The 1st Choice of The “Best” Years of Our Lives

Let’s play a game of “Would You Rather?”; would you rather live on your own and pay electricity, water, and Wi-Fi bills, or share a space with a roommate — even if a bit cramped? The big question is, where do we live for the next few years of our academic careers, if we choose not to live with our family? Living in an apartment versus living in the university dormitory is a decision most freshmen must face. And as one who got to experience both, I’ve weighed the pros and cons of each, so that you don’t have to.

Stepping into a tiny dormitory and finding a stranger in there may give you the jitters so consider yourself lucky if you’re “rooming” with a friend. “Living in an apartment, I would say is more private and more comfortable,” Shehab Hegazi, a 21-year-old computer engineering student, told the MBRSC Post. “In the dorms, you don’t have enough privacy like sometimes if you want to sleep while your roommate is awake; you have to agree on a lot of things.”

Unfortunately, not all basic dormitories have kitchenettes within the room, therefore, the communal kitchen may be your only choice. “I prefer the apartment way more than dorms. I got my own kitchen and washing machine which are kept clean and not used by everyone,” Youssef Shaaban, a 21-year-old mechanical engineering student at Heriot Watt University, told the MBRSC Post.

Renting an apartment outside the university campus is a commitment – you have bills to pay and unlike dorms, no one will come and clean the place for you once a week. You have to find the time to do it yourself, or pay for that service. However, consider yourself lucky if you have flat-mates who’ll share the burden of those bills because in dormitories, it’s a fee, paid only once at the beginning of each semester. If the place is far from campus, be prepared to add transportation to your ledger.

Now for some pros to lighten up the mood: dorms, if not already on campus, provide transportation to, and from the university. They’re practical if you’ve just moved to a new city or country. “Living in dorms is very beneficial for students. We don’t have to wake up earlier for classes. We don’t have to worry about transportation. You are closer to your friends. It’s better for a social life,” Hegazi said.

If you’ve always cherished your own space, apartments may be more suitable. “I enjoy having my own privacy and I’d rather be fully dependent on myself even when it comes to simple home chores,” Sarah Abdulghany, a 20-year-old civil engineering student at AUD, told the MBRSC Post. Living on campus may make you feel like you’re stuck at university all the time, hence living a little far away, will eliminate that feeling. You’ll be able to relate to the saying don’t work where you sleep. “It can be a bit stressful to live in the same place where you take your classes. It’s like you don’t have a chance to disconnect,” Abdulghany said.

So, you may ask, what would the ideal situation be? Trying both out. Some universities in the United States encourage students to live on campus during their first year of university just so they would experience living among other young adults. Moving to an apartment later on would be a choice you mah want to take for your own convenience. 

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Farah Makhlouf

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