To dorm or not to dorm? This is a decision you should make early on in the college hunt. Dorms are vastly different from college to college, and they can be a real deal breaker. So if your teen is nervous about dorm life, or if you’re weighing the costs of room and board against commuting from home, consider these five perks of living in a college residence hall.
Roommates and other students in the dorms are some of the best opportunities for your teen to make friends early. Freshman roommates are likely to have similar class schedules, questions and struggles, so they can help each other adjust and learn. Older students in the dorms can help your teen tackle projects or offer advice on study habits.
Your teen will also make friends in the dorms who may be outside their normal social circles. They can find mentors in the upperclassmen, talk with people studying different majors, and learn about the cultures of international students.
- Location, location, location
The most obvious perk is living right next to classes and other required activities. Instead of getting up early to fight traffic every morning, your teen can just walk to class a few minutes before the bell. During free hours they can go back to nap, study, change to more comfortable shoes or grab something they forgot. Collaborating for group projects is easier, and required evening activities won’t mean an extra drive.
Dorms are a great way to ease into the adult world while still focusing on school. If your teen is attending a Christian college, chances are there will be a curfew and other rules to follow. These will allow your student to live away from home but still be under helpful supervision.
- Expenses included
It’s true, room and board costs are a good chunk of change. But most living expenses are included, and financial aid will help. Cleaning, maintenance, utilities, water, internet and security are all part of the dorm package. Meal plans may be part of the deal too.
- Campus life
One of the coolest things about a college campus is the pace of life. There is always something happening! Music recitals, intramural and intercollegiate sports, drama and improv nights, pizza parties—you name it. Students who live on campus are more likely to know what’s happening, and they’re more likely to get involved.
Dorms offer your teen the opportunity to be a part of a community of other students their age. It’ll be a new experience for them and one that will shape them for the rest of their lives.
Make sure you participate in our homeschool to college program both throughout the year via our homeschool guidance counselor emails and at each Teach Them Diligently event next spring! Learn more about our Homeschool Guidance Counselor and how participation in that free program can help you be much more confident as you help prepare your children to take that next step in their life.
Check out some of these other helpful articles about helping your student make the transition from homeschool to college.
Bridget Nee is a writer for Bob Jones University, a Christian liberal arts university in Greenville, South Carolina. After navigating the journey through homeschool and college herself, she enjoys sharing her insights with other homeschool families to help make their experience fun and exciting.