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Choosing your accommodation in your first and second year of college
Starting college marks an exciting milestone as teens are coming of age. Many changes are waiting as they begin taking classes on campus. One of the first questions that must be answered is where will the student live during the first two years of college? Several options are usually available for consideration based on the student’s lifestyle preference and financial resources.
First-year college students often prefer to live on campus in an affordable campus dormitory. Being able to walk or bike to class or take the campus shuttle means they may not need a car on campus. Some colleges prohibit vehicles during the first year of dorm living. Sharing a dormitory room with another student provides the opportunity to get acquainted with another beginning student with whom to share campus interests and homework tips as well as occasional social activities. A residence hall offers an introductory transition to young adulthood and living away from home with campus support.
Sometimes an efficiency apartment on campus or in the nearby community seems to offer more privacy and independence than a dorm. With added amenities and a larger living area, students learn how to pick up after themselves and keep their apartment tidy and clean. Some students share multi-bedroom apartments with roommates, which is similar to dorm living, but it can be harder to collect rent from roommates on time and keep up with utilities unless everyone cooperates. An apartment typically offers more freedom for social activities and guests than a dorm room, and students can keep a vehicle at their lodging if they choose to. However, utilities can mount quickly, especially during the winter, and food costs should be factored into the monthly budget. Without house rules like those in a dormitory, roommates have to learn to get along and respect each other’s areas in the apartment.
Live With Relatives or Friends
Families with college-age students may encourage them to stay the first year or two of college with well-known family friends or relatives. This option lets students enjoy the comforts and support of family-style living while starting to live more independently and complying with the household rules. Students who go this route usually do so to attend the college of their choice where dorm living is pricey, and local housing might not be readily available. They may also appreciate the security of living with people they know until they become accustomed to college life.
Stay Home with Family
Continuing to live at home with their family enables many students to save money on accommodations when starting college. They can also use amenities like laundry facilities, home cooking, and a personal bedroom that doesn’t have to be shared. Parents can also share friendly advice, wanted or otherwise, that might come in handy. They also may be willing to cover the mobile phone bill and car insurance while their son or daughter is living under the roof and in college.
Students who are starting college have several housing choices to consider. Much depends on their finances and lifestyle choices. After the first two years of college, most students live away from campus in in personal housing. It’s good to know there is more than one option for new students as they begin their college career.
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