Living in university dormitories or apartments in the community?
I think it is better for college students to live on campus during their first two years, and then move into an apartment for off-campus life, while juniors and seniors need the independence of off-campus life. Student’s needs change over four years, so their housing should too.
Living on-campus makes it easier to get oriented to the way things are done. You get the whole university experience. Plus, you interact more with other students. This includes not only your roommates, but everyone in your dormitory. The older students in the dormitory can be a big help for the new students. Keeping up with studies in your first year is hard enough. You should not have to worry about finding your way around and figuring out the university bureaucracy.
Living in the dormitory also makes a student feel more a part of the university community. There are more opportunities for becoming involved in university activities and networking with students and university administration.
Living off-campus, however, is a definite advantage for older students. Finding an apartment, dealing with leases and the landlord's regulations, cooking meals, and figuring out budgets are all good practice for life after graduation. This kind of independence helps older students grow in adulthood.
Off-campus housing also gives students a better perspective on what is going on around them. Campus can be like little worlds of their own. There are few children or older people and everyone is focused on education. Getting to know neighbors who are not students is good for students coming from difference places. It is a chance to find out what other people think and feel.
I think a combination of two years on-campus and two years off-campus is a winning combination for most students.
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