Is Living Alone in College Worth It?
Imagine you come home from a long day of classes and work, and your roommate bombards you with questions or loud music. You ask yourself why you chose to live with someone else and wish you could live alone.
While having a place of your own is nice, living alone in college isn’t always the best option. Before you kick your roommate out, consider the advantages and disadvantages of living by yourself. Read on to learn more.
Pros of Living Alone College
Living alone in college can come with a lot of benefits, so it’s worth considering. Even if you don’t plan to live alone all four years, doing it for a year or two can help you grow a lot.
You’ll have to learn how to be independent and take care of chores around your place. It will take extra work to live alone, but consider if the pros outweigh the cons. Here are some of the most significant benefits of living alone in college.
You will be able to spread out all over your dorm or apartment when you have the place to yourself. Even if you have a small apartment, you’ll have access to more room than if you had a roommate. After a long day of classes, you can return home to relax in front of the TV or on the couch. You can put your dishes and food wherever you want within your kitchen.
And you won’t have to worry about getting in the way of a roommate if you try to make dinner at the same time. While that may not be a huge issue, it’s nice to not worry about it at all.
Along with more space, you’ll have more control over your living area. You can keep the space as clean or as dirty as you like, and you can develop an organizational system that works for you.
When you have roommates, you have to compromise on how to organize the common areas. Living with others means you also have to agree on how and when you will clean the place.
If you don’t want to work with others on how to maintain your living space, living alone is great. And if you ever need to leave for a long weekend, you can return to college knowing everything is where you left it.
Easier to Host Guests
Hosting family and friends is also easier when you live alone. You don’t have to check with your roommates about if they’ll mind you having a small get-together.
And if you ever have family in town, it will be easier for them to stay with you in your apartment. That can be nice if there aren’t many hotels nearby or if they don’t have open rooms.
Of course, you can host friends and family when you have a roommate. However, doing so can be inconvenient, and it may take more planning than without a roommate.
Living alone in a college dorm or apartment can also help you when it comes time to study. If you have roommates, they may come in and out, and they might not always respect your wishes for them to be quiet.
That can make it hard to focus on your homework, especially if you get distracted easily. On the flip side, you don’t have to worry about bothering anyone else who may need to study.
If you have classes early or late, you don’t have to get ready or come home and be quiet. And you can play music while you study or work on homework when you’re at home.
Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, everyone can benefit from a bit of alone time. After a long day of classes or some class and a shift at work, you may not want to talk to anyone.
Coming home to an empty dorm or apartment means you can do what you want. If you do need to talk to someone, you can call a friend or family member, so you don’t have to feel alone. However, you don’t have to do that if you don’t have the energy. Instead, you can get home and make dinner or go straight to bed depending on when you get back.
When you live with roommates, you run the risk of getting into fights and having other issues. A roommate might eat your food without asking, or they might use your toothpaste without your permission. Some of those things may be small, and you can forgive them. But if they continue after you ask them not to, you could get into a bigger fight.
Then, living with that roommate can become more awkward than it already is. If you live alone, you’re the only one there, so you don’t have to deal with that drama, at least not when it comes to your living situation.
Choose Where You Live
Living alone while in college also offers you more flexibility regarding where you live. If you’re lucky and have more income, you can afford to live in a nicer place. On the other hand, if you want to live with a roommate, you have to agree on where to live. So if they have more or less money than you, you might need to compromise on an apartment.
Compromising isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But if you want to prioritize living close to campus, you may not be able to do so with your ideal roommate if nearby apartments are out of their price range.
Decorate the Place
Once you choose a place to live, you can decorate it how you like. You don’t have to compromise on the aesthetic of the living room or on what dinner table to get. Instead, all of the decisions will come down to you and your bank account. If you want to go for a specific feel, such as a nautical theme, you can do that without anyone else complaining. Plus, you’ll be able to keep all of the decorations and the furniture for your first post-college apartment. Then, you won’t have to buy a ton of stuff later.
Cons of Living Alone in College
You may still be wondering, is it worth living alone in college? Before you run out to find your own apartment, consider some of the negative effects of living alone. If the cons outweigh the positives, you can figure out how to find a roommate you can live with. That way, you’ll still have a good living situation, and you can avoid some of the following drawbacks that come with having your own place.
Unfortunately, living alone in college can be more expensive than having a roommate. You will have to cover the entire bill for costs such as:
These costs can add up quickly, especially if you get a bigger place or if you spend a lot of time at home. You’ll also have to pay for furniture, dishes, and other things to fill the apartment.
When you have roommates, you can split those costs. Sure, you won’t get to keep all of those things when you go your separate ways, but it can be an easy way to save money now.
Limited Housing Options
If you have a small budget, you may not have as many housing options as you would have with roommates. You might need to look for a smaller one-bedroom apartment or choose a complex without as many amenities. In some cases, you may not get to live as close to campus as you’d like. That could increase the time and money you spend on getting to and from classes.
While your college apartment doesn’t have to be perfect, it should be safe and livable. So don’t be afraid to get a roommate so that you can afford something a little better.
Strict Financial Requirements
Depending on your financial situation and the apartment complex, you may need to meet strict requirements. You might need to have a certain amount of monthly income or a certain balance in your savings account.
If you don’t fulfill those requirements, you may have to ask a parent to be a cosigner or a guarantor. A cosigner signs the lease with you, while a guarantor promises to pay the rent if you don’t do so one month.
Living alone can provide some independence. But if you have to get financial help from a parent, that can make you feel a bit less independent than you might otherwise.
If you don’t have class every day or if some of your classes are online, it can be easy to isolate yourself at home. You’ll need to make more of an effort to get out and meet people so that you can make friends.
While introverts enjoy being alone, even they can start to feel the negative effects of being alone all day. If you don’t have much motivation to get out of the house, you might not meet as many people. Then, you might feel like you have to stay home alone all of the time. It can quickly become a vicious cycle that keeps you from enjoying the social part of college.
Easy to Get Bored
Living alone in college also makes it easy for you to get bored. You don’t have someone to talk to after a day of classes, and you don’t have a friend who can help you make dinner.
If you like to relax with people in the evening, doing that can be difficult. Boredom can be inevitable at some points, but you shouldn’t have to feel that way all of the time. Instead, think of ways to entertain yourself, even when you’re alone. You can call a friend or put on some music to help enjoy yourself when you’re home.
No One to Take Care of You
When you live alone, you also don’t have as easy access to someone who can take care of you when you get sick. If you come down with a cold, you’ll have to still cook yourself food and go to the store to get food or medicine.
On the other hand, you can ask your roommate to run those errands for you. They may also be able to make soup or another meal for you as you recover. And if you need to go to the doctor but aren’t comfortable driving, your roommate can help with that. Just make sure you return the favor if your roommate ever gets sick.
If you live by yourself, you’ll be responsible for everything related to your space. You have to be the one to clean it, and you have to make sure it looks nice. Of course, you don’t have to worry about roommates not keeping up with their responsibilities. But if you neglect your chores, they won’t get done at all. So think about if you’d like to split the chores or if you want to handle them yourself. Then, you can decide if living alone in college is worth it.
In college or not, living alone can put your safety at risk. If someone you don’t trust figures out where you live, they might try to follow you home or sneak into your apartment.
You may also be a victim of thieves who doesn’t know you. They might watch you enter your apartment alone and notice that you’re the only one who does so each day, so they may target you and your apartment.
Fortunately, you can stay safe by getting to know your neighbors and by using special locks on your windows. You might also want to look for a building with controlled access so that you need a key to enter the building before you even reach your apartment door.
Is Living Alone in College for You?
Some college students love having their own dorms or apartments. But living alone in college isn’t the best choice for everyone. Before you get your own place, consider the benefits and drawbacks. That way, you can get the best possible living situation for you. Did you enjoy this article? Check out our lifestyle section for similar content.