Not all universities can accommodate or promise 4 years of on-campus living for their students. Some universities, especially in the cities where expansion is not always an option, can only guarantee dorms for freshmen, and after that there is the fearful prospect of a wait list or students choose to bite the bullet and find their own place off campus. There are certainly perks to living outside of campus housing restrictions, but personally I am an on-campus kind of person. There are many people who strive to live on-campus for all four years, and there are plenty of reasons why.
1. Dining Halls
Yes, dining hall food can be one of the things every college kid loves to hate. Home cooked meals are wonderful, but I just don’t have the time for them. Plus, I’m a dreadful cook. I miss my mother’s recipes every day, but when I need to grab a quick lunch or a snack, I love knowing that I have a dining hall that’s only a two minute walk from my door. The meal plan takes a lot off my mind because I’m never thinking about how I’m going to handle the next meal when I have a full day of work ahead of me.
2. Walking to class is quick.
Early classes are the biggest pain. Particularly if breakfast is on your to-do list, as well it should be, you probably don’t want to get up any earlier than you have to. I love having 1o minute and under walks between buildings because it leaves time for eating, sleeping, and homework. Mostly eating and sleeping, though. Plus I can afford to get a little extra Netflix time in if I have a break before and afternoon class.
3. Friends are everywhere.
Many of my freshman hall-mates still live with me know. There are way too many of us to ever be able to find a house together, but our housing registration system made it possible for us to find dorm rooms that were all right next to each other. I can be a recluse sometimes, so it’s fantastic that my friends are practically at arms reach so I will always see them at the end of a busy day. We all have so many different things going on in our lives that usually being in the dorm is the only way we still get to hang out, and I look forward to those moments every day.
4. It’s easy to walk home at night.
I’m paranoid. I feel super comfortable walking alone on campus, but in the off-campus residential areas I feel the slightest bit more on edge. It’s not that the area isn’t safe, because it truly is, it’s that you never know when something could happen. I spend plenty of late nights in the library and it’s invaluable that at 1:00 am I can be back in the safety of my room within 5 minutes.
5. There’s lots of study spots.
Speaking on the library, I have much better access to it than I would if I were off-campus. However besides the library, which I know is not everyone’s study spot of choice, on-campus housing opens up other options like classrooms, dorm lounges, and campus coffee shop locales that are more inconvenient when you need to figure in longer commute time and/or parking situations. I find I have a lot less time management to worry about when these places are at my fingertips for me to choose from.
There are tons of merits to living off-campus, to be sure. I am simply sharing the aspects of living on campus that have been favorites of mine so far. There is a heightened sense of community when the college is your home 24/7. Sometimes it’s tiring, but most of the time it’s a warm and reliable security blanket. I hope to continue on-campus living next year, as well!