My dorm arrangement was a quad consisting of two sets of bunk beds with myself being on top. The benefits of being the top is that you feel less confined, especially if you live in Seton where the ceilings are high. The drawbacks are that the temperature up there is a toasty twenty degrees different than your lower bunk counterpart, and having to climb a ladder every time you want to get to and from your bed, and that you’ll need some time to overcome the fear that you’ll roll over right off the top bunk.
Privacy, there is none. With three roommates, a communal style bathroom and shower room, the only time I could ever feel alone was at the library’s third floor, a.k.a. the quiet study floor. As for eating, my diet primarily consisted of what the Student Center has to offer due to the meal plan, however, it would also be fairly difficult to maintain home cookware for the dorms since the only stove is in the lounge and there is minimal storage for pots, pans, and dishware. When I look back to freshman year as opposed to my current situation where I have my own room, I wonder how I was ever able to live in such conditions. Yet, I kind of miss those days. Those were times of meeting the new people that lived all around me and immersing myself in a new city that I would call home. The struggle of dorm life was not so much a struggle after all, but rather a humbling experience that propelled me into the college experience I yearned for.
Upon moving in, I quickly realized the benefits, and drawbacks, from renting an apartment off-campus. What I like thus far is definitely having the luxury of your own bedroom. The room itself is about the size of the four-person dorm I roomed in freshman year, so to say the privacy and space is appreciated would be an understatement. The living room is the size of the entire room of the two-person apartment of Centennial I was in last year. These comparisons are not meant to downsize DePaul’s living accommodations, but more so to brag about how lucky we were to find this huge apartment. Living off-campus, you also get the sense of having more independence and less supervision - whether that supervision came in the form of checking into your building or having cameras on you wherever you go. However, where there are pros there are cons.
The first thing to note is the location. Yes, Lakeview is a very nice neighborhood and not far north, but it still does not compare to living on campus where I would leave five minutes prior to when my class starts in Lincoln Park or having the Ray and CTA trains conveniently located minutes away. Another downside is the monthly expenses you have to set up and pay for. Cable, Internet, heating, AC, electricity, water, laundry, and printers are all provided on the room and board expenses. As of now, we only have Wi-Fi in our apartment. No TV channels, pay $1.25 a load for laundry, and the electricity bill. For our place, water and heat are covered but the heat it is not controlled inside the units and is in the form of steam that comes from radiators. We also have no AC.
I realized I did not want to live at DePaul forever, and getting an apartment off-campus was ultimately the only option for me unless I commuted from home. I’m not advising as to which form of housing you should go for, but to look into the expenses for both.