Residency is Overrated

Living on campus is often the most touted aspect of college life. But is it really?


Living on campus is often the most touted aspect of college life. But is it really?


Everyone said I would regret not living at Fordham. Yet here we are four years later, and I do not regret a thing.

I’ll admit, four years ago I was nervous I was making the wrong decision. Everyone I knew encouraged me to be a resident. However, I stood my ground and have not looked back. I knew I wanted to go to a college in the city and being from Staten Island, I knew dorming was not a necessity.

It only took one tour of a dorm room for me to confirm that dorming was not for me. For one thing, I’m a germaphobe. The thought of sharing a bathroom with a few strangers completely grossed me out.

If the bathroom situation was not enough to completely turn me off, the size of the rooms certainly did. I am very lucky; when my parents bought their house on Staten Island, it was a new construction and the developer had made my bedroom almost the same size as their master bedroom. The thought of sharing such a small space with another human was incomprehensible to me. Not to mention I would go from sleeping in a queen-sized bed to a twin XL.

Just to make sure I was sure in my decision, during the tour of a McKeon dorm room I wanted to take a peek in the closet. I initially could not find it, but once I did I walked out. The tour of the dorm just confirmed that I would be much more comfortable in my own room.

That “closet” would not even fit a quarter of my stuff. To me, a dorm is no different than a jail cell: You have a dirty little space that you share with someone else. No thanks.

Besides my disgust for dorms, leaving my family was another driving force behind my decision not to dorm. I always thought I was close to my family, but in the past four years I have grown far closer to them, especially my mom. Not only has my mom become my best friend, but I also have newfound admiration and respect for her.

In the spring of 2012, my dad got sick. Ever since, my mom has been his caretaker. I always knew taking care of him was draining for her, but I never knew how much or saw just how much she did. In high school, I had classes and extracurriculars that kept me out of the house for almost the entire day. Now, with classes only two or three days a week, I am home more and see everything she does for him.

Seeing her take care of him everyday has made me so much more appreciative of everything she does and has made our bond much stronger. Since I’m home more often, I also get to see other family members a lot, as they come to check on my dad.

There’s another benefit to living at home: it’s so much cheaper. I live on Staten Island, so I do not live that far from Fordham’s Lincoln Center campus, and commuting has saved me so much money. By bus or subway, the trip takes a little over an hour. If I drive, depending on traffic, it can take less than an hour.

Why pay several thousand dollars to live an hour closer to school? There are lots of people who work in the city and commute from where I live. If they can do it, so can I.

Since I commute, I pack all my classes into two or three days, which gives me flexibility to earn money working and interning. Since my freshman year, I have worked at my local mall and have worked my way up to a management position. Working in retail is a lot more competitive in the city, and it’s not  an opportunity I would have had if I had decided to dorm.

Rather than spending a ton of money on a dirty dorm, I have been able to save up money so that within the next year, I can move to the city and live on my own. Alternatively, most of my friends who lived at Fordham will have to move back home or get roommates in order to live on their own.

As I prepare to graduate, I am happy to report that everyone who told me I would regret not dorming was wrong.

There was not a single time in the last four years that I have regretted my decision. The same cannot be said for my friends, who now hate living in a dorm. Overall, while my college experience is probably different from that of most people, I would not change it at all.