Stop! Put the pens down and close the wallets before you sign that lease off-campus. It’s that time of year again when Winona State students are looking for new places to live for the 2014-2015 school year. Most students think that the dorms are only for the first year students, but in reality, WSU has residence halls that are reserved for only upperclassmen (and are much nicer than your average freshman dorm). They are:
- Kirkland Hall & New Center, which have the option of two or four bedrooms in each 4 person suite and a private bathroom/shower
- East Lake Apartments, which are private apartments for 2-4 people and each apartments has a kitchen, bathroom, living room, laundry, and 2-4 bedrooms
- Sustainability House, which a single house for 10-11 people who desire to practice and promote sustainable living
I believe that more students should take advantage of living in the dorms in their few short years of college. Take it from someone who has paid a lot of money in living off campus– there are a lot of benefits to living in the dorms!
1. Living in the dorms comes with a meal plan
Personally, I don’t have time to cook off-campus. Most of my meals consist of mac and cheese and sandwiches. Trust me, after two months of sandwiches, it gets old. I miss being able to walk downstairs in Lourdes to grab a meal that actually counts as a real meal. It was so convenient to grab a to-go box on the way to class or work.
2. Heat, cable, and internet are included
It wasn’t until I moved off campus that I realized that I was very lucky when I was living in the dorms. In the dorms, students can adjust the heat (somewhat) without worrying about the consequences of a heat bill. Another nice thing is that cable and Internet is included in the housing fee. After having to commute to a friend’s house to watch the Packers game or The Ellen DeGeneres Show, I really started to miss the access to cable TV at the dorms
3. No lack-luster landlords
I’m sure everyone has heard horror stories of dealing with landlords. If students live in the dorms they don’t have to worry about waiting for appliances to be repaired or worry if their heat will turn on in time for the cold Minnesota weather.
4. Don’t have to buy/bring furniture
Another convenience of living in the dorms is the luxury of having all your furniture there when it’s move in time. When moving in off-campus, students have to lug couches and beds, often up several flights of stairs. On campus, there are elevators for any items that may be difficult to move into the dorm room, but everything is pretty much already there.
5. Meet new people
One of the reasons freshmen live in the dorms is so they can branch out and meet new people. I met a lot of my best friends at college just by hanging out in the dorms and by going to campus-sponsored activities. Just think of how many more friends an upperclassman student could easily make in the dorms!
It’s easier for students living off-campus housing to waste so much more time on Netflix and watching TV because it’s too much effort go out and it seems like there is nothing to do anyway. When you live on campus, there is always have something to do that close by. Students can participate in Mugshots in Lourdes by listening to free music. Students can also enjoy the access to pool tables and ping-pong right in their building with the new friends they’ve made who live just down the hall. The RAs are always making sure that the residents have something to do by planning monthly events and socials!
So before signing an off campus lease that may end in a headache and a pile of monthly bills, think about the convenience of living in the dorms and look into applying for on-campus housing instead!