Graduate Housing for the Complicated
April 14, 2014 7:21 AM Subscribe
I had a poor experience in dorm life previously. Now that I'm going to graduate school I'm facing a difficult decision, about whether to live on or off campus.
posted by Aranquis to Education (22 answers total)
This will be a long question. As previously stated, I have Asperger's syndrome. I am also goiing to graduate school in the fall. My first college experience was terrible. I was undiagnosed at the time, and I stopped going to class, didn't know how to live independantly (do laundry, etc), and I had no friends. I dropped out after a semester, moved home and went to our local state university, did quite well academically (though still not socially and learned some skills (laundry, other independant living skills). I graduated 3 years ago, and have been working full-time for the past 2, still at home. I am 25.
Well I was rejected by that school for graduate school, so now I need to make a decision and everyone is pulling me in some direction. I can live in a dorm. At this school, that requires me to be on a meal plan. I am very worried about this.
My concerns are multiple. For one, I am sensitive to noise and large groups of people. This really affected me previously. I didn't feel comfortable leaving my room because it was too rowdy. There is no seperate housing for graduate students, so I feel like this would just be a repeat of my previous experience. I really had problems with showering with other people in the stalls next to me.
Secondly, this is a master's program I am paying myself (and through loans). I feel I am basically being ripped off. Also, because of my AS my parents would want me to be in a single room (which I agree with), but that is going to really increase the price, even more than it is already.The cheapest meal plan I would be allowed to be on would cost $100 a week. I can feed myself for a month and a half on that. I've been saving everything the past two years for this time, and it would only pay for 2 of my 5 semesters of room/board costs if I do the dorm thing, when I think I could stretch it much further with other options.
That brings me to my third concern. Cooking is one of my obsessive, aspie interests, specifically baking bread. The thought of not being able to make my own bread on the weekends, of not being able to relax my tensions by kneading some dough, has me in a near panic. I also am not happy I will be forced to eat food most likely teaming with preservatives, additives, or just boring healthy food instead of the healthy versions of bad food I like to cook. I know this probably seems dumb to be so stressed over, but there it is.
However, if I live on campus, my AS would be officially there in the paperwork so the hope is that it would provide more support being on campus sanctioned housing. Of the dorm options, only one has the suite-style that would be better for someone like me, but again I'll be spending nearly $4500 a semester for that privelidge.
Having said all that, I'm still open to the dorm option if others can give me reasons why it would be a better option for me. If it really would be a more supportive living option, I want to know.
I know this is really long, but I'm trying to get more opinions than just mine and my parents.