living alone in college
Imagine not being woken up by your roommate's obnoxious alarm every morning. (Illustration by Hannah Delmore, Kent State University)
College x
living alone in college
Imagine not being woken up by your roommate's obnoxious alarm every morning. (Illustration by Hannah Delmore, Kent State University)

Freedom at last!

College comes with its pains of finding and choosing housing arrangements for an upcoming year. Rent, location, amenities, potential roommates and the possibility of living alone are all up for consideration when it comes to making the big decision.

As a transfer student to a large university, I made the tough decision to live in an apartment far off campus. In my defense, the rent was cheap and it included free parking. But, it meant I would have to live alone for the first time in my life, during my first semester at a new university. As daunting as living alone was, I decided to give it a shot and hope for the best.

Despite hearing that the solo lifestyle could be a nightmare, throughout my adjustment process I actually discovered a number of perks to living alone. In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I ended up living solo for several semesters after. So, if you’ve had enough of your roommates or are considering living alone, here are some of the benefits of choosing solo living arrangements during college.

1. Cleanliness

When you live alone, your place is as clean as you — and only you — want and make it. If you are a very tidy person, then you can happily say goodbye to others’ prospective piles of unwashed dishes and mountains of dirty clothes littered on the floor. You can clean your apartment whenever and however you’d like.

If you are a not-so-tidy person, you’ll no longer be bothered by roommates complaining about your disaster of a room. Either way, living alone gives you complete control over your place’s cleanliness index.

2. It’s YOUR Space

If you’ve only ever shared a living environment with somebody else, then transitioning to living alone can be quite gratifying in terms of space. In choosing to live solo, you are inheriting every available space. No more assigning rooms or selecting cabinets for storage. It’s all yours.

Plus, living on your own is a no-judge zone, so having your TV in the kitchen or keeping a stereo in your bathroom to listen to music while you shower is completely justified. Well, at least by your standards. Not only are you granted your own room, bathroom and kitchen, but you get exclusive dibs on the TV, gaming system, song choice, etc.

By all means, you can play a game of spin the wheel to decide which TV show you should watch, because the TV rights are yours. Feel free to stretch your legs on the couch or put them up on a table to be as comfortable as possible when consuming content. Even warming up ramen noodles at 3 a.m. because you’re hungry or eating breakfast for dinner is considered hip in your place. You do you.

3. You Pick the Style and Layout

Decorations are under your complete discretion. No questions. No if ands or buts. Posters, banners, pictures, collages, quotes, sports memorabilia, cherished items or even a wooden plaque saying “Welcome to the man cave” can be placed anywhere you feel necessary.

And if you have visitors, they’ll immediately pick up on your exclusive vibe from your choice of décor. Your unique personality can be represented in every square inch of your place.

4. “Academic” Focus

Living alone creates a tranquil and welcoming environment to focus on academics. I’ll admit that, in reality, a small portion of my focus inside my apartment, which is stocked with unlimited food, technology and my own rules, actually consists of academics.

Likewise, others might see living alone as a prime opportunity to do anything but academics, like: hogging the TV to play “Fortnite,” binge-watching Netflix, hosting “The Bachelor” viewing parties or blasting music late into the night at their neighbor’s expense. But some solo residents might hit the books more often than not, which is the right thing to do as a hardworking student.

5. (Maybe) No Distractions

Sometimes, roommates wake you up when they casually walk in at 2 a.m. from who knows where, blast music the night before your big exam or yell at another roommate or friend on the phone. If the noise is distracting and frustrating to you, then know the notion of living alone means going to sleep with no outside tussle and waking up the same way. Being abruptly woken up by someone’s obnoxious alarm is no longer part of your morning routine.

In fact, the only real distractions are the ones you impose on yourself, with technology undeniably leading the pack. It’s easy to stay glued to your phone, laptop or tablet screen, no matter what lengths you go to in order to avoid it. Most people, especially students, will eventually succumb to their internal pressure and check their phone every few minutes for texts, fantasy scores, app surfing, social media and class pages. (I clearly was not a master of keeping my phone far away.)

Phones are the number one enemy when trying to focus. Although staring at the wall and contemplating everything may be the default alternative without technology, remember that this way, you’ll get more done!

6. Invite Anybody, or Everybody

If you’ve had roommates who invited others into the wee hours of the night, or guests who were just distractions, feel free to eliminate it in your place. You are the host now, and nobody needs to consult anybody about wanted or unwanted guests. Whether it’s your parents, siblings, friends, significant others, your friend’s dog, the pizza guy or a date, anybody is welcome if you say so. You make the rules for your residence, so your friend crashing on your couch after a long night should be no surprise to anyone.

In addition, should your parents visit, they have the option to chill with you for as long as they want, without an awkwardly long time-frame where your roommate stays cramped up in their room while you catch up with your folks. As an added bonus, living alone means your parents can eat dinner and stay over a night if there is enough space. The same notion applies for close friends and perhaps others.

If the aforementioned unwritten perks of living alone fit your ideal lifestyle, then you should consider booking your ticket to Soloville.


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