Coming in as a first-year student can be the most frightening thing one can do at the age of 18, especially if he or she is far away from home.
However, one of the perks of college is meeting new friends, and because students are required to live on campus for two years, it inadvertently creates an area to meet new people in the same situation.
Living on campus for the first year of college is essential for anyone coming to campus from across the country or just down the interstate. This is where you’ll meet all of your friends for the next four years and have a support system through the year of firsts.
Whether or not you have a random roommate, they will be your confidant throughout the intial two semesters, and will get to know everything about you. This will be your go-to lunch buddy, your first friend at all first-year orientation events, and most importantly, someone who’s going through the same thing as you.
The point is, living on campus allows you to meet new people right away and find a solid group of friends for the next four years.
It also allows you to be close to campus events. For instance, North Complex, also known as the the freshman dorms, is located across the street from the Muenster University Center, where all the food and campus events are mostly held. It’s also a short walk from the Wellness Center, the DakotaDome and all other campus buildings, making commuting a thought in the back of your mind.
However, being a student on campus comes with rules. While you are an adult (legally), you’re required to follow all dorm rules. These rules, designed to keep the campus safe, clean and regulated, are enforced by many people. USD is very strict on some of their living rules and can be stressful at times.
This is why most students choose to move off campus when they’ve met their two-year requirement. While this allows students to live exactly how they want to live, there are some downsides to the otherwise coveted status of living off campus.
First, you’re completely responsible for rent, utilities and any damages done to the property in the time you’re there. This can be costly, depending on how you choose to utilize the space.
Another downside to living on your own is the possiblity of conflict with roommates. While this is very possible on campus as well, you have the option to move somewhere else. In your own apartment or house, you’re stuck in a lease. The best advice? Choose roommates wisely, and ones that are similar to you in regards to cleansliness.
Additionally, the commute from off-campus housing can be difficult. While Vermillion is fairly small and walking usually isn’t an issue, off-campus parking can be a fight. Plus there’s the fact that South Dakota has an unpredictable winter season.
Living off campus definitely has its perks.
For instance, you’re free to do with your space what you want. Within the regulations of the lease, you can turn the space into a comfortable area to live in for you personally.
There are no curfews or alcohol restrictions (if you are of age, of course) and you’re on your own in terms of choices of living.
The overall idea is to figure out as a first-year what works for you in terms of living area and decide what will make you happy.