Not all campus housing is created equal, but there are some distinct advantages (and disadvantages) to each type. Which one is right for you depends entirely on your needs as a student . . . and as a roommate.

Dorms

Dorms are what you probably picture when you think about living on campus: bunk beds, band posters, and shower caddies. While dorms offer the most “typical” college experience for new students, they come with some pretty big drawbacks, too.

Pros

  • Low price. This is usually the most affordable option
  • On campus. You’re already close to your classes.
  • Community-focused. It’s easy to make friends; just walk to the nearest open door and introduce yourself.
  • Never dull. There are plenty of activities and events to take part in

Cons

  • Small. Dorms are often cramped.
  • More noise. Can be loud and crowded.
  • Little privacy. You might want to invest in a pair of shower shoes: you could be sharing a bathroom with your entire floor.

 
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Apartments

Some schools are getting away from the “dorm life” and are beginning to offer apartment-style student housing. These are a good middle ground between living in a dorm and trying to make your way in an apartment off campus.

Pros

  • Larger living spaces. Stretch your legs.
  • On or close to campus. Class is always just a short walk away.
  • Community-focused.
  • More privacy. You’re less likely to share a bathroom with a lot of people.

Cons

  • Higher price. More privacy than the dorms, but higher rent, too.
  • Can still be loud, especially during campus events

 
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Off-Campus

Though some colleges require incoming freshmen to live on campus for at least their first year, many students choose to find housing off-campus.

Pros

  • Most independence.
  • Most privacy. Tired of roommates? It’s much easier to find a room to yourself off campus.
  • Variety of locations. Do you want to live closer to school or to work? The decision is yours.

Cons

  • Potentially the most expensive option.Besides the costs for more space, you’re also responsible for utilities—electric, water, cable, Internet, etc.
  • All on you.
  • Farther from campus. It’s your call how close you are, but you could end up being miles away from campus.

With all that said, it’s usually a good idea to take advantage of living on campus for at least your first year. This will give you a chance to immerse yourself in campus life and make new friends. Plus, you’ll always be within walking distance of the library for those times when you suddenly remember you have a paper due at 8 a.m. the next day.

The original article was published here.