Sonoma State does not offer your typical dorm hall with community bathrooms; in fact they include heated floors and state-of-the art kitchens.
The past two years that I have attended Sonoma State, I lived on campus. Freshman year my home was a two-bedroom space where four girls shared a bathroom and living room. The students staying in dorms known as Verdot, like to call them “Verghetto.”
Although, these dorms are considered “ghetto” here at Sonoma State, they are far from it compared to other universities.
Sophomore year, I moved into Tuscany with five roommates of my choice and a beautiful kitchen to cook in.
As nice as the dorms are at Sonoma State, I always wanted to live off campus because I thought I still needed more independence.
This year, after a lot of time and worrying that my roommates and I would be living on the streets, I was lucky enough to find a two-story house in M-Section with three of my best friends.
You know the saying, you don’t know what you have until it’s gone? That’s how I feel about on campus housing. Living on campus makes life very simple. One doesn’t have to drive to school, the options of a meal plan are available (cooking for yourself every night isn’t as fun as one would think), and while living on campus, students do not have to worry about paying utilities.
The best part of all, dorms come fully furnished. Meeting up with random people that are selling couches and TV’s on craigslist is not at the top of my list of favorite things to do.
All this put aside, living off campus gives a whole new meaning to the word freedom.
First off, lets talk about how nice it is that I will never have to answer my door to a CSA again.
Never again will I have to tie-die shirts with people that I never talk to in my living area. These activities that are mandatory attempt to bring us residents together, but more often than not, no one wants to spend time doing these somewhat childish activities.
I can also come home late from a party and not have to worry about hiding or running away from the CSA’s (I thought I didn’t have to worry about that after high school).
Coming to college we all think we will be treated like adults, but that is not always the case. Though, I do have to worry about my neighbors, like all RoPo locals, who have a lot of conflicts with college students.
Although driving to and from school and finding a place to park is an inconvenience, it is nice being able to leave campus after class each day.
Coming home to a house is a completely different feeling than going back to a dorm. For me, coming back to a house is more comfortable than a dorm. It is a place where I can forget about school and de-stress for at least a little while.
More than anything, living off campus is a really big responsibility. This is probably the reason why part of me misses living on campus.
However, at this age, living in a house is great experience for the real world. When we leave college, many will not be able to simply call maintenance and get our heater fixed for free or even unclog a toilet. When we leave college we won’t only have one bill to pay on time, we will have multiple.
It may be more convenient to live on campus, but I think it is important to get a taste of the real world throughout our college career.
So far, living off campus proves to be one of those real, grown-up experiences.