We all remember our freshman year, regardless of whether those memories are fond or frightening ones. When we arrived at K-State, most of us shared a 12-by-14 foot shoebox with another person that we may or may not have met before move-in day.
We got used to taking showers with anonymous hair from it’s previous inhabitant circling the drain. We endured long lines at the dining halls, running the risk of being late to classes. We hiked to Z lot (or as some call it, Zimbabwe lot) to get our cars when we had to drive somewhere. We barely tolerated the loud snoring of our roommate, and we were woken up in the wee hours of the morning by the guys next door who were still up and playing NBA 2K15. I belatedly apologize for that last one, Hank.
I am currently a sophomore, and I have lived in Goodnow Hall since I’ve been at K-State. Despite enduring the inconveniences that come with living in a residence hall, I have embraced the opportunities I have had here to make friends and meet people that I wouldn’t have met otherwise. It is important for freshmen to live in the residence halls.
Many freshmen are ill-equipped to buy and cook their own meals. Students’ diets consist mostly of Ramen and cold pizzas. Consequently, it is necessary for those people to have a dining plan that allows them to fulfill their nutritional needs, either because they can’t cook or simply don’t want to. In fact, a friend of mine stayed in Goodnow Hall his junior year strictly so he wouldn’t have to buy and prepare his own food.
There are no month-to-month expenses, such as rent or utilities, with on-campus living. Granted, the once-per-semester fee isn’t cheap ($4,105-$5,425 for Spring 2015 depending on room and meal plan). It is better for freshmen to absorb the one-time hit rather than having to pony up $400 for rent, another $50 in utilities and who knows how much for food every single month.
Residence halls are located conveniently close to campus. From Goodnow, I can walk to almost anywhere on campus in ten minutes or less. Walking can be rough since it gets cold in Kansas during the winter. Those of us living on-campus do not have to deal with driving into campus every day, waiting on streams of people crossing streets, fighting over a very limited supply of parking spaces and the other inconveniences that come with on-campus parking.
One of the great things about the sheer volume of people living in the residence halls is that in many cases, there is someone on your floor that can help you with your homework, no matter the subject. If you’re struggling with your calculus homework, there’s a good chance that someone nearby has taken the class before and can lend a helping hand.
A 2010 study found that students living on-campus at nearby Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) boosted students’ GPAs nearly a full letter grade higher on average than those living off-campus, according to The Center for Applied Economics and Policy Research at Indiana University Bloomington.
Northwest Missouri State University urges freshmen to live on-campus and explicitly mentions that freshmen living off-campus are nearly twice as likely to drop out of college, according to their article, “Recommendations for Freshman Who Want to Survive.”
The most important reason to live on-campus is because of the many great people that you will meet there. My parents met as residents in Moore Hall in 1984 and still are friends with several of their fellow residents. I met my current girlfriend through a friend on my floor. Three of the four people I will live with next year were people I met in the residence halls. The people that you meet your freshman year of college will most likely be the people that you live with, party with and potentially spend the rest of your life with.
The decision to spend my first two years in the residence halls was an easy one that I will never regret and that all freshmen should take advantage of. Most universities encourage their students, especially freshmen, to live on-campus. Living on-campus eases the transition to college by supplying freshmen with a supply of new friends, convenience to campus resources, steady meals and fewer headaches overall.