Living on campus offers practical living for college students; you meet fellow students and get to know your surroundings a little more quickly than if you live off campus the first year.
Freshman year can be hard. Adjusting to all the new freedoms, and also to your new surroundings, can be a thrilling time in a freshman’s life, and all the activity in the residence halls is no exception. You have a roommate who you get to know very well and have full control and freedom of what you do with your time. For some it can be overwhelming, and for others it is the best time of their lives.
The housing contract at Ferris states that a student must reach the age of 20 prior to the first day of classes in the semester for which he/she intends to live off campus or must reside in the permanent home of a parent within 50 road miles of the university and wish to commute from home. The intention of this policy is to help the personal growth of students, as well as the overall educational experience.
I always hear students complain about how they wish they were living in apartments with friends, or renting houses around town. Other times, I hear students express how much they love the residence halls and how it is a wonderful experience. In my opinion, there are both good and bad points. I believe first-year students should be required to live on campus. There are many benefits that include accessibility to the school, easy access to walk to classes, libraries, and cafeterias. You don’t necessarily have to waste time searching for a parking spot.
The social factor of living on campus is also a big one. It allows you to meet more people and establish many friendships; whereas living off campus doesn’t always offer as many opportunities. It’s also very helpful if you are in the same classes or programs with someone in your building because you can simply walk over to his room for help. You will also be more aware of the school activities and know what it going on around campus so you can participate.
However, I think students should be allowed to make their own decisions about whether they want to live on or off campus after their first year. I think the age limit is something that could benefit or disappoint students. In my case, I will not be able to live off campus until my junior year because I will not be 20 years of age by the first day of classes.
There are also a lot of cons to living on campus as well. For example, you don’t always have privacy when living in the residence halls. It can be hard sharing a bedroom or bathroom, especially if you never have before. Also, limited space can be an issue because at most colleges, the rooms are tiny. Therefore, you have to limit what you bring to school so you don’t overcrowd the room. In an apartment, on the other hand, you could have your own room or at least one with more space, which would make it feel more like home.
Residence hall life is very social; it is basically living with 20-30 people on your floor. You have to make sure you know how to handle your time, even when it is often noisy and there are many distractions. However, this comes with the responsibility of being a college student.
I think a lot of people, me included, would be a lot happier if Ferris changed the housing policy so first-year students must reside in the residence halls, but after that it is their choice where they live. Living on campus is great to help students become acclimated to the school, but after freshman year, it should be a personal choice. Successful completion of freshman year is more telling of what a student will do than what his birth date is. Responsibility is based on what you demonstrate, not when you are born. n