Campus News · Community News · Feature

Students shed light on living opportunities: Pets, privacy contributing factors

Annette Berntsen

Lantern Staff

Dorm rooms. A perfect setting where a few strangers (or friends) are shoved into the same living space for months at a time and expected to either get along or cause problems. As daunting as this sounds, there are several perks to living on campus.  

“I like the freedom of coming and going when you want,” freshman and secondary education major Alexia Macleod said. “I also like that you can meet new people and make friends.” 

While many students choose the dorm life their first year of college, there are several options in El Dorado alone for those interested in living off campus. For some, the reason they chose to live off campus was because of the pet policy at Butler and the Villas.  

“I chose to live in the Shannon Plaza apartments because I was taking my cat with me to college,” freshman and music major Kaela Adolph said. “The dorms and the Villas don’t allow pets, so I had to make do with the given circumstances.” 

Others chose off campus living for more privacy. 

“I didn’t want to live on campus,” freshman and fire science major Jaden Herndon, who lives at Walnut River Apartments, said. “I wanted to have my own space and more freedom.” 

Unlike the dorms, though, apartment living requires more responsibility for students, especially when it comes to rent and utility bills. Adolph states that she pays about $510 a month, without factoring in groceries and other necessities.  

“I don’t have a trash bill or water bill, and the fee for having a pet is a one-time payment,” she said. “I do pay my energy, internet and gas bill but those don’t tend to run too high considering how busy I am and the fact that I live alone.” 

For Herndon, who lives with two other students, monthly costs are lower.  

“I pay around $250-$275, and that includes rent, water and electricity,” he said.  

The apartment life has its ups and downs, but these students’ overall attitude is positive.  

“I love living next door to my friends, Mack and Tino,” Adolph said. “There’s also the calming atmosphere around the apartments. There’s nothing truly chaotic or loud which results in an easier time trying to study or relax. If there’s anything the apartment can improve on it’s the dryers. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve paid $1.50 to dry a load of laundry, and I get it back damp.” 

For Herndon, one of the perks of apartment living was choosing the people he lives with. “I like that I live with people I knew beforehand. I wasn’t worried about us getting into fights because we have known each other our whole lives. Other than a few issues with the apartment like doors that don’t shut properly and missing trim, it’s a really nice place.” 

Both Adolph’s and Herndon’s advice for students interesting in living off campus convey the same message: be respectful of your neighbors and keep up on responsibilities.  

Choosing to live on campus or off campus during your college career is up to the individual. College is a unique experience for many individuals, and not much can prepare you for what to expect.  

As Macleod put it, “take the dream of what you thought living in the dorms would be like and throw it out the window.” 

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