There’s no doubt that living situations in college are fairly important to most students. Where you live affects where you eat, how close you are to study spots and where you and your friends can hang out.
It’s also where you can personalize your room, keep your belongings and at the end of the day, sleep.
Penn State and State College as a whole offer such a large and diverse range of housing options. You could live on campus in either one of the five dorm areas or in on-campus housing such as Nittany Apartments or Eastview Terrace.
If you’re in greek life, the sorority floors and fraternity houses are available to live in. There’s also the option to live downtown in the various apartments or high rises, as well as houses situated just outside of campus.
And if you’re looking to commute to campus, there are tons of housing options that are a bus ride away.
While each housing option comes with advantages and disadvantages, no two are quite the same. They’re all exceptionally different.
Now as a junior and in my third different living situation at Penn State, the one certainty I can say is try living in as many places as you can.
I know people who plan on living in dorms all four years because it’s comfortable for them. I also know others who spent the one required year on campus and then lived in the same apartment for three straight years after.
If you’re truly happy somewhere and know you couldn’t see yourself living anywhere else, by all means stay put. But to me, maximizing the college experience is going out of your comfort zone and trying new things.
With housing, there’s no better opportunity to try new things than switching up where you live each year.
As a freshman, I lived in East Halls. Living on campus was convenient in getting to classes, having provided a cheap meal plan and I ended up making some of the closest friends I have here — friends I intend to stay in touch with the rest of my life.
Sophomore year, I lived in an off-campus apartment/condo with friends from my floor freshman year. This was a great experience in learning how to truly live and share a home with those you know outside your family. It was also fun being able to host things at our house and be separated from campus life.
This year, I’m living in my fraternity house, which has offered a fun experience to be in a home with 20 of my fraternity brothers, giving me the best social atmosphere I’ve had in college thus far.
I haven’t always been on cloud nine every second in any of the previous living situations I’ve had. There are the ups and downs of living with just one other person or a group of 20.
But I’ve learned to make the most of where I live, to adapt to different settings and now to experience co-living with varying amounts of different people — not just the same group of people all of college.
I’d like to think getting out of my comfort zone and trying new places to live during college will push me to try new things in other aspects of life.
College goes by quickly — we’re only here for a few years. Make the most of it by living everywhere you can.