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Old 09-14-2012, 11:04 AM   #271
anelson81993
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Originally Posted by westjones View Post
I am curious...is this the new 'norm' at college? Going home every weekend?

I ask this because (as I mentioned) my girls are living at home, but we are only 5 minutes from campus so they go over a lot, hang out with friends, are part of clubs and things. And they have both meet new people that they will invite to do things and will ask if they want to hang out on the weekend, but they seem to keep getting the response...."I go home on weekends."

Now they are Freshmen, and their new friends are also Freshmen....so maybe this is a Freshmen thing? Or is it the new norm? Maybe to work at a job on the weekends? Or they just want to be back with their old friends?

I am only asking because it seems as if making/being friends with local kids is going to be better since they are the only ones around to do stuff on the weekends.

I don't remember this way back in the day when I went to college. I left, came home on breaks and that was pretty much it.

So are others seeing this as a trend at college?

I'm in college now, at one of our state universities, and I live in the dorms, and while I personally go home every weekend, a lot of the girls in my dorm don't. Our school has a football team and all sorts of weekend activities, plus there's plenty to do in town on the weekends. In fact, I only go home on the weekends because my job is there--I work at a grocery store off campus weekends. I worked there all through high school, and they pay me well enough that it is worth it to make the commute each weekend to stick with a good job with great hours in a store I like, with people I know, doing a job I know well. I live on campus during the week not because of the "experience," but because crunching the numbers, I came to the conclusion that living in my dorm (without a roommate) was the least-expensive and most appealing option for me, especially considering the variable cost of gas and my second job tutoring on campus.
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Old 09-14-2012, 12:00 PM   #272
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Absolutely!

The reason so many of us want our kids to have that experience is because it was one of the most fun times of our lives. My experience, and that of many people I know who've lived in dorms past and present, is that even with occasional roommate issues etc. - living in a dorm is FUN. It's kind of a unique time period in your life, probably your only chance to live that way.

I moved off campus my last year of college, but spent a lot of time visiting friends in the dorms. My apartment with three other girls was boring in comparison. I certainly don't look back on it as a unique living experience. I shared apartments after college too, though they got nicer.

I worked at a National Park in the summers during college and had a locker and a bed in a 60 person sleeping porch. It was a blast! Having a room with only one roommate seemed like quite the luxury after that.

If we lived close to college I wouldn't really see the point in paying for my child to have his own apartment - he can do that after school. I would see a point in paying for the dorm so he could have that once in a lifetime experience.
I'm not arguing that living in a dorm is fun (I lived in a dorm too) but it isn't necessary. The reasons you gave have to do with fun times and a camp like experience. I just don't believe that having that is what college is all about. Especially considering how much it costs. If you look at what you want to accomplish with college, for me, it wasn't living it up in a dorm. It was getting a degree so that I could make a living. I will definitely encourage my children to live at home (if the college is close enough) and save money.
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Old 09-14-2012, 12:36 PM   #273
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I'm not arguing that living in a dorm is fun (I lived in a dorm too) but it isn't necessary. The reasons you gave have to do with fun times and a camp like experience. I just don't believe that having that is what college is all about. Especially considering how much it costs. If you look at what you want to accomplish with college, for me, it wasn't living it up in a dorm. It was getting a degree so that I could make a living. I will definitely encourage my children to live at home (if the college is close enough) and save money.
However, living in a dorm is a great way to learn how to live independently. In my family, I was the only one to go away to school. I think having the experience of living away from home provided me with more opportunities (as well as the courage) to pursue jobs in multiple locations. I was eventually recruited on campus for a job in a city 5 hours from home. I have had many great jobs since that time, all due to my decision to move away from home.

My siblings on the other hand went to school near home, lived at home until they got married, and then all bought houses within a half hour drive from my parents. They all have jobs, but not great jobs and all continue to mooch off of my parents. Also, they complain about the lack of jobs in the area but are unwilling to move away because they continue to be dependent on my parents. Who knows, if they had decided to go away to school maybe they would have better jobs and would actually act like independent adults.

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Old 09-14-2012, 12:49 PM   #274
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I think it depends on the college. We visited a college DD really liked and we purposely went back on the weekend to check it out and it was dead. I thought that would be the case because it is a smaller school, no sports, and on the outskirts of town. I wanted her to see for herself what the weekends would be like. Needless to say, she didn't like that college anymore.
That's a really good idea. I wish I'd had the foresight to think of that when I was looking at colleges and I will definitely keep that in mind as my kids start looking at schools.
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Old 09-14-2012, 12:59 PM   #275
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However, living in a dorm is a great way to learn how to live independently. In my family, I was the only one to go away to school. I think having the experience of living away from home provided me with more opportunities (as well as the courage) to pursue jobs in multiple locations. I was eventually recruited on campus for a job in a city 5 hours from home. I have had many great jobs since that time, all due to my decision to move away from home.

My siblings on the other hand went to school near home, lived at home until they got married, and then all bought houses within a half hour drive from my parents. They all have jobs, but not great jobs and all continue to mooch off of my parents. Also, they complain about the lack of jobs in the area but are unwilling to move away because they continue to be dependent on my parents. Who knows, if they had decided to go away to school maybe they would have better jobs and would actually act like independent adults.

Going away to school is about learning the lessons that they can't teach you in a classroom!

I don't think dorm living is a way to learn to live independently especially when mom and dad are footing the bills and all your meals are provided.

I think living away is a good thing and I've encouraged it, but I don't think it determines ones future anymore than going to a community college your first few years out of high school does. I know so many successful people and so many losers and there isn't any one thing that made them so except their personalities.
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Old 09-14-2012, 01:19 PM   #276
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I don't get why when someone says they feel living in a dorm is a worthwhile experience a bunch of people come on and act like we're saying that students who don't get that experience are doomed.

This entire thread, people have talked about providing the best options for their student that they can AFFORD. No one has said, go into massive debt for things you can't afford. If I couldn't afford for my child to go off to school and live in a dorm, we wouldn't do it. That doesn't keep me from thinking it's the best case scenario for him.
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Old 09-14-2012, 01:45 PM   #277
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I don't get why when someone says they feel living in a dorm is a worthwhile experience a bunch of people come on and act like we're saying that students who don't get that experience are doomed.

This entire thread, people have talked about providing the best options for their student that they can AFFORD. No one has said, go into massive debt for things you can't afford. If I couldn't afford for my child to go off to school and live in a dorm, we wouldn't do it. That doesn't keep me from thinking it's the best case scenario for him.
Maybe because some posts are worded exactly like that?

The poster above just gave the example that she went away to college and has now lived in multiple locations and has had multiple opportunities but her siblings lived at home and their lives just aren't as fulfilling as hers. They live only a half hour from their parents and have good jobs but not as great as hers. She literally says they might "actually act like independent adults" if they had done things the way she did because apparently being married, supporting your family, and having a good job wasn't the correct way to go about it. Yep, she pretty much says, "go away to college or you'll be doomed."
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Old 09-14-2012, 01:51 PM   #278
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Maybe because some posts are worded exactly like that?

The poster above just gave the example that she went away to college and has now lived in multiple locations and has had multiple opportunities but her siblings lived at home and their lives just aren't as fulfilling as hers. They live only a half hour from their parents and have good jobs but not as great as hers. She literally says they might "actually act like independent adults" if they had done things the way she did because apparently being married, supporting your family, and having a good job wasn't the correct way to go about it. Yep, she pretty much says, "go away to college or you'll be doomed."
Huh. I read it that she was RESPONDING to a post that questioned the "worth" of living in a dorm. She was telling why she thought living in a dorm had worth by sharing her experience.
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Old 09-14-2012, 01:58 PM   #279
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Huh. I read it that she was RESPONDING to a post that questioned the "worth" of living in a dorm. She was telling why she thought living in a dorm had worth by sharing her experience.
I understand what she was responding to. It doesn't take away from the words she wrote. It was her experience and she compared it to that of her siblings. She somehow feels they are not acting as independent adults and maybe it would have been different had they gone away. I'd venture to guess that the poster has some issues with her sibling that go far beyond their college experience but she still wrote the words.
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Old 09-14-2012, 05:01 PM   #280
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However, living in a dorm is a great way to learn how to live independently. In my family, I was the only one to go away to school. I think having the experience of living away from home provided me with more opportunities (as well as the courage) to pursue jobs in multiple locations. I was eventually recruited on campus for a job in a city 5 hours from home. I have had many great jobs since that time, all due to my decision to move away from home.

My siblings on the other hand went to school near home, lived at home until they got married, and then all bought houses within a half hour drive from my parents. They all have jobs, but not great jobs and all continue to mooch off of my parents. Also, they complain about the lack of jobs in the area but are unwilling to move away because they continue to be dependent on my parents. Who knows, if they had decided to go away to school maybe they would have better jobs and would actually act like independent adults.

Going away to school is about learning the lessons that they can't teach you in a classroom!
I think living in a dorm is peusdo independence. It's not the real world by any means, especially if your parents are footing the bill or you're taking out loans that don't need to be repaid immediately. But that point aside, just because one doesn't live on campus doesn't mean they won't have opportunities. Taking classes means you're on campus, right?

As far as your own siblings go, obviously I don't know your family situation. But you make it sound as if living close to family is a bad thing and that had they only gone away to college, they might have better jobs?

Maybe I'm old fashioned but I like the idea of having my kids living around me after college.
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Old 09-14-2012, 05:39 PM   #281
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I went to a commuter school 15 minutes from home. Lived at home and college was the best years of my life. I in no way felt jipped because I didn't live at school. I got involved in a sorority and other campus activities and had a blast. So I don't have the mindset that you have to live away at school to get the full college experience. Heck I did practically live at school. I only went home to shower, eat and sleep, then I was heading back to college for this or that. The key to a great college experience is getting involved whether you live at the college or at home. I think I had the best of both worlds and hope my children enjoy their college years as much as I did.
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Old 10-03-2012, 05:47 PM   #282
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Well my twins (who are commuting from home) are about 6 weeks into college now and the commuting is working out fine so far.

They have both joined groups that have helped them meet new friends. One is on a sports team and went to a weekend long tournament last weekend and was gone for two nights. The other has a 'retreat' coming up with one of her groups in a couple of weeks and has met several new friends in that group.

Just today my girls brought home someone they met in a class and they all went shopping together.

Both of my girls have friends living in the dorms and have gone over to visit many times.

I realize it isn't for everyone, but it is saving us $17,000 a year (since we have twins) and we honestly can't afford the dorms.

So for anyone who is thinking of doing this to save money.....so far, it working out for us.
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:48 AM   #283
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I don't get why when someone says they feel living in a dorm is a worthwhile experience a bunch of people come on and act like we're saying that students who don't get that experience are doomed.

This entire thread, people have talked about providing the best options for their student that they can AFFORD. No one has said, go into massive debt for things you can't afford. If I couldn't afford for my child to go off to school and live in a dorm, we wouldn't do it. That doesn't keep me from thinking it's the best case scenario for him.
My thoughts exactly. I lived in a dorm and had a great experience -- an experience that cannot be duplicated at any other time in life. 18 isn't really an adult yet, and it is a halfway step to independence -- not a bad way to ease into adult responsibilities. My daughter is having a similar experience now.

No one anywhere on this thread has actually predicted gloom and doom for any student who doesn't live in a dorm. Given that roughly 25-30% of the American adult population has a bachelor's degree, the majority of Americans have not lived in dorms -- and, clearly, they're not all doomed. That's just twisting and stretching words, or -- as you said -- "acting like we've said" . . .

But I do agree with you that, if it is financially viable, living in a dorm gives the student the best shot at success in college. Living on campus immerses the student in school 24/7. Living on campus is a constant reminder that the student has made a four-year commitment to his education and that it is his primary focus.

Some people will not fit into the dorms for whatever reason. Some people will not be able to afford the dorms. So those groups have to figure out what's best for them, but that doesn't mean that on campus living isn't very beneficial for those who do fit the traditional student profile and who can afford it.
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:10 AM   #284
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I think living in dorms CAN be a way for some students to gain more independence, but it is definitely not for everyone. Cost should definitely be a factor in making this decision. For me, living on campus was actually not *much* more expensive than living at home - my financial aid from school gave me a grant, which paid for a good portion of the room/board costs. My senior year, when I decided to commute, the grant was reduced, as the expense was not there.

There are good things about living in the dorms - it can be an easier way to meet people and make friends, you are closer to all the campus activities all the time, it can be a sense of community within a floor/dorm building, there are no parents/adults watching over you 24/7, so you must learn to be independent with your work, going to classes, etc.

But your student may also have the experience of "party buildings" - obnoxious, immature dorm-mates or even roommates who are up until 3am, drinking, dancing etc. Your student's dorm may not have that tight-knit community feel; many of the students may travel home on the weekends; your student may feel trapped or stuck at school and not excel. Sure, living with another person (or 2 or 3) provides real-life experience in problem-solving and learning to deal with differences... sometimes those can interfere with your student's life and well-being.

I don't think it's right to generalize about dorm-living. For some, it may provide a chance to learn to live independently, and for others, it may be a free-for-all no parents party for 16 weeks at a time. It largely depends on the type of person the student is. While some may be mature enough to understand that they are there for academic purposes, with all the added benefits of dorm life; others may not care that they(student loans) or their parents (footing the bill, taking loans etc) are shelling out thousands of dollars a year.. that type of student certainly does not benefit from dorm life in the manner that some are proclaiming.


In my personal experience - I lived on campus for 3 years, at a very small school. There was lots of drama, not always a lot to do on weekends besides go home/work, or go out to a party, and I eventually decided to go home and commute for my senior year. Things I learned from living with others in the dorms: roommates can be crazy, girls have even more drama than I thought, 18-21 year olds are incredibly immature, and I became proficient at doing my own laundry in a community-setting...

Things I learned commuting from home for one year: how to manage my schedule, what to do with down-time between classes without a room to go nap in, managing time / driving and traffic from home to school, managing money (no "meal plan"), coordinating group projects when living 20+ minutes from other students, focusing more on school work with less distractions at home, being able to work more hours at part time job.

Just my 2 cents
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:31 AM   #285
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My thoughts exactly. I lived in a dorm and had a great experience -- an experience that cannot be duplicated at any other time in life. 18 isn't really an adult yet, and it is a halfway step to independence -- not a bad way to ease into adult responsibilities. My daughter is having a similar experience now.
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