Here at Keene State College, all first-year and sophomore students are required to live on campus. The Residential Life tab on the keene.edu website argues that living on campus helps ease the transition into college. It is commonplace for first-years and sophomores to live on campus, but come junior and senior year, they are eagerly seeking off-campus possibilities. The Equinox does not necessarily disagree with the fact that younger and newer students should experience living on campus, however we believe that as paying students, we deserve the choice to decide what we want to do in terms of living, no matter what year we are.
As students, ultimately our job here at school is to get an education and eventually earn a degree. While the school may want to suggest what they believe to be the best options for academic, social and overall success, the decision should be in the hands of the students themselves. It is no surprise that the cost of living on campus isn’t cheap.
The college needs to understand that, for many, money is extremely tight and living on campus is not always the most feasible option. This is not to say that living off campus is always cheaper. We understand that this is not always the case.
However, many students have been able to find off campus apartments where they end up paying less than they did when they were forced to live on campus.
With living on campus comes certain responsibilities. Students who live on campus are expected to have some kind of a meal plan. The cost of meal plans, as you can imagine, is also quite expensive. Many students would prefer cooking for themselves because they may not enjoy the dining commons’ food or they may find that cooking for themselves is a more economical option.
The circumstances vary from student to student. For some, living on campus may be a great experience, but for others, it may be a burden whether it be socially, economically or any other reason. The Equinox feels that there are both benefits and disadvantages to living on campus. We agree that living on campus can provide a sense of community for newer students — it can expose them to resources on campus and help them make connections. Conversely, it just isn’t the right fit for every student. Dorm living is a major adjustment for many.
Going from living in a home to living in a dorm with hundreds of other students can make for countless issues. Distractions are inevitable. Neighboring rooms may blast music when a student is trying to study in the comfort of their own room and bathrooms are shared among many and are often left unkept. We understand that there are people of authority enforcing rules and regulations in residence halls, however, many of these instances are going to happen regardless.
Living off campus can be a great learning experience for students. It allows students to get a taste of the real world and what it’s like to live on your own. Students become exposed to what it’s like to become an adult and manage for themselves.
Living on campus can certainly still take a toll on your wallet, however we are arguing that when it comes down to it, the student should be allowed the choice to decide how they are going to spend their money here in college.
Allowing all students the freedom to live where they want to would, without a doubt, present many challenges.
Many students will most likely make some risky decisions that might not be the best fit for them. Or maybe the decision they make will turn out to be a great one.
The matter of the fact is, the school should not be able to dictate the way we as students live our lives while in college. College is a time for growth, error and discovery. When we are stuck within strict boundaries, our abilities to really find ourselves and learn about who we are is hindered.