The lure of staying on-campus is a strong one, and it is very easy to understand why. It seems really, really fun; you see pictures of your friends and seniors involved in a multitude of activities ranging from hall productions to inter-hall games to block events – there are tons of things happening all the time! You get to meet friends from different faculties, stay up late at night without your parents nagging at you to sleep early, and the best part? You don’t have to wake up early to go to class.
Sounds like great fun, doesn’t it? However, if you happen to be living at home, fret not – because there are indeed some benefits to braving the daily commute to and from school
University takes up a lot of your time, and this includes precious family time. If you live at home, there is at least the guarantee of seeing your loved ones either at night for dinner, or perhaps in the morning for breakfast. Staying at home means that you get to see your family more often and hear them share about their day in person! Most people who stay on-campus only get to do this once a week – when they visit home on weekends.
Living in hall means that you’re surrounded by people ALL DAY EVERY DAY, 24/7. Communal living makes personal space something that’s rather hard to come by. Most facilities and spaces available are all shared with fellow residents, whether you like them or not – think toilets and common areas, like the block lounge or the pantry… If you stay on-campus, “me” time usually means hiding in your room. This doesn’t really work out very well if you have a roommate, or if your hall has an open-door policy.
In the comfort of your home, personal time is more likely available to you than on-campus, where you are surrounded by people every other moment spent outside your room. Home is a place to recover, rejuvenate and recuperate in the presence of your own company, away from the outside world.
Actually getting some sleep
On-campus living comes with the understanding that meetings, trainings or practices can be held really late or end at an equally unearthly hour just because you live a stone’s throw away. Such late-night meetings or hall activities will usually leave you tired and sleep-deprived, especially when they end really late. Living at home means that you save up on the sleep that your friends in hall lose because you don’t have such activities to attend. This includes late night mah-jong games and nightly “HTHT” sessions with your friends. Sure, they seem fun on the surface, but you may start to reconsider your choices after having to survive the following day on insufficient sleep.
This is also relevant if you’re committed to a university-level project that has nothing to do with hall. Staying at home gives you the reason to put deadlines to meetings or leave early if you have to, while people who live in hall may be expected to commit more time to these meetings.
Not gaining that much weight?
Staying at home means that you’re less likely to have supper every other (mid)night. Ah lian bee hoon, ameens, cheese fries, prata, even the trusty 24/7 macs – the list goes on and on. Of course there’s no guarantee that this will make you gain a few kilos, but if you’re interested in learning more about food and mealtime-related questions, you can check out this cool article here.
Better yet – if your meals are home-cooked (with lots of love too!), you’re living healthier than most of your peers living on-campus.
Generally speaking, home is a place for rest and school is a place for learning. Living on-campus blurs the lines between both. Making the daily commute may be advantageous in forcing you to plan for your day properly; you are more likely to make sure that you have all you need in your bag, and prepare all you need for class. This doesn’t mean that your friends on-campus don’t plan their days well, but (speaking from experience, unfortunately) it is easy to let something slip when you can always bank on the fact that you’ll take a few minutes to run back and grab whatever you forgot during a break in between classes.
So… What’s your point?
There are definitely pros and cons to staying on and off-campus. Of course, it is ultimately up to you to decide whether living in school or living at home will be to your benefit. However, on days when you wonder why you’re stuck at home when all your friends are enjoying life in hall – remember that it isn’t really THAT bad on your side of the grass.