than doing it afterwards, and will be a heck of a lot easier.

Jeruba's avatar

Being somewhat on your own but in a supported situation (such as on campus) is a valuable transitional step. It is hard to change the level of responsibility you take for yourself and the level of freedom you enjoy while you are still living with your parents. Is there any solution to the parking problem, which seems to be the key? What if you looked for a job closer to campus, or at least on the bus line?

clairedete's avatar

FYI: I am living on campus this year in a traditional residence hall. So I wouldn’t be continuing to live at home next year. Rather, I would be moving BACK home after living away for a year.

Jeruba's avatar

Moving back is not easy to do.

Darwin's avatar

I would live at home to save the money and for the convenience of having the car handy, especially since you have already experienced the residence hall bit so you know what you are giving up (or avoiding, like the Stones played really loud at 2 am every single night).

However, rather than coming home after class I might plan a full day at school, doing homework in the library rather than trying to do it at home unproductively and staying for club meetings or campus events. Treat it as a job in that you leave the house in the morning, spend all day at school, studying, learning and socializing, and sometimes the evenings, and then go home to sleep, eat, do laundry, and see the BF.

To meet new people, try inviting interesting seeming folks to go to the Student Union with you for a coffee or lunch, join a club or two, or just chat with friendly looking folks on campus and see what happens. That is pretty much what you would do if you lived on campus anyway, except for the whole hanging out in the dorm lobby because your bored thing.

Doing laundry at home instead of in the dorms would be worth it to me!

flameboi's avatar

Stay home

DandyDear711's avatar

I am so excited you are going to UMN – I was wondering if you got in! My daughter (and I) would say live on campus because it makes for a better college experience – I think you will make many more friends on or near campus. I give my daughter about $860/month for food and rent. Car gets parked on the street. She lives in an expense but very safe and nice building on a bus route to UMN. 4 person, 4 bedroom, 2 bath apartment. She is sooo happy she has her own room this year. Last “spring” we paid for the car to be parked on campus in a covered lot. That worked really well. With regards to making friends, she joined a club related to career goals and has made some nice friends. BTW – my daughter (just turned 19) expects never to move home again…

gooch's avatar

Another vote for home. If home is bad think of it as a job like investment in your future.

marinelife's avatar

Campus, campus, campus. You can never grow up and grow away until you leave home.

shadow1716's avatar

Which one? UMD living on or extremely close to campus is a must same with UMF, but UMTC is optional. I goto UMD.

seeyou's avatar

of course home, when you grow up, you’ll leave home sooner or later

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