5 Reasons Why Living In The Dorms Is Good For My Mental Health

This fall marks the beginning of my third year living in the dorms. It’s not common for upperclassmen to live in the dorms, but it’s not unheard of either: After all, my previous roommate as well as my current one were returning students, not freshmen.

My brother, in his second year of college, has also returned to the dorms. (But not at my school. He goes to Purdue.) My parents and brother and I discussed housing and decided that the dorms were better for our mental health. Today I’m listing the reasons why living in a dorm is the best option for me right now!

1. There’s always someone around, since I have a built-in community

Unlike in an apartment on the outskirts of town or even in town, it’s almost impossible to isolate yourself in a dorm: You’d have to work pretty hard for that to happen. Whether I’m having a good or bad day/week/month/semester, there are plenty of people to interact with and I try to study, eat meals with, or hang out with them as often as my little introverted self can handle in order to keep my spirits up and my bad thoughts away!

2. I have a meal plan

…which means I don’t have to cook! All students living in the dorms are required to have one, since there aren’t really any facilities in which to make your own food in these buildings. This is SUCH a big help because school takes up most of my time and energy. By the time I remember to eat, I’m usually running low on spoons so I appreciate not having to prepare meals myself!

3. I don’t have that many chores since custodians clean everything

I used to feel so guilty about this until I remembered that A) part of my dorm fees go toward paying them to do this and B) I don’t make messes any bigger than what is to be expected. (Like, I don’t leave the bathrooms a disaster zone UNLIKE SOME PEOPLE who think it’s fine to take a shit in the corner of the shower. Luckily, that was last year and our Mystery Pooper™ is no more. But I digress.)

4. Living in a small room means there’s inherently less to take care of and worry about

What chores I do have are limited to my dorm room, aaand… since it’s tiny, there isn’t much to do! Vacuuming, dusting, or tidying takes no time at all. Plus, the small size keeps me from bringing lots of stuff when I move in, which makes moving out at the end of the year that much easier.

5. It’s within easy walking distance of all my classes

…and therapy and extracurriculars and jobs and friends and my favorite bookstores. But above all, it’s close to my classes which makes all the difference in the WORLD when it’s cold and dark in the winter and I’m even more depressed than usual. Some of my friends have half-hour bus rides just to get to class. I don’t think I’d last very much longer at this school if that were me.


At this time in my life, I firmly believe that the dorms are the best place for me. Of course, there are downsides to living in dorms: Sometimes it’s loud at night, and I wouldn’t mind being closer to nature.

But that’s nothing earbuds and hiking with my friend (plus his cat, on a leash!) can’t solve. The dorms may not be perfect but overall, they’re a good choice for right now. They’re not that much more expensive than living in an apartment once you add up the cost of rent, utilities, food, and so on. I hope to live in the dorms during my fourth and final year of college as well!

Tell me about your experiences in the dorms!


About nevillegirl

Elizabeth. University of Iowa class of 2019. Triple majoring in English & Creative Writing, Journalism, and Gender, Women's, & Sexuality Studies. Twenty-one-year-old daydreamer, introvert, voracious reader, aspiring writer, and lesbian. Passionate about feminism, mental health, comic books, and cats.
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One Response to 5 Reasons Why Living In The Dorms Is Good For My Mental Health

  1. orphu44 says:

    I’ve never lived in a dorm, I am intrigued and educated.

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