Faceoff: Live on Campus or with parents?

Get out of your house

by Destinee Hughes

In high school, the only motivating force for me to beat “senioritis” was the reward of graduating, getting accepted into college and finally moving out my parents’ house. Oh, how I yearned for my freedom and independence. But it seems that many college students are actually trying to avoid what I wanted four years ago.

More and more college undergraduates are choosing to live at home with their parents while attending school and this is especially true at NSU. Living with your parents may have its benefits, such as hot meals and fresh laundry, but a full belly and a clean shirt aren’t going to teach a young adult the lessons essential to the real world. Going to college while living at home just seems like four extra years of high school; nothing changes, which defeats the whole purpose of the “college experience”. Living in a dorm gives students the opportunity to grow, make new friends, and learn how to get along with roommates, but most importantly, welcome independence into their lives.

I can understand why many students may be nervous about leaving their safe haven and facing the real world, but they should take comfort in the fact that they are not alone in their journey. Some young students still need a form of guidance in their lives. But if a parental figure is what you seek, then a Residential Assistant is what you will find. RAs are trained college students who supervise on campus living arrangements, and they specialize in making college dorms a safe and fun environment. Many students feel nervous about living on their own for the first time, and RAs are there to help.

Another factor which tends to steer students away from living on campus is the assumption that it cost billions of dollars. But according to NSU’s Office of Financial Aid, 95 percent of NSU students received some form of financial aid in 2012. This, in turn, helped lower the overall cost of tuition and room and board fees. Residence hall rooms are not as pricey as some students may think, and living at home until graduation can be quite pricey for parents. Just because a parent’s funds don’t necessarily go directly to room and board, there are many other expenses — include bills for food, utilities and entertainment — required to create a comfortable living arrangement for a student.

The most important reason of all to live on-campus is indepedence. The maturity you will have gained by graduation is incomparable to the dependence you show while at home. Worrying about curfews, having friends over to party or the other incessant rules parents may enforce don’t exist in a residence hall.

Living on campus not only helps you learn a lot about yourself but it allows you to show your parents that you are able to apply the life lessons that they have taught you. Consider living in a dorm as gift to yourself; after all, you can’t spell “Freedom” without the letters “D-O-R-M”.

Commuting saves money

by Stephen Rafferty

College is an opportunity to be successful and learn to make a difference in the world, whether you are living on campus or off. There are benefits to living in a residence hall but living at home with you parents can benefit students tremendously in many ways.

A college education is painfully expensive and living on campus increases the cost. While living at home with family, many students — if not most — don’t pay for utilities, food and furniture on their own because there is a shared family income. There is a saying about money: it is not about how much money people make, but how much money people save. Paying for a room on campus doesn’t follow that advice.

Commuter students can save their money for things that further their interests and passions, instead of spending their last dimes on necessities. Also, your room at home is already decorated to your liking. Plus, the sanctity of comfort, a loving family and fewer distractions is priceless.

The desire for the college social experience is a huge reason students choose to live on campus. But we live in a technological era, so there is no need to be on campus 24/7 in order to connect with others. Social media allows college students to join clubs, learn about events and, most importantly, make new friends.

NSU creates ways for commuter students to make social connections between and after classes, so those who want more than virtual company can still socialize with people on campus at games, rallies, meetings and other campus events. The possibilities for getting involved with the NSU community and making long-lasting friendships are endless, whether you are a residential or commuter student.
I am a commuter freshman, and I don’t feel a desire to live on campus. I still meet new people everyday, and living at home lets me escape the stresses of college at the end of the day. Commuters like me can leave campus to relax and unwind, wherever and whenever they want.

College is designed for students to have unforgettable experiences, but if you’re broke, you can save money while still obtaining that social experience. You can enjoy the ride with the people around you, earn your degree and get your career started, all while saving money, living comfortably and avoiding hassles.

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