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Friends and Meeting People
There are many advantages to living on campus. When you live on campus, it's much easier to meet other freshmen and older students. It may seem like classes are the way to meet people, and they are. Yet, dorm living creates a whole other kind of meeting place.
In a college dorm, there's often a common kitchen, common rooms and a place for relaxing and watching movies. Even if the dorm doesn't offer these things, there are always students around, coming and going as you do. Up and down stairs, in and out of elevators, you just naturally meet fellow students. It's a great way to meet students from other majors and other classes.
Most RAs (resident assistants) at dorms can really help you out as well. Resident assistants are typically upper classmen college students who live on campus for free in exchange for work as a resident assistant. Most dorms have one per floor or one per a certain number of students. Depending on the school and its rules, the resident assistant may be someone who polices, or it may be someone who can be your friend and confidante. It's usually a mix of both. It's great to have someone older and who's experienced to go to for help or advice any day of the week.
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Although crimes do still occur on campus, it's usually safer to live in the school's dorm. You have the resident assistant, fellow students and usually security guards to look out for your best interest on campus. The same is not typically true for the average apartment that is comparable in price to a dorm.
Also, if you live in the dorm, you are more likely to have a roommate. Living with someone is safer than living alone. Not only does it add to your sense of security, people are just less likely to commit a crime when there's more than one person. Also, you'll have someone who will know when you're expected back and this relationship will help you watch out for one another.
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Living on campus means a walk to class usually, instead of a drive or public transportation commute. You're more likely to show up for more classes. Also, with so many students studying in the dorm for an exam, study groups are often posted on dorm bulletin boards. It's easier to be a part of a study group if it's just down the hall from your bedroom. If there's not one posted, you can always post one yourself. In a large dorm, you're almost always likely to get a turnout. Just hold the study hall in a public place in the dorm building.
If you have to collaborate on projects, living in a dorm is even better. For instance, film majors often have to work in groups. If you live in a dorm, meeting up with everybody is far easier when you all call the same place home. Otherwise, even trying to schedule a group project can be tedious.
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Living in a dorm means living with people who are of your generation. You'll have more freedom to do small things that maybe you couldn't do it at home, such as blast music sometimes (although you want to be a respectful neighbor in a dorm as well) or frequently eat pizza for dinner as a group.
If you have a campus meal plan, living off campus will be a major pain as well. Meal plans often cover all three meals. If you don't have classes, you'd still have to come to the campus for all three meals. If you live at the dorm, however, you're already there.
Getting involved in activities on campus is also easier when you live in a dorm. The ease, closeness and sense of community are simply worth it.