What is the best housing option for Augustana students: on campus or off campus?
Keep scholarships, community
Quiet hours, intervisitation policies and paper thin walls aside, living on campus is still one of the best decisions I’ve made in my college career. I always thought I’d move off campus for my junior and senior years, but after living in a single room for the majority of my res-life experience, I’m glad I’ve stayed on campus.
Freshman year, I was a 2E resident in Bergsaker Hall, which was a blast. I met my best friends in that dorm. I lived on the co-ed floor, so yeah, I had to be careful about which hall I took to get to the bathroom as to not be seen by a boy in my towel, but it wasn’t a big deal.
Sophomore year, I spent first semester on 4th floor Granskou, where the fun never stopped, and then spring semester I moved over to East Hall. Talk about quiet. Looking for peace and quiet and a little creepiness? Sign up for East. Don’t pick a corner room or you’ll be living in a shoebox, but other than that, it’s a great little dorm.
This year, I’m in Tuve Hall, which is by far the best dorm I’ve lived in. I live across the hall from one of my best friends, I love all the girls on my floor, and we don’t have intervisitation, which really doesn’t change much except for the fact that a boy can be in our rooms past 2 a.m. without us getting in trouble. We are adults and we are held responsible for our own actions, which is a breath of fresh air. In Tuve, we are treated like adults; it doesn’t really feel like a dorm.
You are not any cooler for living off campus, so don’t let that affect your decision on where to live. And keep in mind if you move off campus, you lose part of your scholarship. Living on campus, I don’t pay for internet, electricity, water, heat, or really anything but laundry. Sure, room and board aren’t super cheap, but it’s cheaper than having to pay for everything.
And here’s a bonus: when Mother Nature goes a little crazy and we end up in an “Icepocalypse” in the middle of April, I still have power, heat, internet and the ability to cook so I don’t have to venture into the warzone of campus.
I’ll be in a campus apartment next year, and I’m looking forward to keeping it clean, cooking my own food and living with a roommate again.
So, stick around campus. You can live in a dorm, theme house or apartment, and you get to keep your scholarship and meal plan. Stock up on quarters for laundry and you’ll be fine.
More independence off campus
College is about gaining your independence. But how can you be independent if you rely on Augustana to provide your heat, water, food and (hem) your electricity? Each month my roommates and I divvy up the bills. Each week we take out the garbage. Each day we load the dishwasher.
Living off campus has been an experience, one that I have loved for two years. Don’t get me wrong, the two years I spent in the dorms were awesome too. However, eating in the Commons 10 to 14 times a week was a little tiring. Grilled cheese any dang time I want it sounds a little bit nicer. Just ask my roommates, I make a mean grilled cheese.
Going from having only one roommate to three was an adjustment, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. My roommates have become my sisters, sometimes I love them and other times … well, we will just leave it at that.
I have a place to hide when I want to be alone though. My own room with, wait for it, a queen-sized bed.
My bed is actually two feet above the ground, instead of three feet below the ceiling. I fell from my loft three or four times easily in my two year experience. Now, I don’t have to worry about having large bruises on my tailbone from slipping on the clothes hanging on the ladder.
I have a bathroom that I only share with one other person, too. It even came fully equipped with a shower I don’t have to wear flip-flops in.
I’m not going to diss the PAs individually, since they are doing their jobs, but let’s face it: you’re 18 when you’re in college. You’re an adult, so why does it seem like you went from having two parents to having eight?
PAs and Campus Safety invade the privacy that is your house, apartment or room. They come in, ask to look in your closet. Ask to look in your fridge. Ask to look in your microwave. They kick your guests out. I’m sorry, did you pay for my housing deposit? Did you pay for my mini-fridge? No, you did not. So maybe you should have a little more respect for my space because I don’t knock on your door every hour and look in your fridge.
Off campus housing allows you to patrol your own life. You make the choice to answer the door (Wolf Pack Rule No. 4) with no ‘obligation’ necessary, unless it’s the Sioux Falls Police Department because then you may have to go to court a few times. You make the choice to lie on your couch, not your futon, and watch obnoxiously loud TV with all three of your roommates comfortably in one room.