Should I Live Alone? Or Live With A Roommate?

When you are moving into university there are a few options you can take:

Each one has its pros and cons and I will go into a few points for each of them.

Moving In A Single Apartment

When you live by yourself you are in complete control of your surroundings, and you don’t have to worry about bothering anyone else with your bad habits.  The only problem with living alone is that it can be lonely, and it’s tough to cook for yourself.  It can cost more than the other options, but sometimes privacy is worth it.  If you are moving away for the first time, living alone can be hard on someone trying to adapt to a new environment.

Moving In With Family

This option is not too bad if you have awesome family to move in with, they will charge minimal rent, if any at all, and you will be part of their family while attending your classes.  The only problem with this one is that you can’t really host any parties which could be plus if you hate cleaning up after them.  This scenario usually ends up really good or really bad, sometimes its hard to deal with family members if issues arise, but it is nice to have the support that sometimes only family can provide.

Moving In With Friends

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Sometimes its better to move in with complete strangers than it is to move in with friends.  By the end of the year you end up at each other’s throats and it can get pretty messy.  In my last 2 years I ended up living with someone I knew of, but knew nothing other than the fact that he was quiet and was from a farm.  I lived with him for 2 years and my biggest problem with him was that occassionally he would accidently melt something on the hotplate.  Other than that things were peachy.  Most people I know, that move in with their high school friends usually aren’t friends by the end of the year.  With that said though, people who become friends in residence usually live together just fine when they get a house or apartment.  Splitting the rent between a few people is nice and this will be a cheap option for the freedom that you will get.  I would definitely not recommend living with your best friend.  If things go bad, than you lose a best friend.  If things go bad with a stranger, than you lose … someone who you don’t care to see ever again.

Moving Into Residence

Cost can be pricy, privacy can be an issue depending on your residence, but it’s a blast and I think that it should be mandatory for first year students to live in residence.  Simply for the fact that its a great way to learn how to network, as well as learn many life skills that you don’t learn in the classroom.  Living in residence with other students or people from all walks of life can even help teach you how to be a social worker through learning to navigate relationships and experiences.With my time on campus I can say that I have learned more out of the classroom than inside, and I have applied that knowledge more often in my life than anything out of a textbook.  For the people reading this that have their degree or diploma, do you use any classroom-specific skills at your workplace?

Staying At Home With The Parents

Definately the cheapest option, of course you don’t have the privacy or the freedom that you could have, but the price is right.  It is nice becasue you can keep your school life separate from your private life and you can sneak away to study.  It also makes things less overwhelming when you go to a different school.  Many people have trouble adapting to a new change such as a differnt school so living at home can make that transition that much easier in this regard.

Buying a Home

Buying a home can be beneficial if you’re going to be going to school for a while.  If you can find some buddies to live with they can make the mortgage payments and you can be the manager of the place.

My Two Cents:

If you are moving away from home to university, live in residence, even if it’s for only a year.  From there, you can meet new people and get help whenever you need it.  After your first year you can choose to live by yourself, or move in with a few people you have met from residence.  That way, you are already familiar with the city/school and you will have less on your plate to feel overwhelmed about.

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Hunter @Mapblog
12 years ago

When I go to college I’m either going to live on campus or with a roommate. I would like to get the whole college experience.

12 years ago

Thanks for dropping by Hunter! If you’re outgoing, I’d recommend residence, if you know which school you’re going to, call up the residence office and ask for a tour to feel it out. Keep in mind that its summer and the “community” of residence will be missing.

12 years ago

Having been through this, I would recommend that you live on campus the first year. You cannot replace the friends and connections you’ll make. Forget finances, it’s a no-brainer to do this.

Towards the end of the fist year, start recruiting your friends to live off-campus in a large space with the cheapest people per square feet as possible. This leads to cheap rates, as well as the most fun.

12 years ago

It’s all about living on campus, in student housing and PARTYING IT UP! Those where some of the funniest moments of my life hands down!

12 years ago

Now you went to school in the states where alcohol presumably wasn’t supposed to be in residence due to the higher drinking age (you can send a guy to war, vote for president, but can’t have a beer… interesting “free” country you guys have there ;) Imagine being able to to throw alcohol into the mix without having to hide it at all (we were often “sponsored” by beer companies and provided with large-scale samples).

The Wealthy Canadian
12 years ago

Having been through university, I have to say that living in residence/on campus for my first two years was an amazing experience. I met some great friends, many of which I still visit and hang out with today. It’s a great way to be around a lot of people who are going through the same thing. After a year or two, I was ready to move off campus with a couple of buddies (who I met in residence) and found this too to be a good experience as my studies became increasingly important. By the time I had finished my… Read more »

12 years ago

This sounds like the usual direction most students take. Residence is such a unique opportunity and lifestyle.

12 years ago

Great post! I’m linking it in my PF Blog love ;)

Good timing for September!

12 years ago

Thanks Y & T, we have noticed quite a few search engine hits on it!

12 years ago

When I was in first year, I didn’t live in residence, but I lived in a student co-op type building that was across the street from my school and very much live residence, only a cheaper option. Only students could live there (but from any school in the city), and it was apartment style, so I had like, six roommates. It was…AWFUL. Like, seriously nightmarish. My roommates were nuts, and I didn’t make any friends while living there. (Though I made plenty at school.) During second year I lived with my parents and commuted to save money, but it didn’t… Read more »

12 years ago
Reply to  Melissa

That’s too bad that you had such a negative experience Melissa. There is no doubt that when you put 6 people together who have never lived on there before, whose schedules, expectations, standards, and norms are completely different, there is going to be friction. When you add to it the shifting nature of people’s identities at that age it can make for a dramatic experience. That’s why I feel like residence is a great option. J.B. and I both had our own rooms in residence. They were very small, but they were our own space, and realistically I was only… Read more »

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