Sophia Meador, Opinions Editor

Let’s be honest — the residence halls are a rip-off.

For more than $7,400 a year if you’re looking at a double room,  you get a shared bedroom, public bathroom and 200 Hawk dollars. Unless you live in Parklawn or Mayflower, you will probably pay least $1,800 for a dining plan in addition to the room cost.

But you could also pay less than $6,500 a year for rent if you split a 3 bedroom, 1 bath apartment just ½ block away from east side dorms.

While some may argue that living in the residence halls is quintessential to the freshman experience, students who live off-campus their first year can still part-take in the freshman year experience with events like OnIowa!. They also have access to campus amenities like the rec center, student health and libraries.

Although sharing a residence hall with fellow freshmen can be an easy way to meet people, this can isolate individuals from meeting more students who live elsewhere.

I know myself, like many others, made quick friends with neighbors in the residence halls. But most of the friendships I made with people in my hall were not long-term because we met other individuals with more shared interest.

Living-off campus can make it harder to meet fellow freshmen. But it forces you to make friendships with people you might have otherwise not sought out, just like you have to in the “real-world.”

Residence halls can be a good transition from Mom and Dad’s house to living independently. But with resident assistants, dining halls and janitors, freshmen are not experiencing what living independently is actually like for the majority of adults.

You get far more bang for your buck living off-campus. So no, the residence halls are not the best living option for freshmen.