My daughter was excited to be going off to college. Being from a rural area, she was looking forward to moving to a bigger community and meeting new people. The college she selected offered her a full-ride scholarship which made the transition a bit easier. She was offered a work-study position which would give her pocket money and her room, board, tuition and books were covered. The college had a policy that all first year students must live on-campus. She accepted that part of the process, but was wisely concerned about roommates and dorm life. That was going to be the biggest adjustment for her.
Alternatives to College Dorms: Escaping the Dorm
The roommate situation started out well. My daughter had one roommate and they hit it off at first. However, my daughter soon learned that the roommate had a thing for pink. It did not matter what it was, whether the roommate could afford it or not, or if she needed it or not, if it was pink, she bought. The only color besides pink in the entire dorm was the white walls. My daughter was going crazy being surrounded by pink. Housing options were non-existent. She was not allowed to change rooms, or roommates. She could stick it out or quit according to the dorm advisors. She came to me crying, unable to find a way out of her pink hell. We decided to do something radical about the situation. My youngest son was 16 and not happy at his current school. My daughter accepted guardianship and that qualified her to move into family housing on campus. Her scholarships paid for the apartment. She now had the freedom to concentrate on her studies and my son had a better school to attend.
Alternatives to College Dorms: Trailer Parks and RV
Families with recreational vehicles have a wonderful alternative for their college student’s housing options. RV campgrounds are a cheap alternative to student housing on campus. Many colleges have RV parks just a short distance away. The RV provides plenty of room for sleeping, a kitchen and a bathroom. Many RV parks now offer free wireless internet services which is a must for a college student. The RV Parks are and excellent option to college dorms. They are much less expensive and can save the student a lot of money.
Alternatives to College Dorms: Go to College Online
While my husband works all over the state, I have managed to squeeze in college courses by attending online. No matter where we go, my computer is my classroom. These online courses allow me to attend college when time permits. I do not have to go to classroom at a set time. This has helped me to further my own education and it is much less expensive than the alternative of going to the college. When it is time to take finals, one trip does it all.
Alternatives to College Dorms: Save Money by Staying with Your Family
Another alternative to college dorms is to live with your family. It is cheaper to live at home and to catch a bus to the neighborhood college than it is to pay rent for a dorm or apartment. Yes, you lose some of your freedom, but to get your education, you must be willing to sacrifice. If your parents do not live near the college, do you have an aunt or cousin that does? Do what it takes to get your education first. There will be time for adult fun later.
There are many options to living in a dorm even for first year students. Just remember to work with your college advisors and try to work out problems with roommate nightmares before you go to an extreme. A semester is just a few months long and then you will be free to find alternative housing.
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