Roommates vs. Solo Living: What’s the Best Choice for New College Students

by | Jul 12, 2022 | Compass Academics Blog | 0 comments

Roommates vs. Solo Living: What’s the Best Choice for New College Students

For many students, college is the first time they’re living away from home and without their own family members. That’s an exhilarating feeling of freedom and maturity, but it can also be a time of loneliness and tough adjustments.

As students make decisions about their living arrangements, one of the biggest questions is whether or not to have roommates.

What are the pros and cons of each side of this debate? Let’s explore!

Option 1: Solo Living

If you’re out on your own, why not be truly on your own! There are plenty of benefits to completely solo living.

• Freedom to Make Your Own Choices: Want to cover the walls with posters from your favorite band? Like to pipe the sound of thunderstorms through the room at night? Want to play your favorite rom-com on repeat for three days in a row? Who’s going to stop you?! No one! Living alone lets you truly have control over your living space and comfort.

• Fewer Distractions: You’ve got essays to write, books to read, and assignments to complete. Without roommates, you may find yourself better able to focus on the tasks at hand and get your work done.

• Better Financial Skills: When you’re flying solo, all the bills are yours to manage, and you get to decide where to cut the budget and how to stretch your resources. These are skills you’ll use for the rest of your life.

• Fewer Spats Over Responsibilities: When you live alone, you’ll never have to argue with a roommate about whose turn it is to clean the toilet or find that the food you were saving as a midnight snack has mysteriously gone missing.

 

Option 2: Getting a Roommate (or Two . . . or Three)

There’s no denying that roommates have their own set of benefits. Sharing the load makes for an easier time in many ways.

• Built-in Friendships: Especially if you’re moving to a new place, it can be hard to build up a brand new social circle. Roommates provide a built-in set of friends. You’ve always got someone to play a game, lend an ear, or watch a movie with you!

• Shared Responsibilities: When you’re trying to juggle the demands of college, work, and housekeeping, it can be a lot! More people means more hands for cleaning, running errands, and paying bills!

• Less Loneliness: Let’s face it. Being all on your own might sound like just what you want, but when you’ve been in a quiet apartment for days and are missing home, having some friends around isn’t so bad. Recent research has shown an increase in loneliness among college students, and roommates are one way to fight it!

• More Options: Getting a single dorm room can be a challenge at many institutions. Even if you’re willing and able to spend the big bucks to do it, the availability might not be there. Many student housing situations are set up with roommates in mind, so you’re opening up more options when you go in with a group.

 

Be Honest and Flexible with Yourself

It can be hard to really know what the best option is — especially if the experience of living away from home is brand new either way.

As you make the decision, spend some time really reflecting on your needs, preferences, and past experiences before you jump into anything.

It’s also worth noting that nothing is permanent. The choice you make for this year (or even this semester) doesn’t have to be the one you keep forever. You can try out different arrangements until you find the one that works best for you, and what works best might change as you go along.

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