Residence halls to apartments, pros and cons

MARISSA MARARAC | Evergreen columnist

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As college students we have all had the pleasure of experiencing the life of residence halls. Whether you lived in Olympia Avenue, Community/Duncan Dunn, Northside, or Regents, each option presents their fair share of pros and cons.

Most would say that leaving residence hall life is freeing and enjoyable. It’s a chance where you can be independent and provide for yourself.

However, for those who are considering staying on campus, the draw is that some resources are more easily accessible.

With a housing contract, students purchase a dining meal plan, known as Residence Dining Account (RDA), which can be used across campus to buy food, coffee and even midnight snacks during late-night study sessions. Plus, residence halls are usually located close to dining halls and university markets.

Living in residence halls can be a positive environment. Since the halls are designed to fit and accommodate massive amounts of students, it is also an easier way to create a social life. Being in close quarters can result in being close friends.

Another advantage to living in a residence hall is the distance to the center of campus and classes. All halls are roughly a five to 10 minute walk to the Compton Union Building (CUB). There is no need to take the bus, and if you wake up late there is a better chance on making it to class on time.

However, the price of living in a residence hall can be steep. The average price to live in a residence hall on campus at WSU is anywhere between $9,000- $12,000, according to the department of housing and dining. The price varies based on which hall and type of room you live in.

The world of apartment living is vastly different from residence hall life.

Living in apartments is usually cheaper because the cost of rent can be split among roommates. The cost per person in an apartment is ussually $250-$500 a month depending on where you live and how many people you live with.

Additional expenses for living in apartments include utilities, electricity, cable, Internet, and other miscellaneous items, but paying bills is good practice for what is to come in the real world.

When you are in your own apartment, it is your own space. There are no quiet hours or resident advisers watching your every move. You are free to do what you want, as long as you have the common courtesy to not disturb your neighbors or roommates.

Also, those dreaded random and awkward meetings in the hallways of residence halls become a thing of the past when you enter apartment life, and you do not have to worry about wearing shoes in a community shower.

Apartment living can be seen as a walk in the park, but there are some downfalls. No one is going to make your breakfast, lunch or dinner except you, or your roommate if you’re lucky.

There is no prepaid RDA or cougar cash on your card for living in the apartments, unless you put your own money in your account. Learning how to buy your own groceries soon becomes a necessity.

Both living in and leaving residence halls is an experience every college student should have. Although they are different environments, each can provide some of the best memories college has to offer.

-Marissa Mararac is a junior communication major from Tacoma. She can be contacted at 335-2290 or by [email protected] The opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of the staff of The Daily Evergreen or those of Student Publications.