Finding the right next step for housing

By Rabia Ilyas

What is important for this new class of students to realize, though, is that each option has it’s own advantages and disadvantages. Factors like location, cost, food access and connections hold different meanings for each student.

For someone like Meghan Costigan, senior in LAS, who has tried a few different housing options, location is the greatest concern. Costigan lived in a dorm for three years and is now living in an apartment fairly close to campus.

“I wanted to try out something new, and I felt ready to take on the extra responsibility living in an apartment had,” Costigan said.

In terms of advantages of living in an apartment, she said that apartment life has helped her become more independent and responsible.

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“It also lets me be more flexible, in the sense that I can eat whenever and whatever and do not have to rely on dining hall timings.”

However, Costigan has to rely on herself a lot for grocery shopping and cooking her own food, which she considers a disadvantage.

She misses the dining hall conversations she would have that allowed her to meet new people.

“A huge benefit about the dorms was that I met a lot of new people and I have since kept in good touch with them,” Costigan said.

Having experienced both dorm life and apartment life, Costigan recommends for freshmen to continue living in residence halls if they do not feel ready to take on the larger responsibility that comes with living in an apartment.

For Hannah Van Nevel, a freshman in ACES, this advice holds true. Nevel has yet to decide on her living arrangements for the upcoming school year, but she prefers to live in a dorm.

“I like my current dorm because it’s very quiet and I have met a lot of diverse people that I never would have met if I had not lived here,” she said.

Nevel, a resident of Busey-Evans Residence Hall, likes that it’s close to campus and that it comes with many luxuries such as air conditioning and Wi-Fi. For her future housing plans, she said she might consider an apartment, but only on the terms that it is close to campus and is safe.

Like Nevel, English Henderson, a sophomore in LAS, has yet to experience apartment living. For Henderson, living in a dorm was the most convenient option because of the proximity to campus and the appeal of the dining halls.

She also reasons that at the end of the day, the cost of living in a dorm equates to the cost of living in an apartment.

“You have to spend money on your own food and you have to put energy into preparing that food as well,” she said.

Henderson added that a main advantage of dorm living is that students can feel more connected to the campus.

“I am more aware of events going on around campus because there is so much exposure in a residence hall,” she said.

However, like Costigan, Henderson hopes to someday gain the independence that living in an apartment brings.

“I definitely want to experience living in an apartment for at least one year, because I think it will ease my transition into adulthood,” she said.

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