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Living Alone Verses Living with Roommates

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My research focused on living situations. I wanted to compare the living situations of living alone versus living with one or more people, and find the advantages and disadvantages to both. I started by creating by survey with questions based on different aspects of everyday living that may differ from one living alone to one living with roommates. These questions gave me an idea of the stress level, study habits, sleep habits, number of times they go home, overall living preference, and self-declared level of sociability between these two types of living situations.

I also asked the participants whether or not they have lived in that kind of situation before to see whether or not they are trying something new because their last living situation didn’t work out too well. In addition to that, I also was able to categorize living situation by the gender of the participant, and the gender of their roommates (if applicable). There were a total of 13 participants – 5 of them in the “living alone” category, and 8 of them in the “living with one or more roommates” category.

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I organized my data into six two-way tables because I found it easier to understand the different variables I was testing amongst the living situations, whereas one two-way table would not be able to efficiently organize all of the variables I tested. For all of the tables, “Living Situation” is the independent, or explanatory variable, and “Stress Level,” “Number of Hours Studied per Week,” “Hours of Sleep per Night,” “Number of Times Go Home per Semester,” “Living Preference,” and “Level of Sociability” were all the dependent, or response variables. By seeing the results for living alone and living with roommates side by side, it was easier to compare them and spot any major findings. Since I did have an uneven amount of participants in both categories, I also included percentages to better summarize the statistics.

With that, the first question I asked was: “On a scale from 1-5, rate your level of stress caused by your living situation.” I then gave the participants five different options that went from “I am satisfied with my living situation.” down to “I want to change my living situation.” When looking at Table 1, it was easier to see that those living alone seemed to be the most satisfied with 80% indicating so, whereas only 50% of those with
roommates claimed that they were satisfied.

The second question of the survey asked: “Approximately how many hours do you study per week outside of the classroom?” I gave them options ranging from “None” to “More than 20 hours.” When looking at the percentages in Table 2, I notice that 100% of those who live alone study between 11 and 20 or more hours, whereas only 50% of those with roommates fall into that range. Therefore, I can conclude from my findings that those who live alone also study for more hours per week outside of the classroom.

For the third question of the survey, I asked “On average, how many hours do you sleep each week night?” I gave options ranging from “5 hours or less” up to “10 hours or more.” When observing Table 3, on 12.5% of those living with a roommate got less sleep than those living alone, so I was weary to conclude that those living alone got more sleep. If I were to survey a much larger population, then I would probably see somewhat of a bigger difference. If not, then i could possibly conclude that many college students get about the same amount of sleep, regardless of living situation.

The fourth question asked: “How many weeks per semester do you usually go home?” I also defined “home” to ensure that the participant and I had a mutual understanding of the word, and so I could better understand the participant’s answer. According to Table 4, those who live alone tend to go home more often than those living with a roommate. I see that 75% of those living with someone go home between zero and two weeks per semester, whereas only 40% of those living alone go home that often.

The fifth and sixth questions were separate questions for both populations. I asked them if they have lived in the opposite situation before to see if they had changed their mind. What I found was that 60% of those living alone have lived with one or more roommates before, and 100% of those living with roommates have never lived alone before. According to this data, we can see that it is a possibility that 60% of those living alone decided to switch up their situation due to various reasons, but all of them being because they did not necessarily like living with others. On the other hand, those who
live with others now seem to be okay with it. However, when referring back to question 1 about stress level, I am curious as to whether there is some type of association between those with roommates having more stress and those who have had roommates before choosing to live alone this time around.

The seventh question on the survey asks: “Do you prefer living alone or with others?” Of those living alone, 60% of them preferred living alone, according to Table 5. I was surprised by this because I thought it would be a higher percentage. 20% decided that they prefer living with one or more people, and 20% also said it depends. Of those living with roommates, 87.5% of them said that they prefer living with others, and only 12.5% said it depends. Of all of those who said it depends, I had them briefly explain their circumstances. Almost everybody claimed that they like to live with others because of the company and because they felt safer. They also claimed that it is more interesting, it’s a personal challenge, and they like that they share food and chores. Others like the idea of living alone mainly because they would like more solitary time, they have had a bad experience with roommates in the past, and because they simply like being alone.

The eighth question of the survey asks the participants to identify their gender and the gender of those that they live with if they have roommates. 50% of the respondents were males living with one other male, 25% of the respondents were females living with one other female, and 25% were females living with both genders. I wanted to know this information to search for any patterns in the data between genders. However, there were not any major differences in responses varying from male to female, so this made me feel as though my data is even stronger than I thought it was because males and females seem to have similar opinions about their living situations.

Finally, my last question asked: “How sociable do you consider yourself?” I gave the options varying from “Very sociable” down to “Not sociable.” Table 6 shows the results. It was pretty clear that those living with one or more people considered themselves to be more sociable. Over 60% of those living alone claimed to be “Neutral” or “Somewhat sociable,” whereas 62.5% of those with roommates claimed to be “Averagely sociable” or “Very sociable.” I
expected this because usually those who live with others like to be around people more often than those who live alone.

At first I had some challenges coming up with what sort of variables to measure between the two living situations. I ended up breaking it down to basic items that I find important during school – lack of stress, studying, sleep, and sociability. I also thought it would be important to know whether someone has changed their living situation in the past, so that is why I asked them a question regarding that as well.

Overall, I can conclude from my data that those who live alone have the advantage over those living with others in being less stressed and being able to study more. On the contrary, those living with others have advantage over those living alone in that they go home less often and are more sociable. Looking at the open-ended question about the circumstances in whether someone would choose to live alone or to live with others, I think that it shows that it really does depend on the individual’s interests and personality as to whether they should live alone or not. There are advantages and disadvantages to both, but ultimately those who choose their living situation due to their own best interests will end up the happiest.

SURVEY
1. On a scale from 1-5, rate your level of stress caused by your living situation.
1. I am satisfied with my living situation.
2. I have very few & minor problems with my living situation.
3. My living situation is neutral.
4. I am commonly frustrated with my living situation.
5. I want to change my living situation.
2. Approximately how many hours do you study per week outside of the classroom? None
1- 5 hours
6-10 hours
11-15 hours
16-20 hours
More than 20 hours
3. On average, how many hours do you sleep each week night? 5 hours or less
6-7 hours
8-9 hours
10 hours or more
4. How many weeks per semester do you usually go home? (“Home” being defined as a house, apartment, or other shelter that is the usual residence of a person, family, or household.) Note: There are approximately 15 weeks in a semester.

_________ weeks
5. If you are living alone, have you had one or more roommates in your past college experience? Yes
No
Not applicable
6. If you are living with one or more roommates, have you lived alone in your past college experience? Yes
No
Not applicable
7. Do you prefer living alone or living with others?
I prefer living alone.
I prefer living with one or more people.
If you chose one of the two options above, please explain briefly why you prefer this option. __________________________________________________________________________ It depends.
If you chose this answer, under what circumstances do you prefer living alone? __________________________________________________________________________ 8. Please write in the options that relate the best to your situation using the words: male(s), female(s), transgender. I am a ___________________ living with _________________________.

9. How sociable do you consider yourself?
Very sociable
Averagely sociable
Neutral
Somewhat sociable
Not sociable
DATA
Table 1. Frequency and Percentage of Stress Level by Living Situation. ALONE
Stress Level
Frequency
Percent

Satisfied
4
80

Minor Problems
1
20

Total
5
100

ROOMMATES
Stress Level
Frequency
Percent

Satisfied
4
50

Minor Problems
3
37.5

Neutral
1
12.5

Total
8
100

Table 2. Frequency and Percentage of Number of Hours Studied per Week by Living Situation. ALONE
# of Hours Studied Per Week
Frequency
Percent

11 to 15
2
40

16 to 20
2
40

20 or More
1
20

Total
5
100

ROOMMATES
# of Hours Studied Per Week
Frequency
Percent

5 or Less
1
12.5

6 to 10
3
37.5

11 to 15
3
37.5

20 or More
1
12.5

Total
8
100

Table 3. Frequency and Percentage of Number of Hours of Sleep Each Week Night by Living Situation. ALONE
Hours of Sleep Per Night
Frequency
Percent

6 to 7
4
80

8 to 9
1
20

Total
5
100

ROOMMATES
Hours of Sleep Per Night
Frequency
Percent

Less than 5
1
12.5

6 to 7
5
62.5

8 to 9
2
25

Total
8
100

Table 4. Frequency and Percentage of Number of Weeks Go Home per Semester by Living Situation. ALONE
# of Weeks Go Home Per Semester
Frequency
Percent

Zero
1
20

Two
1
20

Nine
1
20

Ten
1
20

Fifteen
1
20

Total
5
100

ROOMMATES
# of Times Go Home Per Semester
Frequency
Percent

Zero
2
25

One
2
25

Two
2
25

Four
1
12.5

Eight
1
12.5

Total
8
100

Table 5. Frequency and Percentage of Living Preference by Living Situation. ALONE
Living Preference
Frequency
Percent

Alone
3
60

With One or More People
1
20

Depends
1
20

Total
5
100

ROOMMATES
Living Preference
Frequency
Percent

With One or More People
7
87.5

Depends
1
12.5

Total
8
100

Table 6. Frequency and Percentage of Level of Sociability by Living Situation. ALONE
Level of Sociabilty
Frequency
Percent

Average
1
20

Neutral
3
60

Somewhat
1
20

Total
5
100

ROOMMATES
Level of Sociability
Frequency
Percent

Very
1
12.5

Average
4
50

Neutral
1
12.5

Somewhat
2
25

Total
8
100

Cite this Living Alone Verses Living with Roommates

Living Alone Verses Living with Roommates. (2016, Oct 16). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/living-alone-verses-living-with-roommates/

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