College Life

By Matthew Felsted

Living on Campus

Living on campus is a once in a lifetime opportunity and is a great way to fully immerse yourself in the heart of college life. Students that opt to live on campus reside in tightly clustered units called dormitories. Dormitories can either be same sex or coed. One of the greatest benefits of living in a coed dormitory is the social atmosphere. College dorms are typically the most friendly and social environments you may ever belong to. In fact, it's difficult not to make friends when living on campus. Dormitories usually come with everything you need to make your life comfortable, including, laundry, rec rooms, studios, computer labs, break rooms, air conditioning, internet, cable, etc. Every dorm room has an RA, residential assistant, that handles all issues in the dorms, including complaints, suggestions, questions, moving assistance, and more. residential assistants are made up of qualified college students doing the job for extra money. If you plan to live on campus, be sure to get your money's worth. Participate in dorm activities. Dorm activities consist of dances, casual sports games like soccer or volleyball, mingles, and other socials. Being engaged in campus events and other activities will help you make the most of your college experience.

So what should you expect to pay to live on campus?

The cost of living in dorms range anywhere from $3,000 to $5,000 per semester. In add ition to paying for the dorm room, you will likely also have to pay for a meal plan. As a freshman or sophomore you may be required as a condition of living on campus. The price of food at the college dormitory cafeterias is expensive relative to the quality of the food served. The cafeterias are set up as buffet style food bars abundant with pizza, albeit stale, salads, breakfast food, and other bland foods. They may charge you $7-$15 per meal, and if you miss a meal, you cannot get a refund. Be aware of the hours of each meal so you don't miss an expensive meal (you'll have to pay for it regardless).

Living off Campus

If you plan on living off campus, I'd recommend living within walking distance. There are numerous benefits to having a close proximity to the campus. For starters, if you don't have a car, or even if you do have a car, you'll always be able to make it to school regardless of whether or not your car is working. Second, you'll save money from reduced gasoline consumption. Third, you'll improve your fitness by walking to and from campus everyday. The daily exercise will help you lose weight. I can't tell you how many students get messed up after driving all the way to campus only to discover there are no available parking spots. High demand for parking spots on campus easily add 10-30 minutes of wasted time on a busy day. No parking zones on roads adjacent to campus is no help either. That's why it's always better to live close to campus, but if you can't live close to campus, try living close to tram service.

Saving money in college

  • Get a roommate
  • Live as close to campus as possible
  • Buy used textbooks online
  • Sell your textbooks when the semester is over
  • Get a free phone: voip phone systems
  • Get a prepaid cell phone
  • Set up a bank account for college
  • Get a nice set of wheels on the cheap: car buying guide
  • Apply for financial aid and sholarships
  • Study and get good grades; poor academic performance is often punished with academic probation, which often causes students to be ineligible for certain grants and other forms of funding.
Remember: Pizza is not breakfast
Unless you're a college student living in the dorms.

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