Home Sweet home: Dorm edition

A student studies in the new lounge in Pritchard Hall, a freshman dorm, April 15, 2015.

One of the most exciting things about college is that, for a lot of people, it is their first opportunity to move out from under their parents’ roofs. Here is the rundown on the main differences between dorm and apartment living according to three fellow Hokies.

Justin Luy, a junior majoring in human nutrition, food and exercise, currently resides in West Ambler-Johnston. Like most students, he moved off campus his sophomore year, but due to the trials of living in an apartment alone, he decided to move back on campus to be closer to friends for his junior year. He plans to move off campus again next year, this time with his friends. 

“The biggest difference between living on and off campus is having access to a meal plan,” Luy said. “Not having to cook for myself is definitely a plus. Close proximity to campus and the gym is another plus.”

Phillip Saunders, a senior majoring in financial planning and a hallmate and friend of Luy, agrees that it is easier to make friends living on campus.

“I’ve lived in West AJ all four years because of the ease of access to campus,” Saunders said. “It’s just easier to live on campus because you don’t have to make any meals, plus it’s easier to make friends and hang out on campus.”

Saunders claims that sometimes he wishes he would have moved off campus just to experience the “real-world” aspect of paying rent that comes with apartment living, but overall, he is satisfied with his decision to endure dorm life for the entirety of his college career.

On the contrary, Claire Morris, a sophomore majoring in agribusiness, prefers apartment life over dorm life. Last year she lived in East Campbell, but she finds that her apartment in Foxridge gives her more freedom and privacy.

“The biggest perk of moving off campus is having my car more readily available,” Morris said. “This then creates more freedom to go places and do things.”

Saunders agrees that parking at Virginia Tech is not ideal for campus residents because the parking lots are far away from the residential side of campus.

“The biggest disadvantage to living on campus is that it’s hard to leave since even if you have a car; parking is far away,” Saunders said.

Overall, the consensus seems to be that the main difference between living on or off campus is the way in which you get food and how easy it is to leave campus. If you are someone who enjoys grocery shopping and cooking, desires a more private lifestyle and wants a parking spot right outside your door, then off-campus life is probably for you. On the other hand, if you like being around more people and want access to campus amenities, like a meal plan or the gym at McComas Hall, then there is nothing wrong with dorm life.