Dorm vs Home: Where Should You Live in College If You Have a Choice – A Comparison

Entering your college days is one of the most exciting chapters of your life. You’re finally an adult and for the first time ever, you get to make your own choices. However, some of these choices are hard to make. Like deciding whether to live on campus or live at home. If you’re on the fence and trying to make this decision, here are the ups and downs of both to help you make the right choice.

  1. Dorm Pros & Cons
  2. Home Pros & Cons
  3. Summary
  4. Conclusion

Staying at home or Move to the dorm - pros and cons of home vs dorm living

Pros and Cons of Choosing the Dorm

Staying on campus in a dorm - pros and cons

Dorms are filled with lively college students pumped to be living on their own because let’s face it: it’s exciting! Moving into a dorm is many people’s first chance to live independently and away from parental supervision – which can be good and bad. So let’s weigh the pros and cons.

Pros. Moving into a dorm is liberating and empowering and will make you feel like a true adult. Cool, right? It’s also an easy gateway to make friends since you’ll have a roommate and others on your floor. Plus, many dorms have ice breaking events to help students meet one another. Another big perk is that you live on campus making all of college life more convenient. You can sleep in later without having to commute to campus for classes. One other benefit too good to ignore is the option to enjoy any campus amenities like a gym, community center, food court, pool, or other fun accessible perks your home may not offer.

Cons. Living in a dorm can provide unforgettable experiences, but it can also be quite expensive. If you opt for a budget-friendly dorm, you may sacrifice serious luxury and have a slummy space. Another downside is the possibility of a bad roommate or disrespectful neighbors. While you can request a roommate transfer or file complaints if things get bad, it’s not an ideal situation. Another thing to consider is that a dorm is inevitably full of constant distractions because you’re surrounded by friends at all times. It’s tempting to stray away from your studies if people are knocking on your door, so your grades could suffer.

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Pros and Cons of Living at Home

Live at home - pros and cons

Living at home may not sound like fun, but there are many smart reasons it works for students. If you are very close to your family or have younger siblings, it can be really hard to say goodbye and move away. And what about your pet? Pets like cats and dogs don’t live as long as we do, moving to the dorm would mean that you’re be missing huge chunks of their lives. Or, if you have a job or other obligations that are closer to your house, it makes sense to keep that as your home base. But let’s look at the good and bad of choosing to live at home in college:

Pros. The most obvious perk is that living at home is free. You’ll save on lodging but also food costs assuming your parents keep the fridge stocked. Rent and meals add up to a significant amount of money and big savings if you choose to live at home. It also provides a safe haven to escape from the chaos of college life. Sometimes living on campus can be overwhelming so if you are a private person, then take note. Plus, if you are someone who gets distracted easily, staying home will give you a better atmosphere to study and the potential to score higher grades.

Cons. Unfortunately if you live at home, you might feel like you’re missing out on your college experience. While all your friends stay on campus, you have to leave each night. That can be sad considering college is meant to be some of the best years of your life so you shouldn’t miss out on anything. Another big downside is that you add a commute to and from college each day. If you don’t live close to the college, you’ll waste a lot of hours in the car!

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Summary: Dorm vs Home

Home Dorm

  • Free – as in rent-free
  • Stay close to parents, siblings, pets.
  • Keep your job
  • Home-cooked food


  • Stay close to parents & siblings
  • Potentially long commute (traffic jam)
  • Chores



  • Free – as in freedom
  • Easy access to academic resources
  • Easy access to campus amenities
  • Minimal commute
  • Easier to make new friends


  • Costly
  • Roommates
  • Distraction
  • Away from parents, siblings, pets

Which is Better: Dorm or Home?

Ultimately, the decision is up to you. It all depends on your budget, what you prioritize most, and the experience you’re looking to get out of college. If you only have classes a few days a week, then living at home is a smart option since the commute to campus is only part-time and you’ll save a ton of money in the long run. If you want to live in a dorm, you’re bound to have a fun time and if budget is an issue, consider becoming an RA or resident assistant or finding another student job to help pay for your lodging.

No matter what you choose, find solace in the fact that this living situation is not permanent. College is a whirlwind and every moment should be enjoyed because before you know it, it’s over! Simply choose the option that fits your desired lifestyle and pick the living arrangement that you want most. You won’t regret it!