Dorms vs. Off Campus Living

The thought of moving into a strange building and sharing a tiny room with a possible stranger can be very daunting for many people but is living off campus really any better? There are 14 dorms on the main campus.  Entering freshmen are required to live in a dorm, unless they want to live at home and their home is a “commutable distance.” Living in a dormitory on the University of North Texas campus has its pros and cons.

   “I actually have freedom in my apartment,” junior Robin Beimler said. “There were so many weird rules in the dorm that I did not want to follow.”

Beimler lived in Clark Hall during the 2014-2015 school year.  She thought of it like a prison, complaining that everything was white and no one was friendly.  Beimler said that out of all of the great things that came from moving into an apartment, the best had to be getting a cat.

UNT junior Jessica Baeza commuted to school for her first two years but says she regrets not living in a dorm for at least one year.  She said that the best part about living at home with her parents was the money she saved by not paying any bills or room and board.  She said that if she had the opportunity to go back in time, she would definitely choose to live on campus.

“I hear the stories that my roommates have about meeting new people [in the dorms] and staying friends with them, and I really think I missed out on that,” Baeza said.

Sophomore Crista Brock lived in Bruce Hall her freshman year and then moved into College Inn last fall.  She said that she knew that she was not ready to live in anywhere off of campus; so moving into College Inn was her best choice for this year.  Brock said that she definitely misses the family atmosphere that Bruce Hall had, but the thing she misses the most is surprising, she misses the communal bathrooms that were in Bruce because of the multiple showers and toilets. In College Inn, she has to share one bathroom with three other girls.

“College Inn is more like an apartment because there is no [Residence Assistant] checking on you every hour,” Brock said.  “There is so much more independence.”

During his freshman year at UNT, John Hoover also lived in Bruce Hall.  He took a break from school this year, but next year Hoover will be returning to Denton.  He plans to live a house with two friends who also attend UNT.  Like Brock, Hoover misses the community aspect that comes with living in a dorm. He explained that the people he knew did truly care about him.  If anything were bothering him, he would have countless people to talk to.

“I did get yanked into a lot of drama that I couldn’t really avoid,” Hoover said when asked if there were any negative aspects of being in that tight knit of a community.

While living in a dorm may not always be the most pleasant place to live, it is definitely something that is important to the general college experience; however, in an apartment or house off of campus, you can act more independently, which most people prefer.

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