Housing Debate: Dorm Sweet Home

By , and in Opinions

Living at home:

KEZIA FOURIE

Being a university student while still living at home is one of the best choices I’ve made this year. The support and financial relief gained by this experience helps to alleviate student stress.

According to Living Saskatoon, a website dedicated to those new to the city, as of April 2012, the average rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Saskatoon was approximately $976 per month. In a scenario where two students split the rent, they would each pay nearly $5,900 in rent per year.

This price is comparable to one year’s tuition. By living at home, I save myself an enormous amount of money. Not to mention the fact that students living at home don’t have to pay for utilities, food or home insurance. All these costs are graciously covered by their parents.

Time is always of the essence but especially during weeks filled with midterms, papers and finals, and having family members around you who are not university students can help with this dilemma.

Neglecting chores a little more often than you should becomes an option. Many family members are more than willing to help out, and having a home cooked meal without leaving your desk or paying for it is another added bonus.

On the other hand, living at home is not always a paradise. Independence and privacy diminish when not living on your own during your university years.

Although not being responsible for most of your own bills, chores and food brings an obvious sense of relief, the feeling of independence gained from taking on this responsibility is lost.

Bringing home significant others can also be challenging. Chances are it won’t be just the two of you home, so having the privacy to do what you want, when you want, is just not always possible.

To ensure that your plan to live at home while going to university goes smoothly, one key ingredient is required: communication. A lack of this will bring frustration from both parties and can end disastrously.

According to Statistics Canada, in 2012, 22 per cent of Canadians aged 15 and older reported that they felt stressed out most days. Students fall into this category, and part of that stress can be attributed to juggling student life and other responsibilities, especially the responsibilities that come from not living at home.

In a world where student stress has many contributing factors, being fortunate enough to get rid of a few is wonderful.

Of course, there are some stresses that simply cannot be removed from the life of student. But living at home can make everyday life just that little bit easier.

Housing Debate - Jeremy Britz

Living off-campus:

EMILY KLATT

Staff Writer

University is supposed to be a time of personal growth — a time to learn, make mistakes and discover who you truly are. While living independently off-campus isn’t the only way to achieve this growth, it certainly provides the most direct route.

Most students are presented with three living situations while attending university. They can either live off-campus, in a residence hall or at home with their parents — if location permits.

Each set-up has its advantages, but it’s pretty damn hard to feel like a real adult when your Mom still makes you dinner every night or, conversely, you have to share sleeping space with a complete stranger.

Simply put, independent living is the best option for university students anxious to join the real world as soon as possible.

Living off-campus provides you with the kind of privacy that’s almost impossible to find at home or in a dorm. You’re almost guaranteed to have your own room and you don’t have to share a bathroom with the other 30 people on your floor. Sometimes, being alone is a good thing.

Sure, you’re likely to have roommates, but they’re still better than family when it comes to things like your sex life. It’s one thing to bring a date home with your roommate around, but it’s different when it’s your dad who’s overhearing your passionate love-making.

Living on your own also teaches you those all-important life skills that are necessary to becoming a functioning adult — skills like cooking, cleaning and balancing a budget.

It’s nice to have dinner prepared every single night, but that’s not what the real world is like. Learning to cook is a pretty basic thing. You don’t need to become Julia Child, but knowing how to prepare a few simple meals will ensure that you don’t live entirely on Kraft Dinner and microwave popcorn.

The same goes for cleaning — you have never really lived until you’ve done your own dishes or scrubbed your own toilet.

Living on your own isn’t always perfect. In fact, you’ll probably mess up in some pretty spectacular ways. Although isn’t that what university is all about  — learning by trial and error and finding your own way? There are fewer people to guide you, but you end up where you’re supposed to be all on your own.

You’re going to have to grow up at some point; you might as well rip off the Band-aid sooner rather than later.


Living in residence:

JACK THOMPSON

While there are several options for housing during the school year, university residence is the best option for a social and academic lifestyle. The environment leads to many new friendships and, if utilized properly, can lead to academic success.

One decision that every university student faces is, “Where am I going to live?” The answer differs from person to person and is determined by your preferences — things like the sort of environment you enjoy for studying, socializing and carrying out your day-to-day life.

I live on-campus in College Quarter, so my viewpoint is based solely on that location. I enjoy living there as it suits me well, although this may not be the case for every student.

Studying in CQ is pretty good. Each room has it’s own desk and since the rooms are each separate from the others, it isn’t overly hard to find the peace and quiet you need to get your study on.

If you enjoy studying in groups, there are also study lounges on the fourth floor of each building, and, if you don’t mind the possibility of people coming in, there are lounges on all the other floors. All of these lounges have the space for nearly any size of group.

Socializing in CQ comes with the same ease as studying. Visiting friends that live in the building is convenient because it’s only a short walk away. This is especially true when going to the residence adjoining your building, as there is a skybridge connecting them, so you don’t even need to step outside.

When the weekend rolls around, there is always a party to attend and since home is only a little ways away, you’re guaranteed a safe trip home.

Another benefit from living in residence is making your first independent venture into the world around people that are all going through the same experience as you. This means that you’re not the only one who’s dealing with learning to do things for yourself — one of the greatest experiences that living outside of your childhood home brings.

Also it’s really close to all of your classes and other amenities on campus. You will find yourself gravitating towards engaging in university life more and more.

I feel that residence is an excellent choice for living as a U of S student. You get to live in an environment where almost everyone else is out on their own for the first time and still figuring out how they like to live.