For a number of our fall renters at Meadows Crossing, this will be their first apartment experience. Many GVSU students start off their college career living in the dorms and then, after a year or two, move on to living with friends in area apartments. And while in some ways, dorm living is similar to apartment living, in many ways it’s not.
Living in the college dormitories is a good transitional step between living with a family and living on your own or with roommates - which is why, historically, many colleges have mandated living in dorms for at least a limited time. Dorm rooms come with all necessary furniture and many of the amenities available, including laundry, and all of it is included in the same price. Students who live in traditional dorm housing are also required to purchase a meal plan, so buying and preparing their own food is not another challenge to meet while they are getting used to college life and being away from home. Students living in a dorm have more rules to abide by, however, so eventually most students move to apartment housing where there’s more independence.
If Meadows Crossing is your first apartment, we are happy that you are experiencing that independence with us. You’ll be able to choose when you come and go, what you cook and eat, who you live with, and who you invite over. You can decorate your apartment according to your personal style, and you can express your beliefs and priorities freely within your own space. You can have more privacy, as well, with your own bedroom.
The flip side of all that freedom, however, is that you’ll have more responsibility too. Here is where you will learn to budget your earnings, conserve energy (or pay bigger bills), cook what you’ve eaten, and live compatibly with the roommates of your choice. You may have some experience getting along with the people you’ve been placed with (your family, your dorm mates), but it’s a whole new challenge to keep friendships strong when bathrooms are shared and money is pooled. This is a very useful skill to have - extremely necessary for success in the world - and people learn this not in their college classrooms, but in their college apartments.
The good news is that, while apartment living is often less expensive than dorm living, Meadows Crossing has many of the amenities of the dorms available, including cable and internet access, furnished apartments, an onsite pool and exercise room, and ample parking or easy access to campus or Grand Rapids by bus. It’s a safe, secure environment for students and their families to live in. So, while there are trade offs from dorm living, you do not have to sacrifice too much. Welcome to this new stage of your student life!