live in the dorms or in town? Learning from the old
man on campus
February 20, 2009 | Many students
at Utah State University enter the university living
in on-campus housing, yet very few of these students
will stay on campus once they have graduated. Still
there does exist a silent minority of these students
who have decided to stay on campus after their first
freshman school year and one must ask why?
I did things a little bit backwards,
where most students live on campus their first year
at the university I lived off campus first and then
moved on campus. I remember feeling left out my first
year as all of my new friends lived in "the dorms" --the
accepted vernacular is, "on campus housing" and if you
ask anyone affiliated with USU Housing they will be
sure to correct you to this -- and while they all lived
on campus I lived at
Now don't get me wrong Oakridge is
a nice place to live, and when I checked it out before
my Freshman Year at Utah State University it seemed
to me that it was just a mere saunter from the main
campus. My naivety could not have been more palpable
because as I would soon learn, at USU one mile off campus
is akin to living in another city. Every day I lamented
more and more my sojourn to and from campus, especially
when the weather got bad, and in this way I began to
appreciate living on campus early
The benefits to living on campus
are well known. The UC Merced website states that living on campus offers all the conveniences of independent
living coupled with support, learning, and safety structures.
This is a nice tagline for a parent to read but most
students do not think about it so definitively.
"I live on campus because it
is so convenient, there is something beautiful about
waking up ten minutes before class and still being able
to make it to class on time," said Emma Dyer, a senior
liberal arts major.
Dyer is not alone; another student
Lily LaButte claimed, "I know for a fact that I would
have totally failed my first year at Utah State if I
did not live on campus."
Notwithstanding the obvious benefits
to living on campus why do students leave? Brian Morrison,
a Residence Director over the Living Learning Community
at Utah State University
said, "most students do not leave because of a
bad experience as much as there is a stigma that on
campus students are freshman and that moving off campus
is a rite of passage for upperclassmen."
He continued, "those students who
stay on campus are usually those who find and value
the benefits of staying on campus."
Being one of those aforementioned
students who found value in living on campus I must
say something. A lot of my friends wonder why it is
that I can stand to live on campus. I will admit that
at times the generation gap can be burdensome; as Matthew
McConaughey would have said, I get older they stay the
same age. Being in my late twenties and most of my neighbors
still not even within a year from being able to legally
drink alcohol I can admit sometimes it can be unnerving.
But on the same coin living off campus I still saw the
stupid immaturity, the only difference was that the
people I saw expressing it were older than a person
acting that way should have been. I guess what I am
saying is that when one of my neighbors acts up it is
easy to discount it to immaturity and lack of life experience.
But when you see someone who is older and lives off
campus act in the same way, and if you are honest about
it you will admit that it happens everywhere, your gut
reaction is to recommend a good psychologist because
if they could not grasp these things by now they may
There are different strokes for different
folks, and while I have my reasons for living on campus
many people could object to it quite easily. According
to the National
Center for Educational Statistics there is nothing
safer and according to opinion there is nothing more
convenient. But in this economy sometimes it is cost
and not value that we appreciate.
That said for my money it is great
and it is what I call home.