Top five reasons not to live in residence

By Rob Taylor

1. When you first arrive, you're not going to get to choose who you live with

That's right. When you arrive on-campus, you're going to be sharing living space (and possibly a bedroom) with people you have never met and possibly will not like. We've all seen the TV shows and movies that tell tales of the roommate from hell. Remember those three poor nerds that almost got thrown out of school because they had Homer Simpson as a roommate?

Bear in mind, though, that most schools have interest forms and other ways to try to match up people with at least some common interests. And if things get really bad, you can always request a change.

But still, it is something to consider.

2. It can get awful noisy on campus

Transcript of conversation I had with a friend in our townhouse during second year:

Boy, that music sure is loud!
That music! It's loud, eh?
The music, from the guy who lives next door! Is loud!
I can't hear you! The music from the guy who lives next door is too loud!

Maybe I made that part up. But it illustrates a point that things can get very noisy in residence, especially since many students use loud music as a stress-reliever. I'm guilty of this myself. Yeah, there's nothing like belting out some Gordon Lightfoot to just go crazy to! Canadian Railroad Trilogy rules! Woo!

Another fact you need to consider in this arena is that many residences are either very old or built with very thin walls. In my residence you could hear people talking in their rooms pretty darn clearly, unless they were whispering.

Many schools have got to the point where they have scheduled noisy or quiet hours on-campus in response to the loudness that some residences seem to leak out.

3. It costs money

If you are fortunate enough to live in a city with a school offering a program that you are interested in, you might consider the money you'd save (assuming your parents will continue to cover your living and boarding costs) by living at home. It's going to be around $2,000 a year and maybe as much as $6,000 when you factor in meal plans.

4. Lack of control

Say that you are moving to another city or town to go to school and your trying to decide if you want to live on campus or live in an apartment on your own. One thing to consider is the lack of control you're going to have over your own life.

Some schools forbid people to have visitors in their rooms or residences at certain times or at all. No one is going to put that kind of restriction on you if you live on your own.

There's the before-mentioned quiet and noisy hours that some schools have.

If you have a meal plan, then if you want to have breakfast, you're going to have to get to the cafeteria when they are serving breakfast. What to get some breakfast at 2 in afternoon? You're going to have to find a way to cook it yourself (hard to do if you live in a residence without a kitchen) or find a greasy spoon somewhere.

Say you want to watch a really awesome horror movie at 3 in the morning. If your roommate wants to sleep/study/watch something else, then you're going to have to make a compromise.

5. There's ghosts in residence

Ohhhhhh. Scary.

Many residences are very old and have reports of hauntings. There's nothing worse than trying to get that all-important assignment done and being hassled by the undead.

Uh, see, this is a top five list of reasons why not to live in residence and I couldn't come up with a fifth reason, seeing as I'm a big supporter of living in residence at least one year of school. Hence the lame ghost reason.

Go ahead and read the Top five reasons to live in residence. I think it will win you over.

Modified on April 23, 2009