Every year, incoming freshman flood campus on Move-In Day. With their boxes, excitement and maybe a few nerves, they move into their private bedrooms and get ready for the year ahead.
Freshman year is a major milestone – a time when you make big decisions about which school you want to attend, what you want to major in and the place you’ll call home for the next four years. You could commute if you live close enough to your new school. But if you don’t live close enough, or if you prefer to have more independence, consider living on campus.
In addition to independence, living on campus has a lot of perks. You’ll have unlimited access to social lounges, gym facilities and game rooms. Plus, you’ll be close to all the action that makes the college experience amazing – campus life activities, bonfires, sporting events, student organizations and everything in-between.
Don’t just take it from us, though. Read on to learn what other freshmen have said about living on campus to help you make this important decision.
Top 10 reasons freshman choose to live on campus
1. The authentic college experience. When you live in the dorms, you get the authentic experience many high school grads dream of when they think about going to college. You’ll meet lots of people, participate in on-campus events and hang out with your new friends who live just a few doors down the hall.
2. Undeniable convenience. When you live on campus, you can roll out of bed and walk to class in five minutes or less. You can grab lunch between classes in the dining hall, or easily take an afternoon nap, if that’s more your style. You’ll never need to worry about finding a place to park and you’ll be close to the gym, library and other on-campus amenities.
“I like living on campus because everything’s so close. It’s a five-minute walk to class, a two-minute walk to the dining hall and only a short ride to the downtown [Grand Rapids] area,” said Davenport student Myah Fellows.
3. The academic advantage. Research shows that students who live on campus get higher grades and are more likely to continue their education through graduation. On-campus residents are also closer to their advisors, tutoring services, computer labs and the library, making it easier to take advantage of everything available to aid in your academic success.
4. Dorms and private bedroom options. Universities have come a long way and are now offering students comfortable living arrangements to support their learning. For instance, Davenport provides students with apartment-style dorms that provide more living space and fully furnished private bedrooms. You’ll want to make sure you explore the housing options that will be available to you when you consider which college to attend.
5. Less hassle. Living in the dorms means you won’t have to worry about paying for utilities like internet, gas or electricity. And, since your dining plan is included, you won’t have to worry about going to the grocery store, cooking dinner, or doing dishes on a busy night. Did we mention that the dorms are fully furnished? Everything is taken care of for you, so you can focus on your studies.
6. The lifelong friendships. Living on campus is a great way to make new friends. You’ll interact with students from other cities and states, you’ll meet new people at campus events and you’ll start hanging out with other freshmen who are living in the dorms. Ask anyone and they’ll probably tell you – the friends you meet in college are your friends for life.
“I love living on campus because if I wouldn’t have been on campus, I probably wouldn’t have the friends that I have,” said Davenport student Dayle Braden. “We’re able to [walk] over to each other’s dorms, just knock and hang out with our friends whenever we want.”
7. Leadership opportunities. When students live on campus, they’re more likely to get involved in organizations like student government, the Campus Activities Board or Panther Arts. Involvement in student organizations provides leadership opportunities and builds soft skills. Plus, it looks great on a resume.
8. The community support. Every resident hall has student staff members and professional live-in staff who are available to assist you if you have questions or concerns. You’ll also be in a community of other freshmen to talk to and share new experiences, play pool in the rec room or do homework with.
9. A feeling of security. When you live on campus, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that campus security is on call and patrolling campus 24/7. Residence halls require an ID badge to get in, common areas are monitored for strangers and every student gets a private bedroom with a locking door.
10. Independence. Living with family or caregivers as an adult does come with some perks (homemade dinner tonight, anyone?) but it can also be stifling as parents are adjusting their children becoming adults. Many freshmen report that getting out on their own felt like the right choice for them.
Take it from now-sophomore Amber Genson. “Living on campus is valuable because it gives me the independence that I wouldn’t have if I was still living at home. It gives me that added accomplishment of ‘wow, I really moved out – I did that,’” she said.