Brase: Apartment living gives students more adult-life experience

Haley Brase

Housing is a huge battle college students face, and, with growing enrollment numbers, it’s a decision that is having to be made earlier. 

It’s especially important for freshmen looking ahead to their sophomore year because the question of to reside in the dorms has pros and cons. When looking at the numbers, living in an apartment is the smartest move. 

In most cases, it is better for freshmen to live in the dorms. Sharing a cramped dorm room with someone tests patience. It is also comforting to enter freshman year with a built-in buddy.

Having buffet access via a meal plan, meeting new people in your building and living 10 minutes from any of your classes has its perks. That is until you realize how much those meal bundles and tiny dorms actually cost.

After living in a dorm room for a year and eating the dining center food, trust me, it will get old. Apartment living is a luxury.

A student spends about $8,000 for room and board, according to the Office of Student Financial Aid. You could instead find an apartment off campus that could be as cheap as $4,000 to rent for an entire year.

Location and amenities offered by the apartment will of course be linked to how much rent and utilities cost. I can safely say as a student it is cheaper in the long run to live in an apartment than on campus. 

Students who eat at the campus dining centers spend at most $3,000 to $4,000 on their meals per year, according to ISU Dining.

Making your own meals and buying groceries as an apartment resident will teach you how to budget, make food that is healthier and tastier than dining center options and ultimately demonstrate how to start living as an adult. It is cheaper than $4,000.

I liked living on campus because of the cliché reason — making new friends — but I also liked living close to different social activities I took part in on campus.

Living off campus means either taking CyRide or driving your car to the commuter lot, which can be a bit annoying.

CyRide has 93 buses, driving about 6,619,182 people per year, according to CyRide’s website. It is easy to find CyRide bus routes using the MyState app, which makes the commute rather painless.

College is supposed to prepare students for the real world, and living in a dorm is living in a fantasy land. Starting to live as an adult as early as possible will make you better prepared for finding a place to live, commuting to a job, cooking your own meals and budgeting your money.

Sorry to break it to you, but the dining centers will not prepare food for you and CyRide will not cater to your need of transportation once you graduate, unless you choose to live in Ames.

Do not act like an adult; be an adult.