Micro College Living: Students and the Tiny Home Movement

I remember the day I moved into my first apartment once I was enrolled in University classes. I had already spent several years in the military, so it wasn’t my first time living away from home, but it was my first time living away from home and not having to share my bedroom, living room and bathroom with 20 other dudes. It was extremely liberating and let me tell you–I had quite the bachelor pad.  I was living it up…

…for the first month, because then my first rent payment was due.

handing over money

Housing while in college is not cheap, and for most students, who are already racking up high debt via student loans, the housing costs only sink them deeper into the hole. That’s why in recent years many students have embraced the tiny home movement. While it’s become a trendy movement for modern home builders and its good for T.V., for college students living in tiny homes has many practical benefits.

The obvious benefit is the savings.  Most tiny homes (150-300 square feet) can be built for $15,000-$25,000 depending on how fancy you want to go. Even on the high end, that’s far cheaper than 4 years’ worth of rent payments or dorm costs. Aside from the rent savings, students in tiny homes also pay far less in energy costs and maintenance, not to mention the time they gain in cleaning such a small space.

tiny house 1

One of the more intangible benefits of living in a tiny home is that it’s extremely environmentally friendly, which most college kids these days seem to care about.

Most students that are already taking advantage of living in tiny homes are parking their micro-houses on private property, either paying extremely low fees to rent the land or bartering by doing chores and various errands for the landowners. Most college campuses haven’t developed a realistic plan for allowing tiny housing on campus property, but with the growing trend it’s probably something that we’ll see in the near future.

tiny house 2

Living in a tiny home does come with its own set of challenges, though. The lack of space is an obvious one, and while limiting one’s footprint is sort of the point of tiny home living some people just can’t handle being confined to such a small living space. Many people who live in micro-homes also say that such a living style can be tough on relationships, but come on–college kids should spend all their time studying anyway, right?

Any way you look at it, living in a tiny home has enough practical benefits that it presents a very viable and fun option for college students who aren’t necessarily married to the idea of traditional, dorm-style living.