How old is “too old” to live in the dorms?

How old is “too old” to live in the dorms?

Brittany Abraham

 Communal living is a part of the college experience, typically for 18 -to 22-year-olds, mostly because students have to live in residence halls for their first two years. However, there are also some older students at Western Illinois who are 23 and older living in Thompson, Corbin and Olson, Lincoln, Washington and Grote Hall.

I thought there was an age limit and I researched to see if I was right, however I was not. There is no age limit to live in the dorms. So, it leaves me with one question: how old is too old to live in a dorm? 

A plus to living on campus is meal plans. Each student gets $1,800 or more if they get the basic plus plan, and Sodexo prepares breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. However, it’s expensive. I can see how older students would want this option because they do not have to cook, go to Wal-Mart to buy groceries or go out to eat all of the time. 

Another plus is friends. Living in the dorms makes it easier to make friends since each floor has 15 to 40 people. Because a lot of students are too busy to join clubs and organizations to meet people, it’s convenient for them to hang out at their leisure. Living in the dorms provides them this luxury.

It’s also cheaper. Certain scholarships, grants and loans prefer that students live in a dorm so the money goes toward the university. Plus, if students are living alone, it is expensive. In addition, some parents may not be willing to pay rent for their child or children. 

But, on the other hand, older students have to live with younger students. I, myself, would not want to be 30, living with 19-year-olds. That would be uncomfortable. I would not like it from either end. I like living with other people my age, coed or not. 

Some parents are in their thirties, so it would be like living with your parents down the hall. I could imagine students being uncomfortable with the age difference, and since students don’t always get to choose who they live with, or who lives around them, there is no option but to move if a student feels conflicted. 

Another downside is an older student resident who has to listen to their resident assistant who is considerably younger than them. RAs are typically between 19 and 22. Although authority is authority, I would not want to have to listen to someone who’s a few years younger than me. I would feel like I shouldn’t have to listen to them. 

Personally, I know a few students who live on campus at an older age, but I would never do that. I want to live off campus when I can, which is next year. Older students cannot live with freshmen because freshmen have their own corner of campus: North Quad. 

Students, on the other hand, are never “too old” to live in a dorm.