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Commuting vs. Dorming
College can be a stressful time for many people, especially that first year. You're meeting new friends, learning new things, adjusting to a totally different environment, not to mention the amount of money you have to pay, borrow, and someday pay off! There are so many things to consider when it comes to cost, which everyone tries to keep as low as possible. One of the things you will need to consider is whether to dorm or commute. So, how do you choose?
Commuting: Some Things to Consider
1. Commuting always costs a lot less than dorming, so if money is an issue and you live close enough, commuting is the way to go!
2. If you commute, obviously you get to live at home. Your own bedroom, your own bathroom, and your own shower that you don't have to share, plus home cooked meals, and so on.
BUT - you will miss out on that first "living on your own" experience, which can be fun and exciting.
3. As a commuter, you may also miss out on some fun dorm activities, although most colleges invite their commuters to stay for some fun throughout the campus. Just because you commute, does not mean the campus isn't yours as well.
DON'T pass up any opportunity to spend some time around campus outside of class. You don't have to be an outsider. You will meet other people who dorm in your classes whom you can hang out with outside of class.
4. However, consider the commute itself. It's best, as a commuter, to have a part-time job to keep a steady income. This will pay for the gas you will need to commute to class and back. Plus, if you're really far away, you should consider a part-time job to give you some extra cash - and you will need a car to get there!
Dorming: Some Things to Consider
1. You will finally get to be out of the house and on your own! Can you handle the challenge? You will have responsibilities for yourself, your health, and your work.
2. Remember - dorming is more expensive! If you live far from college but can't afford the extra money, consider going somewhere closer and transferring later if you want to.
3. Dorming will save you a lot in gas money and other car expenses. Dorming is also good if you don't have a car yet. But consider saving up for a car - it's good to have for jobs and even when you need to go home quickly and no one can pick you up.
4. You will have a roommate which can equal an instant friendship! Plus, you will gain that "on-your-own" experience.
If you have already completed a year or two in college, consider, if possible, switching from being a dormer to being a commuter, or vice versa. I spent my entire first year dorming, which I loved! But things have changed quickly over the summer. My roommate lives with her boyfriend and plans on commuting. I don't think it would be the same having to share a room with someone else. Plus, I live close enough, so I can commute. I've already had the dorming experience, and I can have it again if I choose, but this year I'm going to try the commuting route.
If possible, I do suggest dorming for at least one year! It's truly a great experience and can be totally worthwhile, as long as you don't let it get to your head and can focus on the work load!
And if you decide you don't like it, it's not hard to switch. I signed up for my second year dorming, then decided to change halfway through the summer. Just talk to someone at the business office - they're usually around all summer to help you out!