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Does living off/on campus really depend upon that students goals for and expectations about college life - Essay Example

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In weighing the costs and benefits of on-campus versus off-campus life, it does not seem as though one is better than the other is. However, clearly, there can be factors in individual cases that will change this conclusion, but there is no one best option. …
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Does living off/on campus really depend upon that students goals for and expectations about college life
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Outline I. Introduction II. Advantages of living on campus a. Accessibility/convenience b. Social connections III. Disadvantages of living on campusa. Limited space b. Lack of privacy IV. Advantages of living off campus a. Independence b. Extra space c. More privacy V. Disadvantages of living off campus a. Expensive i. Yearlong leases ii. Utilities and hidden costs b. Social isolation c. Inconvenience/distance VI. Conclusion The question of whether a college student will be best served living on- or off-campus really depends upon that student’s goals for and expectations about college life (UNI, 2011). Certainly, both alternatives have their advantages and disadvantages, but these pros and cons are altered dramatically when considered together with the individual in question. There are freedoms and responsibilities with both approaches and neither approach is an easy choice. Clearly, some students make this choice quite easily. This is because, considering many factors in their lives, one option is clearly better than the other is. Therefore, the following comparison and contrast works on the assumption that everything is equal: there are no special or unique factors pushing the student one way or the other. The following considers only the objective advantages and disadvantages of on- or off-campus housing. Depending on the particular psych-social needs of the incoming student, the decision to live either on- or off-campus is significant in determining the future performance and satisfaction of the student with his or her college experience. Living on-campus presents its relative advantages and disadvantages. Perhaps the most important advantage of this approach is the accessibility it gives the student to the school, whether it is one’s classes, the school’s resources like computer labs and libraries, or to faculty members and other students. Students that live on-campus easily walk to classes or any other destination on campus (DeSales, 2010). There is no waste of money driving, finding a parking space, and so on. This is especially true for students who live far away from campus and commuting would pose a special problem. Going along with this, living on-campus creates more opportunities for a better social life. Dorms allow people to network and make friends, which is an opportunity some otherwise would miss. This kind of on-campus environment might also help with grades, such that there are always other students around to help. Thirdly, the simplicity of on-campus life is apparent. Expenses are rolled into one rate, including meals, utilities, and rent. Unless the student is living with his or her parents, doing these things for an off-campus living arrangement can be confusing and time-consuming for the student. In addition, at some schools, students living on-campus have significantly better grades than other students do (UNI, 2011). The special drawbacks of on-campus housing include limited space and privacy. In a dorm, the rooms are usually constant in size. Students typically have to share a room with one or two other people, and conflicts arise because the rooms are small. Quiet time in the rooms is hard to come by and neighbors usually occupy the bathrooms. The limited space in dorm rooms means that students cannot bring everything they possibly might need and risk leaving something they might need later behind at home. Another risk of on-campus living in a dorm is academic underperformance. Obviously, life in the dorms is very active and grades might respond negatively to the time left not studying. If a person makes the unfortunate choice of playing video games or chatting with friends all of the time, then grades will suffer as a result. However, this result can be avoided with careful planning and a little will power (Kowsz, 2008). Off-campus living presents itself with its own special advantages and disadvantages as well. Certainly, the opportunity to live off-campus gives the college student a degree of independence. The person is not obligated to follow the rules and regulations of living in a dorm, operated by the school. Since these rules are created and enforced for the well-being of the community and not the happiness of the individual, one can escape these limitations and create rules of one’s own. Contrary to the situation in the dorms, off-campus life also gives the individual a large degree of privacy (CollegeBoard, 2011). This means having one’s own bedroom and/or bathroom to use. The extra space, unlike a dorm room, allows one to store more things for future use and to feel freer to move around. Lastly, the sense of responsibility that accompanies off-campus life follows from the independence one gains from being away from dorm-life. The complexities of handling bills, shopping, cooking, and cleaning come along with having one’s own residence come along with this (IU Bloomington, 2008). The disadvantage of off-campus housing is that often doing so is more expensive than opting for a dorm residence. Taking all of the necessary services apart (like rent, utilities, groceries, transportation, appliances, and so on) and paying them separately is probably more expensive than having one firm provide all of these services for one rate. A difficulty with yearlong leases is that for those students who do not take classes in the summer, they might need to find people who are willing to sublet the property. All of the materials necessary for having one’s own place (such as furniture) can add to the price as well. One potential hassle might be transportation, which might be inconvenient for those who live off-campus. Obviously, for those who live on the campus and can practically walk to classes, this is not a problem. Nevertheless, for commuters, transportation may be an issue. The reason that transportation is a problem is because the student is living farther away from the activity on campus. This might lead to the feeling of social isolation. Those who choose this option might feel as though they are not as involved as much in campus activities. This can lead to feelings of disconnection from one’s peers and general student body. In addition, one’s ability to make friends might suffer with the lost opportunities that students living on-campus readily have. In weighing the costs and benefits of on-campus versus off-campus life, it does not seem as though one is better than the other is. However, clearly, there can be factors in individual cases that will change this conclusion, but there is no one best option. It does seem as though, however, that off-campus life tends to emphasize individualism and independence while on-campus life tends to emphasize social connections and communal well-being. Off-campus life will prepare the student for a life of being responsible and dependable; on-campus life will help students make lifelong connections with other people and network with their peers. Like most everything in college, choosing a living situation is an instrumental piece in achieving what one wants to achieve from a higher-level education. References CollegeBoard. (2011). Thinking of Living Off Campus? Retrieved May 19, 2011, from CollegeBoard: DeSales. (2010). Benefits of Living On Campus. Retrieved May 19, 2011, from DeSales University Student Life: IU Bloomington. (2008). On- and Off-Campus Housing Options. Retrieved May 19, 2011, from Indiana University Office of International Services: Kowsz, S. (2008, March 19). To Be or Not To Be [Living on Campus]. Retrieved May 19, 2011, from Rochester Institute of Technology Residence Life: UNI. (2011, May 13). Top reasons for living on-campus! Retrieved May 19, 2011, from University of Northern Iowa Department of Residence: Read More
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