Column: Where, how you live in college will prepare you for adulthood
For the first time in my four years at Michigan State, there’s one thing I can finally not worry about this time of the year — finding housing for next year.
I say this because trying to find housing this early in the school year can be a pain.
You’re just getting situated into your new place, starting to get into a daily routine and getting settled in with your classes.
As soon as you get all of this done, it’s already time to start thinking about where you want to live next year. This can be especially stressful if you’re a freshman still trying to make friends.
If you’re still trying to figure out who you want to live with, which gets easier and easier every year, I — the elder senior — can help guide you on where you should live during your four years at Michigan State.
Your freshman and sophomore years should be spent in the dorms.
Obviously, freshman year you don’t have a choice. The reason I also say sophomore year is because you’re still settling in to college life and might not be ready to live on your own just yet. You might not be ready to cook your own food or clean your bathroom frequently.
After two years on campus, it’s time to take the first real step into adulthood: an apartment.
An apartment is the next step for many reasons. An apartment allows you to have your own kitchen, bathroom and bedroom without possibly being bothered by a resident assistant.
It’s really the first taste of freedom.
It’s also your first chance to grow up. Being in an apartment is your first chance to be an adult and make sure you clean your room, bathroom and kitchen in a timely manner.
It’s not an enormous space to take care of, so it won’t take up too much time and can give you a good foundation level of time management, cleaning often and learning to cook — all while living off campus.
Then comes senior year. If you’re like me, you’re at the point in your college career where you want to work and not do the whole school thing.
This is where it can split. Some people prefer the smaller area of an apartment, which is totally OK.
But, you could also upgrade your space and live in a house. Living in a house, you feel more a part of your community.
Even though I live in a fraternity house right across the street from campus, I feel more on my own and more tuned in to the off-campus community.
There’s also something about having your own lawn and parking space that feels like home.
While it’s more space to take care of and you’ll have to shovel your sidewalk in the winter, it’s another step in growing up and most likely more realistic to what you’ll experience as an adult.
Which is what college is for — to help you become an adult and find your way.