Housing at a Glance: Apartment or Dorm?

by Erin Collins

When housing lottery results arrive, some freshmen will get numbers good enough to get an apartment. Those of you without that option should also know that the waitlist moves quickly with juniors finding out about study abroad, so this choice may very well affect you as well. Coming from the tiny Freshman dorm rooms makes the choice appear easy – who wouldn’t want to upgrade to an apartment? But remember, it is important to weight the pros and cons of dorm and apartment living. So, today’s 4E Housing at a Glance is here to help you make this crucial decision.

Last week we went over the best and worst of housing options for Sophomore year, and this week we have a couple of questions to consider when making your choice between an apartment and another year in the dorms:

Ready to give up dorm life? Moving into an apartment means the end of dorm floors and common rooms. You’ll spend the majority of your time in an apartment with your direct roommates rather than the other people living on your floor in a dorm. However, apartment life likely also means fewer distractions, so you can do more schoolwork at home instead of at Lau.

Private Bathroom? For current Darnall, New South and Harbin residents, it’s likely that nothing seems better than having a private bathroom. Avoiding the frequent hallway walk to the bathroom each day is definitely a welcomed change. Also, this means no more shower caddies or waiting in line for showers. But don’t forget that having a private bathroom means keeping it clean as well as buying bathroom necessities like toilet paper and hand soap that are provided in a dorm.

To Cook or Not to Cook? Do you plan on maintaining a Leo’s Meal Plan for next year? Or would you rather cook for yourself? Apartments are great for those who would like to frequently use the kitchen, while dorm common rooms hardly cut it for meal preparation. Grocery shopping becomes much more of a necessity when living in an apartment, so you decide if that is a negative or a positive. Overall, if you want to cook and bake, apartments are the way to go.

Hosting Parties? Hosting parties in the confined space of a dorm room can be tiring and you may look to apartments as the solution to the problem. Apartments do tend to mean less direct attention from RAs (as long as the noise level stays down), so throwing parties seems more plausible. However, without a roommate who’s 21, you won’t be able to register a party. This limits the size and noise you can make on the weekends. With a dorm, you enjoy the leisure of attending the parties without the pressure of having to throw one.

Big or Small Bedroom? You make a compromise when you move into an apartment: more living space in an apartment means smaller bedrooms than the sophomore dorm rooms. An apartment comes with a living room and eating area, which means more communal space, while a dorm room allots more space to the bedroom itself. So it’s important to consider whether you prefer the bigger living space, or the bigger bedroom.

Photo: georgetown.edu

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