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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » The Randoms » College Life

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Author Topic: College Life
Member # 27855

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Although I have three more years to go before entering college, I've been thinking about it a lot lately. I plan on attending my local university (of course I may always change my mind), and when I told my parent's of this, they said I should stay at home if I do. I plan to get a job once I get my license and stow my pay away for college. I would like to experience life on my own, even if it is in a crappy apartment (this gal doesn't need much), especially since the price of housing on this campus is ridiculously high. However, perhaps a dorm would be easier. So this got me wondering, how was the transaction from high school to college like for you? Did you move away? If you didn't, did you stay at home for awhile or did you live on your own/in a dorm? Do you wish you could have done things differently?

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Posts: 107 | From: United States | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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I chose to stay home for my college years. One of my best friends lived in a dorm for her freshman and sophmore years, and now lives in an apartment.

Staying home was a good decision for me. I get along great with my parents, and I went to school literally 10 minutes from my home. I don't think dorms would have been a good option for me. I value highly my privacy, and my friend had very little, if any at all.

So, it depends: getting of your house seems to be a good option for you, but the question is whether or not to live in an apartment which gives you some semblence of privacy, or a dorm where there's very little.

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Posts: 2789 | From: The Evergreen State | Registered: Jun 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Gumdrop Girl
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Oh god, getting to college couldn't have happened soon enough. There I was, stuck in high school. Misunderstood, unpopular (at least not scorned), and totally miserable because I was surrounded by idiots who were content to chew intellectual cud.

I was literally counting down the days between graduation and move-in day. I was getting the hell out of Po-dunk OilTown California and going to BERKELEY, 300 miles away.

The transition was easy. My guidance counselor convinced my parents to send me away to a summer program for high schoolers at UC Santa Barbara. Six weeks by the beach, studyng economics, no parents? I'm in! So I was away from home, at college before I was actually going to college. I knew what to expect. I had a roommate (who is still one of my best friends). I learned to adjust to being away from home. Then again, I never get homesick anyway. It was easy for me to get out.

So with that experience under my belt, when I moved to Berkeley, I adjusted quickly. I had some friends in the area already, and that was cool. I met cool people. I am generally drama-free, so I had no problems with my roommates.

The only hard part is food. If you have crappy eating habits, you can really mess yourself up in college. I gained almost 30lbs (thanks to a dorm diet plus birth control pills). My friend's roommie developed SCURVY 'cause all he ate was skim milk and Cap'N Crunch. Do your best to eat healthy. Get exercise, too. Helps take the edge off stress.

[ 08-02-2006, 12:26 AM: Message edited by: Gumdrop Girl ]

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Posts: 12677 | From: Los Angeles, CA ... somewhere off the 10 | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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I live in a dorm when I'm at college. Granted I don't have much of a choice (my college requires you to live in campus housing the first three years, unless your parents live within the city limits/you have children/are over 23), but even if that rule wasn't in place, and I didn't go to college 1,000 miles away from where my parents live, I would still live in a dorm.

Dorm life is amazing for me. Like GumdropGirl, I got a starter course in dorm life when I went to the California State Summer School for the Arts, which is a month-long program held at the CalArts campus in Valencia, CA. Month in a dorm with two roomies, doing what I loved - it was awesome. And it totally helped me transition to actual college when that time came.

If you are able to live somewhere other than your parent's house for college, I say try to live in a dorm at least for the first year. I would never have tried living on my own in an actual apartment while doing my freshman year of college, I would have totally bombed out. And I also suggest, if you are going to be living away from your parents for college, to try and get into a summer school/arts program that is held on a college campus. It's great training, and looks outstanding on college apps.

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Posts: 65 | From: Colorado Springs, CO | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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I go to university in my hometown, but I just had to move out of my parents' house. I moved in the a dorm that was apartment style (basically a 2 bedroom apt, with a kitchenette and a bathroom) for my first year.

I'm glad I experienced life in rez, and I had a lot of fun living right on campus (woohoo, I can get up 15 mins before my classes start), but by the end of my first year, I really wanted out of there. People would pull the fire alarm at 2am, or later, and there would always be a lot of loud drunk people. And the elevators were insanely crowded, and slow... but maybe that's because I was on the 19th floor.

Now, I'm in an apt about 10 minutes walk from the campus, and I think it'll work really well. I'm actually excited for school to start.

I'm happy about the way things are going, and wouldn't do that part of my first year any differently.

Hope this gave you some perspective! [Smile]

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It all depends on what is comfortable for you. I went away to college and lived in the dorms for three years, and then got an apartment. Although the dorms are expensive, it probably isnt that far off from what you would pay for an apartment (electric, water, cable, furniture, etc.). This depends on where you are, what the college charges, how much apartment rent is, etc. My point is, they will both be relatively expensive. In the dorm, you get to live with people your age, you can visit them anytime you want, and most universities give you an option of a single or shared room, so if you want more privacy you can have that option, if it is available to you. Yes, people will pull the fire alarm at 3 AM. Yes, people will run down the halls loudly at 3 AM drunk out of their minds, and for your freshman year at least someone will puke in the bathroom every weekend and not clean it, but the dorm experience is one I would recommend. It has good points and bad points, but the overall experience is worth it. But if you really love home, stay. It all depends on what you want.
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I had left New York City when I was eighteen and went out to school in LA for video production. At first, it was all good. But, I didn`t have any support, (I was raised in foster care)so of course it is hard, because who are you really without the people that surround you? The way you feel isn`t the same, the way you live isn`t the same, the way you think is slightly different (meeting so many different types of people). Being introduced to so much, it`s all so much. But, if you have your family to support you then you won`t fail. Because you remember home and what you`re there for. Making such a change for me was the best choice ever and if I could`ve did it differently- no way not in a million years. Going away is an experience! You can either find yourself, lose yourself, just remember, be yourself
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Like Dark Child, I stayed home for college. I went to a very inexpensive public university that was paid for in full by grants. That's always a good option, especially if you want to go to grad school in the future. (Once you take out loans as an undergrad, it can be difficult to secure educational loans in the future.)

On the crappy apartments... it's fun to slum a bit, but be careful. Going to the laundromat and washing dishes by hand sucks up a lot of time.
Most of my friends have had a trouble with off-campus housing because of hard-nosed landlords. You need to find a decent place to live that's conducive to studying and doing well in school. Maybe shoot for an established apartment complex instead of renting a room in a privately owned house... that sort of thing.

Posts: 455 | From: New York, NY | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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I moved to a whole different country for University, and I am glad I did. I get along so so much better with my parents now.

For the first year, I lived in a one-room apartment about half an hour away from campus. But since most of the other people living there were students, as well, there weren't really any upsides to living off-campus. So for the second year, I moved into a residence hall 2 minutes away from campus. The room is smaller, but I still have my own bathroom and kittchenette, which is good because I like my privacy. Living here is cheaper and being close to Uni is definitely a bonus (I'm prone to remembing things last minute and it's nice to be able to just run over to check out a book from the library or something).

All in all, I am really happy about the choices I've made. Being on my own in a different country has really done a lot for my independence and self-esteem and I like my dorm room and plan to say here until I graduate (though I am so so looking forward to living in a real house again after that, with actual rooms and a real kitchen).

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Posts: 9192 | From: Cologne, Germany | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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When I moved away for college, I lived in a dorm for the first two years so I could go home during the summers. Then, I moved into an on-campus apartment. University housing still has control over the place, but I have a say in my roommate situation(at least now I do) and I don't have to eat the crap from the cafeteria. I paid for it with financial aid, just like I did the dorms.

My gripe is textbooks. I can't buy them online or from other students, or even at another bookstore. I HAVE to get them from the campus bookstore, because I don't have money to spend anywhere else -- my financial aid surplus pays for my books, but I don't get the refund check (i.e. what's left over, actually in my own hands) until 2 weeks after classes start. I can't wait that long to buy books.

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We didn't really have dorms, per se, in my college. I went to a very small college, and there was a shared apartment building of sorts. I did that for about a year and a half, and then I instead shared housing with a group of roommates. It worked better financially for me/us, and on many levels, it was just better for me overall: I was very studios, and the noise level in the school's space, as well as people always coming door to door was just too much of a distraction.

(Plus, I ended up being the resident earth mama of the building, which meant everyone with a problem or drama landed on my doorstep.)

My transition to living independently was a bit unusual, because I pitched in for rent my last two years of high school in the apartment my Dad and I shared, because I was given adult freedoms, and thus, responsibilities. I also took a year off between high school and college to work so I could save up money to help pay my expenses in school (I paid for college myself).

I'd suggest considering, Faith, maybe staying home the first year to save up some cash, make a nice trasition, and be able to feel out what you want to do over that first year. No sense in making life harder for yourself financially if your folks are willing to help in this regard.

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