Certain students choose to live in single dorm rooms without roommates, still obtain the social college experience
Most students come back from class to find their dormmates, whether they are a friendly face or a mortal enemy. Some students, however, come home to silence, since they are the only ones living in the room.
When deciding whether incoming first-year students want to live in dorms, they have the option of choosing to live on their own in a single room or, more commonly, with roommates in a double or triple. Certain students decide to live on their own, despite the higher price and solitary aspect.
“I had a lot of friends who had roommates and had bad experiences with that, and I was looking for having my own space and avoiding that,” said Olivia Lasecke, a first-year neurobiology, physiology and behavior major, who lives in a single this year in Segundo.
Living alone gives students freedom to control their schedules and how they use the space in their room.
“You can make your own schedule,” said Carlo Safra, a first-year computer science major, who lives in a single in Tercero. “You don’t have to worry about waking up early and waking other people up or being cautious like that. Or you can stay up studying for as long as you want.”
According to Luisangel Sanchez, a first-year communication major and another single dorm resident in Tercero, he benefits from using his room for whatever he wants without needing to coordinate with his roommates.
“There’s nobody disturbing me from doing my homework,” Sanchez said. “I use this as a study place, a hanging out place, everything. Also as a benefit, I can call my friends over and I can do a movie night here, and I don’t have to ask anybody else for permission.”
Additionally, students living in single dorms get more freedom since they can move their furniture and decorate their spaces however they want, without having to get approval from roommates.
“I get to have control of how I have everything in here,” said Jack-Thomas Lee, a first-year undeclared major, who lives in a single dorm in Tercero. “I get to set up my own space.”
The single dorms are significantly smaller than the double and triple rooms since only one person lives in them. According to Lasecke, her room is about half the size of the double rooms in the building.
“When I came in here, I was like ‘aww it’s a little bit smaller than I thought it would be,’ but I still feel like it is big enough to move around and have all my friends come in and everything,” Sanchez said. “I feel like it’s perfect.”
Despite their smaller size, single rooms are more expensive per person, according to the UC Davis Student Housing and Services website. For the five-day meal plan, single rooms run at $16,221.59, and for the seven-day meal plan, they are $17,731.81. To compare, double rooms are $14,701.22 or $16,211.44 and triple rooms are $13,303.07 or $14,813.29 per person for the academic year.
“As long as it is financially viable for [a student], sure, do it,” Safra said.
To live in a single dorm, students must be good at being independent, according to Sanchez.
“If they need somebody to do everything with them, then don’t do it,” Sanchez said. “I can do everything by myself, but then I also like to have my group of friends.”
Similarly, Lee says he has to figure things out on his own instead of always relying on help from others.
“Sometimes, you don’t have someone to always talk to,” Lee said.
Lee recommends getting a single room if the student feels comfortable going out and making friends.
“Just make sure that you are not a shy person because then you aren’t going to enjoy it as much if you’re always locked in your room,” Lee said. “You might as well go around, be social, make friends, be able to put yourself out there, because if not, it is not as much fun.”
When Lee first moved into his room, he went around his hall and other floors in his building to make friends, he said. Living without roommates pushed him to meet new people.
“I was kind of worried it would affect my experience,” Lasecke said. “But I have so many friends in my buildings, it’s no different than having a roommate, no different experience. It is a little bit better. I have friends who have roommates and wish they had singles.”
Similarly, Safra feels he has not missed out on the social aspect of college by living in a single dorm. Lasecke disagrees with the stereotypes about single dorm students and their antisocial tendencies.
“I definitely think there is a stigma around having a single, and not having any friends, but that really has not been my experience,” Lasecke said. “It is really nice to get my own space to have my own time, [otherwise] you never get that time to be by yourself, and be yourself.”
Written by: Margo Rosenbaum — firstname.lastname@example.org