To Dorm Life or Not to Dorm Life

To Dorm Life or Not to Dorm Life

Taylor Wilson, Staff Writer

What college experience is complete without living on campus, right? Being able to roll out of bed and hike to class, parties are always close and who could forget those great roommate experiences. With the many restrictions due to COVID-19, living situations on college campuses are different. Many students attend school living on campus, but there’s a decent amount of commuters and virtual students.

“The sense of community that student living provides creates a better college experience,” FGCU junior Patty O’Leary said.

O’Leary has lived on campus and experienced dorm life, while now living as a commuter from University Village. In her freshman year she lived in South Village (SoVi), then moved over to Coastal Village for her sophomore year, and now lives in UV.

UV is just off campus, offering a little community for residents while being right next to FGCU. The area next to the apartments contains other activities open to the public and for student use. There are numerous options for dining, entertainment, shopping, and other activities.

“The best housing as a freshman is definitely SoVi,” O’Leary said. “It’s an experience that I feel all freshmen need. After that, I would recommend University Village for the rest of your college years.”

Some of the negatives to dorm life can include poor cleanliness and room setup. O’Leary discusses the downside to life at Coastal Village, another off-campus student apartment setup. It is described as resort-style living, with a short commute to the school.

“The downside is that some options for housing [like Coastal Village] don’t provide the safest or cleanest living environment which can be super difficult,” O’Leary said.

A major plus to living in the dorms are the benefits that come with being exposed to many different people, allowing for lifelong friendships. I know I met my core friend group in my freshman year of college based on my roommates and hallmates. It allows you to have people to hang out with, cry over Mamma Mia with, and plan coordinated Halloween group costumes with.

“This semester I’m living at home with my parents,” FGCU sophomore Nicole Masi said. “It’s great because I get to save money of course, but I don’t have the same freedoms I do as living at college. I think living on campus gives students a sense of freedom and responsibility that some may not get if they were still living with their parents.”

Masi, though a completely virtual Eagle this semester, carried on to discuss the pros and cons that follow living on campus as a 20-something-year-old.

“Living in a dorm gives students a chance to live on their own and start maturing,” Masi said. “Some students may not be ready for that which is fine, but some people do prefer to live at home where they may have fewer responsibilities.”

Along with the opportunity of living on your own as a mini adult, there are downfalls.

“The freedom could easily be taken advantage of,” Masi said, “Some students think that just because they don’t live with their parents they can do whatever they want without having responsibilities, like making sure you have groceries or keeping your apartment/dorm clean.”

As a commuter myself, I do sometimes feel like part of my college experience is taken away, while living 30 minutes from campus. I enjoyed dorm life at a different institution for two years, where I made a majority of my group and was always closer to the various events and parties that would go on.

Commuting from farther away makes it more difficult to participate in clubs that don’t meet via Zoom and can make it a hassle to be present for campus activities. The benefit? Not having to deal with uncomfortable dorm beds, rules from RAs, and residential parking lots.

In all, “It really does just depend on the type of person!” Masi said.