So, I thought that since I had a whole post up yesterday about finding an off-campus apartment, I should at least try and be fair and write up some suggestions for finding/ living in the dorms.
The big question is should you dorm or not? I always suggest that, if you can, you should live in a dorm your freshman year (at least). I can say most of my closest friends are friends I met through my dorming experience, and it offers a great way to ease into a semi-independant life.
The first thing you need to decide is what type of dorm you want to live in.
There are two general types of dorms available across the US, actually three. Each of them has pros and cons, so I will go through each of the three
The most common, and stereotypical, type of dorm, the “traditional” dorm room is little more then a bedroom you share with a roommate. The main pro of the “traditional” styled dorm room is that they often, due to the shared bathroom/ relaxation areas, are more social. The obvious downside is that you share a bathroom with the entire floor/wing of your dorm, and rely on the college’s cleaning staff to keep it clean. They are also, generally, the cheapest option, so you are counting your pennies it might be a good fit.
A Suite-Style dorm normally has two (or more) rooms attached to a bathroom. The main benefit of a suite-styled dorm is the (comparative) privacy offered by having your own bathroom, but (in general) suite-style dorms tend to be less social as students tend to stick inside their rooms more. Furthermore, while having your own bathroom might sound like a walk in the park, you have to remember that that bathroom will only stay as clean/well stocked as you make it. Suite-style dorms can be a bit more expensive then traditional dorms, and you still have to deal with roommates (3 + of them!).
The apartment-Style dorm is the rarest, and most expensive option. Generally reserved for upperclassmen, but sometimes offered to freshmen, it is the equivalent to a small apartment. It offers more space, but often is lacking in terms of social interaction to to the 100% self-contained nature of each unit. In some, you will have to share a room, but it is also not unheard of for (at least) some apartments featuring single-person rooms, so it can be great if you don’t want to have to share a bedroom.
(To Be Continued…)