The down low on campus dorms

Allison Pritchard

Welcome back to Kent State for winter semester part two – sorry, I mean spring semester.

For my first column, I wanted to do something delightfully controversial and witty, but I don’t have the energy. I’m also afraid to push the envelope after the whole over-dramatic-like-someone-murdered-someone Aman Ali incident. This pseudo-winter rain thing isn’t the best weather either, and I’m still a little bitter about the new plus/minus system. So, as an experienced college junior, and with housing assignment decisions only a week away, I’m going to give you the skinny on living in a residence hall or off campus – mostly for the informational purposes of the young’uns out there.

Residence halls (or “dorms” to the average Joe) can be summarized in one word: convenient. For a little more dough, regular pain-staking tasks are avoided. You won’t have to walk as far to get to class. A resident assistant is there when you have some mildly brain-dead, freshman-like question. Plus, it can’t hurt to have warm food available within walking distance. Unlike in apartments, you won’t have worry about cleaning a roommate’s smears on the bottom of the toilet bowl. And if you live in the “rich dorms,” you’ll only share a bathroom with a few people. Roommate disputes over electric bills are nonexistent because electric, cable, phone and Internet services are included. Residence hall living also makes it much easier to meet your hot next door neighbors.

On the down side, residence halls are limiting. Depending on your RA, you may or may not get away with partying in the dorms (if that is something you aspire to do). I’ve had an RA who yelled at me for talking at a natural level to another girl in the bathroom, and one who was known to smoke with the residents in their bathrooms. It’s a mixed bag. Parking also can be a bitch. Even as a junior, half the time I’m parked near the far-off Honors College, while the commuter students can park right outside my door.

Kent State requires students to live on campus through their sophomore year under normal circumstances. Naturally, once the residence hall sentence is over, juniors often count down the days until they can move into their first apartment. Apartments are usually cheaper than dorms and have more space. They allow for more of an independent lifestyle. There is no security, no one watching over you and fewer restrictions about burning candles. Depending on the specific complex, you may have to be aware of maintenance issues or problematic neighbors. The biggest downfall with apartments is the distance factor. I would suggest taking the bus.

I recommend living on campus for sheer convenience. Call me lazy, but I’d call myself smart. I can get to some of my classes in less than two minutes. I don’t have to worry about splitting up various bills. No moving in furniture either. Face it. No matter where a student chooses to live, it will never be the “real world.” College is a playland. You might as well live it up.

Allison Pritchard is a junior electronic media production major and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].