Is there positives to not living in a dorm room freshman year? Is there negatives?

4 Answers
It depends on where you'll be living otherwise. If you're opting out of a dorm to live at home and commute, that's great in that it'll save you a lot of money. However, you'll miss out on some key bonding experiences by not living with your classmates. Don't think, however, that if you don't live in a dorm you won't be able to make friends. You'll still meet people in your classes, and you can make an extra effort to join extracurriculars in order to make new friends. If you're going to be living in an apartment instead of a dorm, I think that's a great compromise because you'll be able to live on your own and might actually learn to be more independent sooner than you would have by living in a dorm. You'll still have neighbors who you can reach out to, but you'll definitely have to make more of an effort to get to know them, as students in apartments typically aren't as proactive as they are in dorms when it comes to meeting new people.
The pros and cons listed by other folks are definitely true, but I want to really really stress the importance of community-building in college, which is most easily begun by living in the residence halls (dorms) in your first couple years. While there are some logistical inconveniences (potentially, only if you're super bothered by sharing a bathroom or living among lots of people), the positives far outweigh the negatives, in my experience. Living in the dorms means you always have someone to hang out with, if your floor is close-knit like mine was. My floor was a themed floor around nonviolent communication (NVC), too, so all my hall mates were in a 1-unit class on NVC for our first quarter. We all hung out together, went downtown as a group, and held movie nights together. My floor mates put together a birthday celebration for me, and we did so for other floor mates too. There are so many experiences you miss if you live away from the dorms in the first couple years of college, and these experiences were the foundation on which I was able to build my sense of self/identity. I'd highly advise against not living in dorms for a little bit, unless you're okay with it being much more difficult to recreate the same sense of community support.
Pros: no nasty roommates that are randomly assigned to you; no communal bathrooms/showers that are always clogged/ no ding hall food that makes you gain the freshman 15
Cons: no awkward encounters that lead to friendships.
Honestly, most people hate the act of living in the dorms, but the friends you make and the stories you acquire during your stay will make it worth it. One of my friends who moved away for college opted out of the dorm situation and had a really hard time making friends after that, since she didn't randomly run in to people on her way to the bathroom, or tag along with random people on her hall heading to the DH. In my personal opinion, it is worth toughing it out!! Even if you end up with bad roommates, you'll end up with some pretty great stories to tell later on (the writer in me always looks for different ways to spin a situation).
As with anything, there are pros and cons. The pros of not living in a dorm your freshman year are that you may have your own bedroom, which means more privacy. You could also be saving money by living in an apartment off campus instead of a dormitory on campus and get more for your dollar.
However, the cons of not living in a dorm freshman year can impact the rest of your social life during college. Most people will meet their first friends in their dorm during college. You can either love or hate your roommate, but you will always have roommate stories to tell. I think it's important for freshmen to live in a dorm because it adds to a full college experience.

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