The beginning of freshman year is a complex transition process. Though most students handle this exceptionally well, some may experience several challenges associated with the sudden change in their lives. This paper seeks to address the view that, students should live on campus; especially during their freshman year as this provides a better avenue for the transition to campus life before they can decide on accommodation outside campus. College life brings with it the promise of new experiences and achievement of childhood career dreams. Where students live affects their; social, academic and financial lives during the college years, and beyond. Living within or outside the campus both have their benefits and limitations; the choice is dependent on the satisfaction of the student’s overall needs.
Should students be required to live on campus?
Benefits of living in campus include;
- Better security
- Convenience and easy access to resources such as libraries
- Financial advantages; accommodation and food expenses
- Developmental opportunities
- It facilitates interaction among students
- Good learning environment
- Need for privacy
- Nearness to campus
- Medical needs
Life on campus
. It regulates student behavior and activities to ensure they remain on track and focus on the reason they are in school. Life on campus provides better security in comparison to outside due to the improved security detail available. The compound has a fence, with security personnel at entrances to verify the identity of residents and visitors. This increases the level of protection students have in their hostels and various parts of campus even when moving around late in the night. The security factor also limits the cases of break-ins and theft within the hostels. Students living off campus tend to report more cases of burglary in comparison to those within campus.
Campus life provides a convenience most freshmen would appreciate. Living within campus eases the access to academic resources. Students have an easier time visiting the libraries, laboratories and lecture halls due to their proximity to their residential areas. Students who want to do extra studies during their free time and nights can access the libraries till late without worrying about getting to their rooms late. For group work activities, living within provides flexibility for students to meet in their rooms or halls for discussions at their convenience.
The closeness to various facilities provides a reduction in the transportation expenses dealt with by students living off campus. Instead of waking up early and preparing to walk, drive or take other means to school, all they have to do is cover short distances to lecture halls, eateries and other venues. The funds saved can be put to good use elsewhere. The financial aspect is also evident through the availability of cheaper accommodation on campus. Hostels within the campus tend to have relatively lower rent in comparison to those outside thus making them affordable to most students. Campuses have several eateries, which provide a variety of food at cheap prices. This is affordable, and there is no need to worry about budgeting for food and cooking. This is financially advantageous and saves on time.
Academic excellence in campus depends on the foundation students lay during their freshman year in campus. Living within the campus provides a tranquil environment that fosters learning. There is a prohibition of unnecessary noise and other distractive activities within the compound. This enables learning to occur in a comfortable manner thus facilitating good grades. The students are able to concentrate in lectures and carry out personal studies with ease. Off campus, students interact with other civilians and there is a flurry of activities that may take most of the student’s time and attention off academic progress.
Subsequently, on campus, students have a better chance to develop their life in a variety of ways. It facilitates the interaction of students from various places who live within the hostels. During their free time, they can visit each other and interact through recreational activities such as games and social functions organized within the school. They learn more about each other and the differences they have in terms of culture and life experiences. Students are able to form acquaintances and build lifelong relationships through these interactions. Living off campus provides limited time for interaction with fellow students.
There are, however, some exceptions that may force individuals to live outside. Some students join colleges that happen to be close to their homes. They opt to commute from home instead of living within the campus. This is advantageous financially as it saves on accommodation and food expenses. It also eases the transition process because the environment is familiar to the student and he/she does not have to break contact with family. In some cases, students may need to live alone for privacy purposes. Most rooms on campus cannot provide adequate privacy for such students due to sharing. A student may also have a health condition that cannot be managed effectively within the school rooms or make it hard to live with other students. This forces him/her to seek accommodation outside where all needs can be provided for medically
Though life on campus may have challenges due to the limited freedom, its advantages are numerous. This is especially in relation to academic excellence and social development which are the main goals of campus education. It facilitates education through improved accessibility, financial ease and provision of several opportunities for freshmen to interact. They can do this among themselves and with seniors to learn more about life and campus and coping with the challenges it presents. Managing to exploit its provisions will ensure a marvelous experience during the freshman and subsequent years. In the long run, life on campus is more beneficial to freshmen than life off campus.