The graduate and undergraduate
phases of higher education have enormous differences between them. The most
important distinction is also the most obvious: graduate school is more
academically strenuous than obtaining your undergraduate degree. With this comes
a whole mess of other considerations that will affect your choice of living
Getting Your Schoolwork Done
Your graduate studies are likely to
be more difficult, time-consuming, and possibly stressful than your
undergraduate studies. Your considerations of where to live should include finding
where you can get some work done. On the other hand, if you don't
mind spending a lot of your time at the library to work in peace and quiet,
maybe you can trade that aspect off for something more important to you (like
lower rent). As long as you plan ahead, you should be okay.
Being a Busy Person
Graduate classes are generally at night.
This is because a lot of people who go to grad school work full-time. This may
be the case for you, and you ought to consider that when choosing a place to
live. First of all, you need to be able to sleep if you are working full-time
and going to school. You'll also want a place that is easily accessible between
school and work.
Your undergraduate years were probably full of
self-discovery, shifting social perspectives, and at least some recklessness.
Not that any of that really goes away, but you are likely to be a little more
"settled" by the time your graduate years start. For this reason, and those
listed above, it is unlikely that a regular dorm will best fit your needs.
Although, something like being an RA
could give you,
essentially, free rent and a place to yourself.
Some schools have housing
specifically for graduate students. It might be more apartment-style living or
houses on campus that the school owns. This could be a more affordable option
that has the added benefit of being close to where your classes will be held.
The culture there is likely to be more studious and understanding of the
particular needs of a grad student, and you might even get to find some study
Going to graduate school can be stressful enough as it is. Try
and find a place to live that eases this stress, rather than adds to it. That
way, you can live your life and get some sleep.