I was going to graduate In two months, I had gotten accepted into the college I wanted to go to, and the only thing left to complete was the final paperwork for whether I was going to be a commuter or resident student. I would have never thought about that question because I Just assumed that I’d live in the dorms, but since the college was close enough to home, I could commute too. After going through many discussions with friends and family, the clincher was when my Aunt Gail said, “When you live in the arms, you get the full college experience-friends, freedom, and fun. Well, that was more than enough for me to put a big “X” in the box next to resident. I think that everyone entering college as a freshman should live In the dorms for their first year. I am currently In my freshman year at college, and I have found the experience a very rewarding and excellent one. This year has been a year of “firsts” In my life. I have experienced my first call home to truly say “Hal,” my first all-night study session, and my first time on my own and in my own space.
Since the first year is a changing experience, I was glad to live with about two hundred other people experiencing the same feelings I was because it made it so much easier to make the transition from our former high school lives to our new college lives together. Dorm life is more of a community life than anything. There are events going on each week sponsored by different group, all in an effort to have each resident get to know all their fellow residents this makes a big difference when compared to students who commute.
As I walk around campus with them, I find myself waving, greeting, and talking to a greater number of students then they do. And usually afterwards my commuter-friends say, “What, do you know everybody here? ” Well, actually I know over half of the people In the residence halls because of all the events mentioned, and the sense of camaraderie that comes with talking with everyone on each floor. One of the biggest changes I had to learn to adapt to was living with people I really didn’t know that well.
There are all sorts of people: the morning/night, messy/clean, introverted/extroverted, and the mature/immature people all living under one roof. I expected those kinds of residents going into this, and it was easier to deal with different people when I realized what “category” they fit Into. For example, when it hits 10:00 at night the lights are dimmed, indicating to all that it’s “quiet hours” and that each resident should be courteous to the other residents and respect that they might be those morning people who Like to go to bed at that time.
And remembering the golden rule goes far In a situation Like living In the dorms. Because my next-door neighbor had “studying” written on his/her door I wouldn’t have my door, wide open Living in the dorms made me become more responsible with many areas of my life. For example, I have become much more organized with not only things in my room, but with homework and bills as well. I make a checklist everyday for the things that I need to complete for the next day, and it helps me to plan out when I need to get everything done.
In addition, I’ve gained time-management skills because I don’t have y parents checking my assignment notebook to see if all the homework is done so I need to motivate myself to get it done and budget my time so I can finish all the things I need to do. Students having their own space for some maybe an excuse to slack off on things like cleaning, but since health inspections are done every month we have to take out the trash, vacuum the floor, and all those things that our moms or dads would tell us to do at home. And I have really gained true independence here because I cannot rely on anyone else to things for me.
And I have grown up a lot nice living here. I have a number of skills from living in the dorms and think that everyone should experience all that the residence halls have to offer. I know from talking to many commuters that cost is a big issue for why they live at home, and all I have to say to that is that it is worth the money because of the friendships, skills, and independence they will gain. In the end, my Aunt was right and has never steered me wrong. And I know that the people who choose to live in the dorms will enjoy it and will have experienced the authentic college life.