By: Morin Mawhinney

There’s no need to tell you, a dedicated UPEI student, how much it costs to be so dedicated. By now, we’ve all experienced the feeling of pure panic as we watch every hard-earned dollar and cent slip away like sand in an hourglass, out of our bank account and into our education. Of course, there is no better place to put it; but with classes, books, and fees combined, the toll is great (both emotionally and on the bank account).

I don’t know how it feels to be shot, but I imagine it’s similar to the feeling that follows adding up your educational expenses, and then comparing it to the number on your bank balance. As a friend of mine often says after a purchase, “Ooooh, right in the bank account.” With that under consideration, is it worth the added expense of living in residence? Sure it’s convenient, but is that really enough? I took to the halls of res and asked a couple of residence residents what they thought.

As for facts and figures, $4,490.00 is how much a room in residence and a meal plan costs, at the cheapest per semester! This is a huge sum of money to add onto an already large tuition bill. After interviewing several students, though, that amount seems slightly more reasonable. 

Noah Murphy, a first-year engineering student, admits it is a high price to pay for convenience, but he says the luxury of good food, the amount of space and the three-minute commute to class makes the cost completely worth it. Murphy is a unique case when it comes to the living situation.

He’s from Bonshaw area but still chooses to live on campus, rather than at home. His reasons? “It would be a 25 minute trip to class every day, and I have classes all day, every day of the week. As it is, I have class at 10 and I wake up at 9:30…There’s a lot of convenience in getting up every morning and having my food right there.”

Another residence student, Adam Bennett, who happens to come from off island, also feels he did the right thing by deciding to live on Res. “The rooms are bigger than I expected. On Google, they show you rooms that are a little square foot but it’s not like you get out of bed and knock knees.”

In addition to the perks of convenience, Res acts as a stepping stone towards independence. While still living out of the home, he is not as involved as finding, renting and maintaining an apartment. Murphy states that one of the reasons he left was to “have my own space through university;” and although it would’ve actually been cheaper to rent an apartment and buy groceries separately, Murphy frankly states, “I didn’t want to sign a lease.”

Leases are scary and grown up, and frankly, University is terrifyingly adult already. When asking Bennett if he feels that living in residence is worth the cost as opposed to apartment living, he believes it is, with all his heart. “I didn’t know anyone in PEI,” says Bennett,  “so the closest thing I could get to an apartment was living with my brother in a house, which would’ve cost the same as a spot in residence, but it’s a lot more social being in residence.”

When asked if either of the boys would choose to live on campus next year, Murphy replies, “I might be in residence next year, but it’ll be the apartment style. Like Andrew or Blanchard.” This ties into the path on the way to independence.
When snooping on my friends who live in residence, I’ve heard it compared to a hotel. The walls may be thin, but you can’t beat the convenience and the freedom.  There may be drawbacks; but then again, what living situation is perfect? As far as these students are concerned, living in residence is for them. But what about you? Where are you living? At home or apartment, residence or a friend’s couch? As always, The Cadre is interested in what you have to say. So answer us this: is residence worth the cold hard cash?