Five things no one tells you about living on campus

March 09, 2017
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With the start of a new uni year, there are plenty of you that are moving out of home to live on campus. Living on your own comes with an undeniable sense of liberation and excitement, however there are a few things that no one prepares you for until you’re in your room and on your own for good. Here are a few things to expect when living on campus to help get you ready for your new solo adventure.

You’ll have no privacy

So you’ve got your own room and if you’re one of the lucky few, you don’t have to share with a mate. You’re off to a great start! But when you’re living in a dorm style building, you’ll have a common space, a common kitchen and the worst, shared bathrooms – so don’t expect to have any form of privacy.

Everyone’s excited to live out of home for the first time, so people will always want to hang out with you, share the kitchen with you or have a chitchat while you’re just trying to use the toilet. Prepare yourself for constant interaction with people. These days, even your own room can't be considered a private space anymore.

You’ll never make it to class

Living on campus, you probably think “Oh I can sleep in and still make it to class in five minutes”. But this is a trap. Although you may live 500m away from your class, you’ll rarely make it when the temptation to hit snooze and miss a few classes here and there is too great. I can guarantee your perfect attendance will not last long. Try not to get into a rut of sleeping through every early class, because come exam time karma will come knocking on your door.

You’ll still be calling your mum frequently

You’ve grown up with your mum constantly nagging you to do the dishes, put the leftovers away, or pay your phone bill. The minute you’re out of range you think “Great, I can do this, I’m an adult now”. I give you a week tops before you’re on the phone asking your mum how much washing powder you need for the laundry, how long it takes to cook pasta or how to iron your shirts. Mothers are always a blessing in disguise.

You’ll either starve or gain that "Freshman 15"

There is no in between here; with so many food choices on campus, you will soon find you’re eating seven meals a day simply due to the convenience of walking from your dorm only a few hundred metres.

Be aware though, with this lifestyle and being too lazy to cook you will soon gain the “Freshman 15” (or six kilos if we’re talking in Australian terms). On the contrary, if you’re too lazy to cook for yourself and are too poor after buying too many coffees, you’ll find yourself starving. Try keeping a balance between making your own food and binging on junk food.

You’ll make lifelong friends

Although there are a lot of hidden things no one prepares you for when living on campus, there are plenty of upsides. One of these will be the lifelong friendships you make. With the lack of privacy, you’ll be living in the back pocket of all your neighbours. It won’t be long before you find yourself eating Mi Goreng at 3am in the common room with all your new buddies, discussing the meaning of life. These new pals are what will help you get through the challenges of living out of home, and will be with you through thick and thin for a very long time to come.

Regardless of your expectations and experiences, there is no doubt that living on campus will be one of the greatest things you do.

Rosie Chong

Rosie is studying a Bachelor of Arts/Commerce at Monash University and loves corgis more than one should.

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