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dorm vs. apt

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by rabidpanda13, Dec 7, 2008.

  1. rabidpanda13

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    This is kind of a strange question and I don't know if I have posted in the right spot but do most people live in apartments while they are in medical school or dorms? Because I can't envision being able to afford an apartment. :confused:
     
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  3. saqrfaraj

    Physician 10+ Year Member

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    Some med schools have dorms or college-owned apartments for medical/grad students, but the vast majority of med students secure their own housing off-campus.
     
  4. DrYoda

    DrYoda Space Cowboy
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    I didn't think graduate/professional students usually lived in dorms. Maybe they do in some areas, but where I'm at it's all apartments or a rented house/condo.

    Most people live off loans while in med school.
     
  5. rabidpanda13

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    Can anyone who has lived in a dorm/college-owned housing during med school comment on whether or not it was totally horrible or if they think it was a good idea?
     
  6. alwaysaangel

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    Most people definitely live in apartments. Housing varies place to place and you'll soon realize that paying for an apt isn't much more expensive than oncampus stuff (at many places).

    When I was in college it was cheaper to live in an apt off campus than it was to live in the dorms. Here where I go to med school the on-campus apt are chepare than off-campus ones but they are hard to get.

    Housing varies wherever you go. Why is it you think you couldn't possible afford an apt? You'll probably have a roommate wherever you go (ie sharing a 2bedroom with someone) but generally its completely feasible.
     
  7. rabidpanda13

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    I can barely afford an apartment now paying instate tuition for undergrad. I have had to completely support myself through college and my family isn't well off and if I end up going to an OOS med school (my state only has 2) my loans would more than likely just cover tuition and school expenses. This was just a theoretical post but I would hate for finances to hold me back from doing what I want to do.
     
  8. saqrfaraj

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    You take out an amount in loans that's enough to cover tuition and ALL your expenses, including housing.
     
  9. medaholic

    medaholic short-coat
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    Apartments are more common - less noise and distraction, less restrictions, usually cheaper, more freedom, able to bring in your own furniture etc etc.

    Consider med students are older than undergrads, many have already lived in dorms before, and the appeal has worn off.
     
  10. WestHaven626

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    dorm to make friends for the first semester/year.

    apartment to get the hell out of the dorms the second year.
     
  11. alwaysaangel

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    Ah well no worries. Med school is different than undergrad. I supported myself in undergrad too and scraped by - but theres no way you can do that in medical school.

    In medical school you will be given the cost of attendance in loans (assuming you are a citizen and can get full staffords and have decent enough credit to get full gradplus loans). They will give you more than enough for tuition and school and living expenses. No worries.

    The worrying will come later when you're 200k in debt...

    I take out about 50k/year. 25 goes to school and 25 goes toward my living which is more than enough for me to live VERY comfortably in one of the most expensive places in the country. So no worries. Just suck it up and take the loans- I considered taking out less than they offered me but the stress to save maybe 20k over 4 years just didn't seem worth it.
     
  12. saqrfaraj

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    You'll meet plenty of people during orientation, once classes start, and during gross anatomy lab. You really don't need to live in the dorms in order to make friends.
     
  13. zenlike

    zenlike I'll see you in health.
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    I think USA budgets $22,500 after tuition and fees. So, say you spend $2500 on books and a new laptop, you'll still have $20,000 left over. That's about how much you make after taxes if you make $30,000 a year. I think you can probably afford to live in an apartment in Mobile with a roommate with that kind of dough.
     
  14. rabidpanda13

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    Yeah...I wouldn't be so worried about the instate schools as I would the OOS schools with the 40K/yr tuition ;)

    Thanks for all the responses! This is my first post with more than 4 people responding...
     
  15. cpants

    cpants Member
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    I recommend against dorms.

    Negatives:
    1. At many schools it's more expensive than a modest apartment in the area.
    2. Restrictions on furniture, appliances and monthly fire inspections...all the annoying dorm stuff you don't miss.
    3. No safe haven from neurotic medical students and constant discussion of material, tests, grading, etc. Really wears on you after a few months.

    Positives:
    1. Convenient.

    I lived in the dorm first year, and now I live off-campus. I am MUCH happier with my living situation now. Don't take the easy way out. Get on craig's list and find a cheap place with some decent roommates. You won't regret it.
     
  16. alwaysaangel

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    Yeah they suck but they'll still give you plenty of money to live off of then you just pull out 70k/year in loans and owe 280k by the end.

    Worry about the debt later but don't worry about being able to afford to live - too much stress during med school.
     
  17. rabidpanda13

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    I can imagine. It's too much stress right now!
     
  18. mmmcdowe

    mmmcdowe Duke of minimal vowels
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    Housing is provided for in some way by ALL schools in the form of a stipend. That stipend is figured into your financial aid package. Whatever your expenses are predicted to be, you then take out loans to take care of it (or grants/scholarships if you're lucky).

    Dorms vs Apartments really depend on the school. For example, the NYC schools that I've seen have dorms for m1s and apartments for older or married students. Basically everyone lives in them solely because they are massively subsidized. 600-800 bucks a month for a cardboard box in Manhattan is a steal.
     
  19. chemnerd89

    chemnerd89 In it for the lulz
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    Do you go to U of A? I thought I was the only Panda fan. :laugh:
     
  20. Concordia

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    Look into med frats at your school. I am living in one right now, and it's not bad. You are surrounded by people who are going through the exact same nightmare as you are, second years are more than willing to help, there are study-rooms and old text-books available... More importantly, it's right on campus, and CHEAP. Of course, you might get stuck w/ an annoying gunner for a room-mate, but it's not permanent, and again CHEAP.
     
  21. LizzyM

    LizzyM the evil queen of numbers
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    Your best bet is to ask on interview day if campus housing is available, what form it takes (traditional dormatories, apartments, frats) and if certain types of housing (apartments) are restricted to upperclassmen, etc. Ask if meal plans are available and if so, are they required. Also ask students you meet (tour guides, etc) where they live and if they are happy with the arrangements.


    Many sdn users post notices looking for roommates... you can meet people and size them up at "second look" in the Spring and look for apartments together if you choose to go with an off campus option or if your school offers a "roommate" option.
     
  22. Twiigg

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    If I had the choice, I would go for the dorm every time. I think it's so much easier to stay on task and study in a dorm environment rather than in an apartment. Too many distractions..
     
  23. Jolie South

    Jolie South is invoking Domo. . .
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    I think you'll tend to eat much more unhealthily if you live in a dorm. I don't know if that matters to some of you, but that would be a major con for me. I like to cook and control what I eat.
     
  24. linguini

    linguini Hopeful member
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    I hear you on this one. I think it would be hard going from an apartment with my own kitchen to a communal one...don't even want to think about communal bathrooms again.
     
  25. rabidpanda13

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    Yeah I go to UA. Too bad bout Saturday huh?
     
  26. justdoit31

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    Does everyone have a roommate? I am going to school next year in a town with pretty cheap 1bd apartments (500-700 a month)... I have a friend I could room with but I really want my own space)

    also does anyone have thoughts on having a washer/dryer in apartment vs in complex???
     
  27. chemnerd89

    chemnerd89 In it for the lulz
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    Yeah, it sucks. I can't complain about a BCS bowl, though.
     
  28. rabidpanda13

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    I was also wondering that as well. Roommates or no roommates? I know it is ultimately a personal decision but is it better to have someone to study with? is it more stressful?
     
  29. rabidpanda13

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    I'm actually a huge ole miss fan, I'd die if we got to go to the sugar bowl.
     
  30. alwaysaangel

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    Check the amount they give you in your budget if you can afford a 500-700/month 1bdrom then go for it. I can't wait to get my own 1bdrm. Just be sure you can afford it - if 1bdrms are 500-700 then 2bdrms are probably 700-900 and you may find the living budget they give you really only offers about 400/month for housing.

    As far as in unit vs. in complex. I had one apartment in college that was in unit - it was AWESOME! raised our gas bill a bit but you can do laundry whenever you want - no waiting no quarters. Can throw it in when you leave in the morning and be done that night. So great. In complex is a pain.
     
  31. Dulcina

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    there's no way i'd ever live in dorms again. I dont think I could stand not having a kitchen, a non-communal bathroom, and my own quiet space.

    I personally dont have a choice, as I have a dog, but even without her, I would take out whatever loans I needed to get an apt.
     
  32. shaggybill

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    Yup, same here. I live in a 1br apartment 1/4 mile from the school. I had to take out extra loans to afford the place, but I have a dog, so I didn't really have a choice. I've never lived in a dorm or student housing, but I'm glad that I have a nice and quiet place that I can get some studying done without loud distracting neighbors and their crappy music.
     
  33. DrYoda

    DrYoda Space Cowboy
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    For those reasons and a few others, I avoided dorms off the bat.
     
  34. alvintsheth19

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    Home by definition is "a place in which one's domestic affections are centered" or "any place of residence or refuge". However a house is "a building in which people live". Leaving for college is usually a big change for most people, but for the most part, it is where we become adults. Studying is only one aspect of college, but the real "fun" comes in adapting to the change of the living environment. The purpose of Residence Halls is to smoothen out that transition. As an incoming freshman, it is recommended that one stays on-campus; in a residence hall rather than off-campus, in an apartment, a co-op or Greek house (freshmen have to pledge first). I feel the students at Purdue do not appreciate the residence halls enough and do not give them as much credit as they deserve.

    When thinking about a residence hall, curfews, strict visiting hours and restraints come to mind. On that note, many people are hesitant to commit themselves to living such a prohibited lifestyle. Residence halls provide a structurally sound environment for the growth of a varsity student. By structurally, I mean that there are guidelines to follow, yet there is room to explore and grow. With the watchful eyes of Resident Assistants (RA) and Residence Life Managers, residents are kept in check at all times. For some, a residence hall cannot replace home, but it can become a place where one's domestic affections are centered; toward fellow residents rather than family. These fellow residents are now the makeshift family. In comparison to living off-campus, a residence hall provides a firm root to propel us into having a successful first year.

    The criteria through which I am going to evaluate the residence hall with are cost, distance from campus and means of transportation, facilities and amenities, dorm lifestyle, academic and social benefits from living in a dorm, and support from residence life managers or resident assistants in dorms.
    Dorm life, more often than not, is just eventful. Plain and simple! The social atmosphere is good as local and international friends with similar or other diverse majors can be made just by staying on the same floor. From personal experience, these friends will be the comfort zone that one returns to after having a bad day. Together, we go for meals, attend dorm-sponsored and other social activities which balance the merciless workload.

    Dorms provide facilities and amenities, namely 24-hour laundry rooms and computer labs, recreational games and lounges with big-screen cable televisions and high-speed internet, making living and studying away from home as easy as possible. Residents being teenagers with generally large appetites have food first on their mind; however, cooking is the last thing on their mind. With dining courts in the same vicinity of the residence halls, making their own food is the least of the residents' worries. They can have a sumptuous all-you-can-eat meal at these courts which is a stone's throw away.

    There is no hassle as far as utility or electric bills are concerned as everything is covered in the residence hall fee averaging to about $8500 a year according to the Housing and Food Services (HFS) Department website of Purdue University. Ultimately, the residence halls are usually the closest to academic buildings, which makes commuting really basic, even in winters! By walking a few blocks, one can be punctual, even if one wakes up a few minutes before class starts. As dorm residents, we are only required to maintain our own rooms. As far as academic benefits are concerned, if one is having a problem in homework or assignment, just a scream of "HELP!" down the hall and other residents will be flooding into your room with solutions. Resident assistants' organize residence hall sponsored trips to establish a community and a circle of trust through being involved with fellow residents. For instance, Meredith Hall recently had a trip to King's Island Amusement park and a Paintball trip. Along with that, the interaction with RAs is beneficial to students as resident assistants know a great deal about the university and provide support and advice whenever possible. These events present students with more opportunities to assimilate into college life.
    As far as apartments are concerned, social life may be harder to come by. The likelihood of meeting new people will be smaller than when staying in a residence hall, as there will only be a limited number of neighbors in an apartment. Moreover, surrounding neighbors are likely to be of many different ages and lifestyles and not all of them will have an understanding and liking for college activities as stated in the On- vs. Off-campus Housing by Get Out Today (GOT): Student Entertainment Guide; hence help from friends or resident assistants is not easily available.

    One will be responsible for cooking and cleaning and determining who handles different aspects of maintaining the household after reaching a common consensus with house-mates. Coming to a common consensus can take a long time due disagreements on severity or quantity of chores per person. Rosters must be drawn up to prevent any misunderstandings or miscommunications so that all the chores are done on time. Eating out and getting external help to clean the house can get very expensive for a college student. Food from fast-food joints is not healthy, so cooking is the only logical option, in my opinion, which is time-consuming and requires more cleaning up.

    To add on to the already uncomfortable situation, utilities are an added monthly expense. One might have to pay for his own high-speed Internet access. Bills must be split amongst the occupants of the apartment and disagreement could occur there as well. One might say he or she did not use the washing machine or dryer as much and does not wish to pay her or his full portion. Another major factor as a student is transportation to and from campus. Depending on how far off from campus your apartment is, to get to campus, one will either have to walk a long distance, take a bus or drive a car. If you chose the latter, gas prices and expensive car permits will be added to your expenses.

    In an interview with a resident assistant, who stayed in an apartment and resident hall at any one point of time said, "Finding a parking spot is inconvenient and taking a bus is a drag, as they do not show up as scheduled, so I get delayed." In an apartment, the basic furniture is only included such as a desk, bed, chairs etc., but often there are many more items needed. One will need to invest in his own furniture to make the apartment a "home" along with kitchen essentials, bath necessities, cleaning supplies, and appliances, like a toaster, microwave, coffee-maker, which could be a huge start-up cost.

    There are two sides to every story. If privacy is paramount for you, an apartment is the way to go. One can often have your own bedroom, bathroom and share common rooms with only a few room-mates. However, in a residence hall, privacy is not really an option as it can be noisy at times because there is bound to other residents and your room-mate walking in and out of your room. There are shared bathrooms for each floor where about 20 residents use, which is in no way private. In apartments, there are no resident assistant's or adult's supervision, hence there is more freedom; one can eat and sleep on his own schedule (no timings to keep except classes) unlike that in residence halls where one's eating schedule is decided by cafeteria hours. Dorm rooms can also be a very small space which you share with someone, maybe even someone you've never met before but when. On the other hand, in an apartment, you have the liberty to choose your room-mates you are comfortable with, for a cheaper price and a larger living space.

    From the interview with the resident assistant, she said "A two-person apartment cost me $700 a month for my sister and myself. Utilities and food came up to $2400 a year. So on average, my parents paid $5400 a year per person which is much cheaper than a residence hall." In my opinion, in an apartment, your social life is dependent on how often you go out, however in a residence hall, social life is nearly inescapable. The close living quarters means that it is often impossible to avoid social life which isn't always "fun" or good for your grade point average (GPA). Dorm activities can often feel like unavoidable obligations which should not be the case.

    I am an international student living in a residence hall of Purdue University. From my personal experience, staying in a residence hall has really benefitted me. A few weeks ago, my laptop gave way, and in this new age and computer era, a college student would be handicapped without a computer as assignments and home-works are mostly computer based. My residence hall had a computer lab which I had around the clock access to which allowed me to do my work without any inconvenience. In an event when I was very hungry, I was able to rush to the dining courts to have a wholesome meal.

    There are days where I missed home; I had friends, resident life managers and resident assistants to turn to for help. From an interview with one of the resident's parents with regards to residence hall, the mother said that. "My son gets lazy when he has to cook, and between cooking and not eating, he will choose not eating. I do not have to worry that my son is starving or not, because I know he will go to the dining courts. Apart from that, I am assured that he will be taken care of by the residence assistants and the residence life managers." Through activities like the King's Island trip I went on, I made more friends and this gave me a chance to bond with my residence assistants. This makes it easier for the resident assistants to understand the problems I have since they know me better.
    I had no troubles sliding out of bed few minutes before my 7:30am class and still making it on time, even by just walking! From a survey I conducted with current residence halls occupants, about 75% of the residents are satisfied with the residence halls and want to continue staying in the residence hall. The other 25% want to move out to other housing, their main reason being the size of the room is too small. From the resident assistant interview, she said "I have experienced living off and on campus, and to be honest, it is so much more nostalgic and fun to stay in a residence hall as it feels like a close-knit family- it is exciting!"
    In my opinion, putting the cost factor aside, a residence hall has got what it takes to become a "second home - a home away from home" Taking the general consensus from the survey, the interviews, weighing the pros and cons of choosing a residence hall against an apartment, I have come to the conclusion that residence halls are an all-in-one facility to enrich your college experience and make it a more memorable one too.




    Summary:


    Residence Hall (On-campus):


    PROS



    • Social life is built in - it's very easy to find a "buddy" to go eat, study, hang with or work out with.
    • Dorm-sponsored social activities enhance the feeling of family and provide entertainment.
    • There are very few concerns - no need to deal with monthly rent payments, utilities, and grocery shopping.
    • Someone else will be doing most or all of the cooking.
    • Someone else will also be doing much of the housekeeping.
    • The presence of Resident Assistants is a built-in support system, especially for younger students.
    • You are sharing your living quarters with other students who understand the demands on your time.
    • Dorms are usually close to classes, the student center, and other college activities.
    • Cable TV and high-speed Internet access are often available within most college dorm rooms, and even if you pay for them it'll be cheaper than on your own.
    CONS
    • Social life is nearly inescapable. The close living quarters means that it is often impossible to avoid social life which isn't always "fun" or good for your GPA.
    • Dorm activities can often feel like unavoidable obligations.
    • Privacy can be hard to come by and sometimes can be very noisy places.
    • Shared bathrooms - (period).
    • Without (often illegal) small appliances, something as simple as making a cup of coffee or heating a cup of soup when you want a snack is impossible.
    • Your eating schedule will be decided by cafeteria hours.
    • Dorm rooms can also be a very small space which you share with someone, maybe even someone you've never met before.






    Apartment (Off-campus):



    PROS




    • Privacy. You can often have your own bedroom and share common rooms with only a few roommates - who you in many cases chose.
    • You can eat and sleep on your own schedule (no timings to keep except your classes).
    • Apartment buildings are usually quieter than dorms.
    • At the end of the day, you are away from campus and there's a sense of separation.
    • Freedom.
    • There are no adults around (aside from landlord) to supervise or oversee your activities.
    • You will often have more space in an apartment than in a dormitory.
    CONS
    • Social life may be harder to come by - unless you have a big house.
    • You will be responsible for cooking and cleaning and determining who handles what with roomies.
    • Utilities are am added monthly expense.
    • You will have to pay for your own high-speed Internet access or deal with lower speed dial-up access if your school provides it.
    • Surrounding people/neighbors are likely to be of many different ages and lifestyles -- not all of them understanding/liking college activities.
    • Transportation to and from campus can be a concern/hassle.
    • You will need to provide your own furniture, kitchen essentials, and bath necessities, which is/could be a huge start-up cost.
     
  35. saqrfaraj

    Physician 10+ Year Member

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    Sweet Jesus...

     
  36. rabidpanda13

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    I didn't know anyone would feel so strongly on the subject...
     
  37. Dulcina

    Dulcina =)
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    crikey alvin, that was one hell of a first post!
     
  38. JackInTheBox

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    We in the online community have an acronym for posts like that:

    tl;dr.
     
  39. silverlining1

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    I think it's better to have a roommate, at least your first year. I like having a fellow classmate as a roommate because we can go to school together, hang out, and study together when we want - however, we have our own bedrooms (and bathrooms) and usually study separately. I just feel more comfortable having someone else around, especially because I just came from living in a dorm for 4 years. It helps me feel less alone =p
     
  40. justdoit31

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    How do you find a roommate that you know you can trust if you don't have friends going to that medical school?

    I would be hesitant to sign a lease with anyone I didn't really know. I am leaning towards going the 1 bd route but am interested to see responses to this question
     
  41. silverlining1

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    I met my roommate at Second Look, and we exchanged some emails talking about ourselves and our expectations before I committed to rooming with her. Risky, but hey, that's life.

    In undergrad, Housing assigned roommates based on autobios - even riskier!
     
  42. JackInTheBox

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    I got paired with a pretty good roommate through the personality surveys, but one of my friends got paired with a guy who admitted that he put down the exact opposite answer of what he thought for every question about study habits, cleanliness, etc. The dude turned out to be an incredible douchebag.
     
  43. BlueElmo

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    Holy craap. Did you actually write this?!


     
  44. saqrfaraj

    Physician 10+ Year Member

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    If you copy and paste all that stuff into Google you'll see that he's posted it in other forums too (with the same username and a post count of 1, as well). The summary at the end is from a "getting ready for college" website.

    Seems as though he gets his kicks scouring the internet looking for dorm vs. apartment threads so he can paste in a massive bomb of a first post. :laugh:
     
  45. silverlining1

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    lmao
     
  46. DrYoda

    DrYoda Space Cowboy
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    :lol:.
     
  47. BlueElmo

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    :laugh:
     
  48. drhouse42

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    I think having one in the apartment is more convenient, but I don't think I'd necessarily pay all that much more for it. I also think it depends on how much you do laundry.
     

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