If the current state of dorm life has you thinking that the situation might be less than ideal, you are not alone. With cramped quarters, little to no privacy, and a luck-of-the-draw living companion, there are plenty of reasons why dormitories give some students pause. That being said, there is also the fear of missing out on a typical college experience that some believe the dorm to be a crucial component of. Maybe there is a way you can have the best of both worlds though.
With luxury student rentals becoming a popular alternative to the dorm experience, let’s take a look at some of the disadvantages of living in a dorm and the more favourable options available:
Disadvantage #1: So many distractions
One of the obvious disadvantages of living in a dorm is the distractions, especially when you are studying. Although it’s hard to understate the important social role that college plays for many young people, it is also worth remembering that the real reason these institutions exist are for learning.
In an environment where there are basically 24/7 distractions, it becomes nearly impossible for some students to concentrate on their studies or get proper rest. This can, of course, contribute to bad grades, but can even lead to depression and other mental health concerns.
Disadvantage #2: Dorm noise
This could be lumped into the section above but probably deserves a separate mention just due to how pervasive the problem can be. Dorms tend to noisy pretty much all the time. Not only does this make life hard for light sleepers, it also contributes to a general sense of chaos and unrest.
Disadvantage #3: No privacy
Depending on the student’s living situation prior to heading off to the brave new world of the university, this aspect of dorm life can cause some serious problems. Most dorms simply don’t provide any possibility for a person to be alone and this causes a lot of stress for some young people.
An alternative like student apartments provide privacy without isolation. For a person who derives a lot of comfort from being able to close the door to their private room at the end of the long day, this difference could be a determining factor of whether or not they find success at university.
Disadvantage #4: Small living quarters
When it comes to jockeying for space and personal items, there are few situations more challenging than a dormitory. In addition to sharing everything from a shower, toilet, desk, and eating space, dorms tend to have little to no storage for personal items and belongings. Add in the fact that you could end up living with someone who has very different notions about the importance of personal space or housekeeping, and it is easy to see why some find dorm living very difficult.
Disadvantage #5: A lack of control
Despite the fact that the whole purpose of college is to educate students and prepare them for adult life, sometimes the dorm experience can end up having a detrimental effect. Unlike living in an independent student apartment, dorms offer little opportunity for a person to exert control over their environment and get used to duties like cleaning, cooking, and basic household management tasks.
As a result of the fact that they need to enact policy which suits a large group of people from different household and cultural backgrounds, college dorms tend to exert a lot of control over how people students live and how things operate. In an apartment, students are subject to fewer restrictions and have the chance to establish habits and learn skills that will serve them later in life.
Disadvantage #6: The issues of food
Speaking of learning skills and having control, one aspect of dorm living that causes people a lot of anxiety is having so little say in the food they have access to. Especially if dietary restrictions are at play, or the person comes a different ethnic background, the inability to cook or prepare one’s own meals can be challenging.
Of course, living independently also offers a chance to learn the important skill of cooking. More than a few college graduates walk away from their dorm experience proudly declaring that cereal and toast are the only recipes in their repertoire. Although this may be funny for a while, it will soon become apparent that that isn’t the diet needed to thrive in the outside world.
Disadvantage #7: Dorm closure
Depending on the institution in question, some dorms close over breaks, holidays, or due to public health emergencies. This can leave students who are far away from home in a very stressful and precarious position. A student apartment, on the other hand, provides a more stable living situation that offers continuity throughout the year. This gives students more flexibility to take summer classes or use their breaks to study.
It also means they will never find themselves in the situation of having left an important personal item or textbook in a dorm room that is closed off to them for the next three weeks.