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Coed Dorming: Advantages and Disadvantages

Q: I will be a new college student this year. Should I consider coed dorming? Or are there advantages to living in a single sex dorm?

A: This is a great question because living in the dorms can be one of the best (or worst) experiences of college life. As a new student you need to ask yourself if you would rather live in a single-sex or a coed dorm?

At many colleges and universities, coed dorming is the most popular option. But keep in mind, even at schools that offer coed dorming, most still offer residence halls that have same-sex living options.

While living in a coed dorm is a great way to meet members of the opposite sex, it is also important to remember your main reason for going to college: to get an education.

How difficult will it be to concentrate on your studies? Are you a shy person who would prefer not to mingle with guys and girls? Are you uncomfortable seeing people in the halls wearing only a towel or a robe? These are some of the questions you will need to ask your self.

Many incoming freshmen automatically think that coed dorming is their best option. However, coed dorming can come with problems too. So before you make a decision, consider some of the advantages and disadvantages.

Coed Dorm Advantages

1. Coed dorming can be a lot of fun. Obviously, you will meet many members of the opposite sex. In fact, it is so easy to meet people, many students can find serious boyfriends or girlfriends pretty quickly -- if that is what you are looking for.

2. Some people just get along better with members of the opposite sex.

3. Coed dorms are not really a non-stop wild party. Many different kinds of people live in coed dorms, so it can be a quiet place, or a party place. Living in the dorms is what you make it.

4. Coed dorms provide a good platform to meet lots of different people. This can be a good life experience because it is more like the real world.

5. Some female students feel safer when they have male friends on campus. On some campuses, you might need a friend to walk with you at night.

6. Coed dorms are usually more plentiful than same-sex dorms. You may have better chance of finding a spot in a coed dorm.

7. Single-sex dorms are home to people who do not want to live in coed dorms for whatever reason. Many times, these are shy, religious, or very studious individuals. So single-sex living might be boring for some people.

Coed Dorm Disadvantages

1. Some people find it stressful to be around the opposite sex all the time. Remember, guys and girls will be seeing you without makeup and when you have just woken up and when you are sick. If this sounds uncomfortable, consider same-sex living.

2. If you have strong religious views on certain issues (such as pre-marital sex), coed dorms might make you uncomfortable. Remember, some students will be there to party.

3. For female students, living next to men can be a safety issue. It is not common, but some female students may feel sexually harassed or endangered by living next to the wrong guy.

4. If you are super modest about your body and the bodies of others, coed dorming can pose uncomfortable situations. You will see people in towels, robes, and maybe in their underwear. If this idea freaks you out, consider single-sex living.

5. It is easy to meet dates in coed dorms, but this can be a problem as well. Most people who date or hook up in the dorms eventually break up. So before you start going after someone in your dorm, think about what it would be like to see that person every day after you have broken up. These situations are common and can be very uncomfortable. 

6. Both girls and guys act differently when members of the opposite sex are present. There might be more attention paid to appearance and there might be some additional tension among everyone.

7. Some schools have coed dorms that are kind of extreme. By that, we mean to say that some schools offer coed dorms with coed bathroooms and even coed showers. So it is important to understand what kind of coed dorm is being offered. If the living situation sounds too weird, you probably want to consider single-sex dorming.