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On-Campus Living: The Pros and Cons

Somehow, just about halfway into the semester, it’s time to start thinking about where you’re living next year. State College boasts numerous, beautiful livable apartment buildings, as well as houses and, of course, dorms. Choosing which apartment, house, or dorm to live in is no easy task, so we want to help you take the first step in choosing — deciding whether to live on or off campus.

If you do opt for the residence halls again, we all know what kind of experience that can be. Here are the top three pros and cons for you to consider if you’re leaning toward returning to the dorms next year.


  • You have a meal plan: As a 19-year old boy who can cook maybe five different things, the campus dining services were the number one reason I chose to stay on-campus. As much as the food and selections are less than glamorous, I would certainly take mediocre grilled chicken every day to what would probably be a mixture of plain pasta, toaster oven pizza, and Five Guys whenever I didn’t feel like cooking. Some people love leaving campus because they like to cook, and those people will always confuse me and make me jealous, but for the rest of us, never having to prepare a meal is a huge plus.
  • You’re really close to your classes: No matter where you live, you’re not going to want to go to class. Even if your first class isn’t until 1:25 or later, leaving your bed sucks, and walking to class is even worse. At least when you’re on campus, you’re never more than 15 to 20 minutes away from any given building. And if you forget something or want to nap, instead of having to go all the way downtown, you have the luxury of being able to stop by your dorm for whatever it is you please.
  • You probably live near a bus stop: In most of the residence halls, you’re no more than a few steps away from a blue or white loop stop. While it’s not the biggest deal right now, come winter — or any weekend night, for that matter — there’s nothing better than not having to walk home.


  • Weekends: This was going to be like three different bullet points, but why bother. This is by far the biggest con of life on-campus, from not being able to host parties or casually drink in your dorm, to being really far away from your dorm if you do decide to go out. There’s nothing worse than leaving an apartment in the middle of winter and realizing you have to walk all the way back to your dorm (bonus points if you’re a freshman living in East) because the loops have stopped running.
  • RAs: Don’t get me wrong, I really don’t have a problem with RAs and I’ve only ever had good ones, but the idea of RAs is enough to be an annoyance. The last thing I want is to have to worry about getting written up because I walked down my hallway singing my Canyon Pizza a love song and I happened to be on the same floor as the on-duty RA. There’s just something freeing about knowing that the only way you’ll really have problems is if you’re obnoxious enough to get someone to call the cops on you, and not just walking by someone’s door loudly.
  • Communal showers: Shower shoes. You have to wear sandals to take a shower. The floors of your own bathroom are so gross, you can’t walk on them barefoot. You’re so afraid of how dirty the ground is, you wear shoes when you try to do the thing that makes you clean. I rest my case.

What other pros and cons are there? Comment away.

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About the Author

Mike Reisman

is a senior Supply Chain Management major with an Economics minor (Read: Business Douche) from South Jersey. He has an intense fear of graduating so please don't bring it up. He writes about stupid things nobody cares about, and student life if the site is low on content that is clearly supposed be funny but is really very unfunny. He is lovingly (?) known around the staff as Baby Mike which may or may not be because he has a child (hint: it’s not). He’s also a second generation Penn Stater who has been wearing Penn State sweatshirts since before he was two, a habit he hasn’t grown out of. If you really hate yourself, you can follow him on twitter at @mike_reisman or email him at

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