Why You Should Live On Campus During Your First Year of College
You will need to live in the student residence at many universities and colleges, at least for your first one or two years of college. Some schools actually require students to live on campus for all four years. Even when your school permits you to live off campus, you should consider the advantages and disadvantages of staying on campus before you make the final decision.
7 Reasons You Should Reside on Campus During Your First Year of College
1. Students are most likely to remain at a school when they feel like they belong. This feeling has a direct effect on a college’s graduation rate and retention rate. Fresh students who stay outside the campus rarely participate in activities on the campus or get involved in the campus clubs, and as a result, they will have a difficult time relating and making friends with other students.
2. It is easier for the college to assist students who live on campus when they have school, social or academic issues. Resident Directors (RDs) and Resident Advisors (RAW) are equipped to step in and help when students are encountering problems in school. They also help to direct students to the right resources and persons on campus.
3. Being in college is not just about attending classes and getting a degree, but the residential life teaches many significant life skills including: learning to accommodate people who may be really different from you, settling issues with a roommate, suitemates or students, establishing a living and learning society and others.
4. Student residences are much closer to important buildings like the health center, gym and library compared to off-campus apartments.
5. Colleges can easily monitor and react to illegal behavior and activities like drug abuse and underage drinking within residence halls, but they can’t do much of this off campus.
6. As a new student, living together with your seniors and RAs would be very beneficial as they know more about the campus and school academic requirements. It would be much easier for you to find mentors in the campus residence than off-campus.
7. Apart from having mentors who are upperclassmen , you will also have peers taking some of the same courses as you. Also, living on campus gives you easy access to study groups and peers who can always help you when you miss a class or find it difficult to understand a particular lecture material.
Colleges also have some other selfish reasons for keeping students on campus aside from the obvious advantages of residing on campus. Particularly, colleges don’t make all their money from tuition fees. For most colleges, most of their revenues come from board and room charges. So, if the dorm rooms are not occupied and many students are not signing up for meal plans, the college will have a difficult time stabilizing its account. If more states go with the idea of providing free education for in-state students at public colleges, just like New York’s Excelsior Scholarship program, then all college revenue will come from board, room and other related charges.
Exceptions to College Residency Demands
Note that very few schools have residential policies set in place and oftentimes, exceptions are always made. Some of these exceptions are:
• For a student who lives very close to school, he/she can get approval to stay at home. Although living at home has its own cost benefits, bear in mind that you will be missing out on all the important college experiences, including learning how to be self-sufficient.
• Some universities with 2 or 3 years residency requirements permit tough students to request to stay off campus earlier. If you have shown academic and personal improvements, then you might just be able to move out of the campus before most of your colleagues.
• Some schools permit students to request to stay off campus because of some certain health and fitness issues. For instance, you could be permitted to stay off campus if the college cannot provide your usual dietary requirements or the regular healthcare you need is not readily available in the student residence.
Final Remarks on Residency Requirements
Every school has residency requirements that were proposed for the special setting of the school. You will discover that some urban schools and even universities that are rapidly increasing, do not have sufficient living space to accommodate all their students. These schools usually cannot provide accommodation for all, and they will be pleased for students to stay off campus.
At any school, examining the advantages and disadvantages of residing off campus is very crucial before making your final decision. The time spent on cooking and traveling to and from school is the time that will be needed for your studies, and not every student does well when they are alone.