Dorms or Houses?

After living in three different dorms and over ten different houses, I can easily identify the differences and similarities between houses and dorm rooms. When examined carefully, there are several positive attributes for both living arrangements. Many people do not agree on which attributes are more important. Because of this fact, it may be hard to choose one option over the other. What we all can agree upon, however, is that living in a dormitory is much different from living in a house with or without your parents. House and dorm life options vary in cost, size, roommate situations, and accessibility to bathroom and eating facilities.

Living at home could potentially be less or more expensive than living on campus. If you are renting or buying a house, you could pay $500-1000 each month including basic utilities, depending on the house. By contrast, if you live at your parents’ house, you will most likely not have to pay any rent. Dorm rooms, however, cost approximately $4000 each semester, or $800 each month including utilities.

Size is another big issue in deciding living arrangements. The size can refer to the entire building or just the rooms, but most focus on the size of the rooms. Most people will agree that the rooms in a house are much larger than rooms in a dorm building. Most bedrooms in houses are about fourteen feet wide and sixteen feet long and are used by only one to two people. Dorm rooms, however, are typically fourteen feet wide and seventeen feet long but are shared by two to four people. As you can see, the size of the room may be the same or similar, but the space that can be used by each person is vastly different.

Another difference between houses and dorms is the roommate situation. In most houses, you will likely have your own room or share a room with only one person. In a dorm room, however, you could have your own room or could share a room with up to four people. Another roommate concern is the ability to choose your own roommate. In a house, you will likely be able to choose whom you live with. In a dormitory, you may or may not be able to choose your roommate depending on the school’s policy.

The final difference between living in a house and living in a dorm is the accessibility to bathroom and eating facilities. In a house, these facilities are usually conveniently located. Both bathrooms and the kitchen or dining room are within fifteen feet of the bedroom in most houses. In a dormitory, however, the bathrooms could be located in your room, close to your room, or on the opposite side of the building from your room. In addition, a kitchen may or may not be available in the dorm building and the dining center could be up to a mile away.

Cost, size, roommate situations, and facility accessibility are all examples of differences between staying in dorm rooms and living in a house. As I have shown, these two living options are dissimilar in these many ways. Although we may like one characteristic more or less than another in these options, we must consider all before deciding to live in the house or the dormitory. As I said before, I have lived in many different places and can point out the differences and similarities. It may be hard to make your decision; nevertheless, you must make your decision.

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