Apartment Living Pros and Cons
March 26, 2012 | by

Housing options for the college lifestyle are sometimes endless. But when it comes down to living in a dorm or apartment, the choice can be hard to make. While some people cannot wait to exert their freedom in a larger space, others enjoy the close quarters of a dorm room. With spring time upon us, housing questions may be present as well.

I spent my freshman year in the dorms and now I live in an apartment off-campus. Although both had their pros/cons, the pros list for living in an apartment was much longer for me.

If you’re planning where to live in the summer or in the fall, now is the time to decide! An apartment comes with some perks and some disadvantages. Use this list of each to help curb your choice to the right doorstep.


More space

Compared to a dorm room, everything in an apartment is bigger. Not to mention you can usually have your own bedroom and maybe even your own bathroom.

You can bring the pooch

Although having a dog on campus would be great, mine has to stay at home because of apartment rules.

Many apartment complexes on college campuses allow four-legged roommates. Some require a fee for housing a pet so make sure to double check before you move in with a furry friend.

No rules or “parent figure”

Living in an apartment allows for more freedom and independence. There is no one to tell you what to do, make you go to hall meetings or sign waivers with specific rules. It’s your running ground and it’s what you make of it.


Depending on the quality of the apartment, many are cheaper than dormitories. But adding on the extra cost of electricity, gas and groceries may just equal out the expenses.



No meal plan

The one thing I miss about living in the dorms is the meal plan. I loved being able to have a “home-cooked” meal at any hour of the day in the cafeteria. Living in an apartment means going on cereal and pasta binges, unless you love to cook.

Driving to campus

Since apartments aren’t a part of many colleges’ residence life, they are often off-campus. Driving the same route daily and sometimes up to three times a day can get a little boring and bothersome. Therefore it is probably smart to find an apartment close to campus where you can walk or ride a bike, especially with gas prices on the steady rise.

Paying more bills

Rent, gas, cable and electricity bills may make you feel like an adult, but they’re not one of the perks of getting older. Living outside of the dorms requires a bill for everything, so be prepared to have extra cash to pitch in monthly.

More space = more cleaning

Although living in a larger place is nice, it also means you have to clean more than a 10 x 10 square room. Doing dishes is definitely the hardest chore for apartment livers to agree on.

Harder to be active on campus

Making friends in the dorms was easy. Off campus- not so much. Living off campus or in a place where campus activities aren’t constantly announced on the hallways may make you miss out on some events and some great friendships.


Jessica Fecteau is a senior fashion, etiquette and apartment/dorm life writer and is a sophomore at Central Michigan University. Jessica loves fashion magazines, listening to indie/folk music and traveling to big cities.

About Author

Jessica Fecteau is a College Lifestyles alum and contributing writer, studying Journalism at Central Michigan University. Follow her at @jessfect. To stay tuned to more articles for classy co-eds, be sure to follow College Lifestyles on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.

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