Pros and Cons of Staying on Campus for the Summer

Living on campus may make you homesick.

Flickr user York College of PA

It’s that time of year again! Students all over the map are packing up their belongings into crates and bags, heading home for the summer. While some can’t wait to get out of town and back to their parents or high school friends, others are more wistful, wishing their school year would never end. If you fall into the latter category, don’t dream it’s over: living on campus during the summer is an option! This is a big decision, though, and if you’re practical, you’ll probably want to look at both sides of the coin before you make any arrangements. Let’s take a look:

Pro: It’s quiet

You’ll get to see what college is like without any people! Most campuses completely empty out during the summer, and depending on where you go, the town might follow. This can be good or bad depending on your perspective. If you have a lot of work to do, like a directed study or a giant research project, this can be a blessing. In addition, some people enjoy the feeling of being one of the only people around. If you’ve decided to spend the summer in town with some friends, you’ll be able to go to your favorite restaurants, bars, or other haunts without worrying about crowds. You’ll run the town.

Con: It’s too quiet

Darn, you’ll have to see what college is like without any people. Again, this is largely dependent on where you go to school, but as someone who went to a small-town college, I can confirm that during the summer, the streets of our town contained nothing but tumbleweeds. Some businesses that depended on student employment even closed for the summer months, making it hard to find places to eat (or drink). Even if you have friends around, you could get lonely and wistful for the fall and spring, when the streets were full of people and familiarity.

Pro: Use of college resources

If you’re committed to a giant academic project, you know that use of the college library (and library search system) is invaluable. Luckily, these resources remain intact during the summer, as college libraries usually provide summer hours for the students still on campus. So, if you’ve decided to stick around to work on a directed study, research grant, dissertation, thesis, or anything in that vein, you’ll have a wealth of knowledge to pore over. For added benefits, the library will be quiet and mostly empty (and air-conditioned).

Con: You could get homesick

For some, this isn’t a problem, but others struggle with homesickness often. It’s possible this could be a bigger issue during the summer months, simply because fewer people are around, and you’re probably used to spending summer at home. You’ll miss your friends and your parents, and they’ll miss you. If you think homesickness and loneliness will prevent you from living your best life during the summer, you might want to spend the summer at home and return to campus with everyone else during the fall.

Pro: You’ll be independent

If you’re the type of person that likes to live on their own and enjoys this feeling during the school year, you probably want to extend your stay away from home as long as possible. There’s a certain quality of life you get by living on your own, and most people feel fulfilled by this independence. Plus, after a certain age, your childhood home will start to feel small, and you and your parents may get on each other’s nerves living in close quarters. Living on your own on campus can prevent this from becoming a bigger issue and offer you autonomy you may not get in your hometown.

Con: Money, money, money

The biggest issue you’ll probably face when trying to stay on campus for the summer is the question of paying for it. You’ll have to pay for an apartment or house, and, depending on how self-sufficient you are, groceries or meals. This doesn’t even include additional expenses, like gasoline or utilities. Before deciding to stay in your college town, you’ll definitely need to have a job lined up to ensure you don’t end up in the poor house by the time fall semester rolls around.

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