Column: What life is like if you choose to live in single-person dorm room
The decision to live in one of MSU’s single-person dorm rooms during my sophomore year was a long-deliberated one.
It’s not like I have anything against living with other girls my age. Sure, I am by no means a socially graceful person—in terms of social skills, mine are the equivalent of Sheldon Cooper’s or Spock’s—but I do think it’s great to build strong relationships with other students. I’ll even admit that as a freshman, I was fortunate enough to share a dorm room with one of the sweetest girls ever.
I knew that I wanted to live on campus during my sophomore year, too. When the time came to choose a living space, I found that I liked North Neighborhood, known to many as MSU’s version of Hogwarts.
As a result, I currently live in Campbell Hall. Campbell offers a variety of permanent single rooms, meaning that you can choose to live in a room that’s been specifically designated to one person only. But as I found out, you don’t have to choose a permanent single to live alone. If you’d like, you can opt to purchase a double-room on campus, ordinarily meant to be shared by two students, as a single for yourself.
I can’t say how other residents feel about their single rooms, but I function well in my own tidy Hobbit-hole. I’ve found that not having a roommate is pleasant for several reasons.
For instance, I’m a journalism major with a minor in film studies. A quiet work environment is necessary for when I make important calls regarding any news stories I’m writing for classes or my job. In addition, I watch movies and then write obnoxiously long, complicated essays about them for my minor. It’s a relief to know that I won’t bother a roommate when I try to do either.
I can come and go from my room as I please, absent of the fear of disturbing a sleeping or working roommate. If I feel like going to the library bright and early in the morning or hitting up Blaze Pizza at 2 a.m., there isn't an issue. Living by yourself would also prevent the occurrence of … Ahem, awkward situations created if your roommate happened to have a significant other.
As corny as it sounds, I am true to myself by living alone. If I want to kick back after a long day by blasting the soundtrack to "Hamilton: An American Musical," watching a "Star Wars" movie for the thousandth time or eating an ungodly amount of pizza rolls, I can without worrying that someone will pass judgment on me for doing so. OK, so maybe my atrocious singing and the fact that I regularly practice with a lightsaber would make anyone think I was a little wacky. But in all seriousness, the understanding is still there—I can thrive when I don’t have to worry about what anyone thinks of me.
The decision to live the entirety of my sophomore year alone did come with two consequences, the first being cost and the second being isolation. The latter is of more importance to a student’s well-being. I’ve found that despite the perks of living by myself, I’ve experienced a lot of loneliness this year—something I definitely thought wouldn’t happen to me.
Last year, if my roommate and I had a bad day, we could vent to each other about it when we returned home. We tag-teamed in our coursework, especially in the 8 a.m. freshman math class that we quickly realized had been a mistake to enroll in. Oh, and I certainly miss her whenever I think of the times we’d go buy groceries, get slushies or eat dinner together. Doing those things alone is not the same.
Living alone surely isn’t for everyone. If you are a social person with no problem making new friends, a roommate will likely be good for you. You’ll have someone to talk to about everything from your class workload to your significant other, if you have one. If you happen to be placed with an exceptionally nice roommate, you may even have a friend for life.
Conversely, if you prefer to spend much of your time alone, then you’d probably thrive in a single room. The ability to live by yourself, especially if it makes you feel more comfortable, is well worth the extra cost of investing in a single room—just be wary that you aren’t allowing yourself to be consumed by loneliness.