Yes, there is life after the dorms

Besides dorms, housing options include greek houses, apartments and living with your parents.

Riham Feshir

While some students will continue living on campus next year, others will explore alternative living plans.

Whether they’re living at a fraternity house, an off-campus apartment or at home, students shared their thoughts on life outside the dorms.

Greek living

Second-year University student Nick Jenneman said he didn’t think he would live in a fraternity house when he first started college. But after attending a couple of events for Sigma Chi and experiencing the bond of friendships, he decided to pledge.

“It is an experience you wouldn’t normally get living in the dorm,” he said.

The house of 28 members gives Jenneman the opportunity to be a leader and learn from his fellow roommates.

He said living in the house with older and more experienced students who help him with career building is a plus. His roommates provide help with his résumé and interview training.

“They give you advice and words of wisdom,” he said.

Jenneman said he also enjoys group social activities, such as formals and alumni dinners.

He said paying $3,500 a semester to live in Sigma Chi includes food, cleaning dues and local and national social events.

But the problem with living with a diverse group of people, he said, is the disagreements some of the members may have with one another.

“Sometimes you’re not going to see eye-to-eye on things,” he said.

Off-campus apartments

Housing studies senior Suban Khalif lives in a southeast St. Paul apartment with one of her siblings and said commuting to campus every day during rush hour is one of the biggest problems she faces while living off campus.

Khalif said she likes living close to her family and saving money on rent, but would rather live on campus if it were affordable.

“Sometimes it’s a hassle to drive home on breaks between classes,” she said.

And although Khalif said she eats out more often and drives for about 40 minutes every day, it still costs less than paying a $400 monthly rent for a shared bedroom, for example.

“I’m saving money but I’m losing commuting time,” Khalif said.

At home

Psychology junior Liz Sexton, who lived in Pioneer Hall during her first year, said living at home in Minnetonka isn’t that much different from the dorm.

“Socially, it’s not really that big of strain,” she said.

Her commute takes about 15 to 20 minutes when it’s not rush hour. Sexton said she tries to plan her schedule to combine as many classes together on the same days as possible in order to avoid driving every day or during rush hour. Sexton said driving during rush hour can increase her commute time by up to an hour.

She said she will be living at home next year, which will continue to save her money.

“I’m not going to be in debt,” Sexton said. “And it’s free food.”