Opinion: Living on campus can be a great experience with unique opportunities

University Suites dorms located on Boise State campus.
Photo by Claire Keener

The choice of living on campus is something that many college students have to consider at the beginning of each school year. 

Beginning my junior year, this was once again on my mind. I chose to live on campus my first two years, and after discussing my options with my parents, I decided that spending another year in University Suites was the best choice for me. 

Despite this decision being relatively easy for me, I know it can be more complicated for other people, especially first-year students. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has also added another layer of complication on top of many other things students need to consider when choosing whether or not to live on campus. 

It can be hard to make a decision like this without knowing what it’s actually like to live on campus. Whether you’re considering living in a more traditional dorm, like Chaffee Hall, or an apartment-style space like University Suites/Square, there are a number of great aspects to living on campus.

Possibly the most enjoyable thing about on-campus housing is the convenience. Being only a short walk from classrooms in the Quad or a comfortable stroll to the Student Union Building (SUB) is really unbeatable, especially when considering how hard it can be to park on or near campus.

University Suites dorms located on Boise State campus.
[Photo of University Suites dorms on Boise State campus]
Photo by Claire Keener | The Arbiter

Parking lots and garages are usually available for residential students depending on which dorm you live in. In University Suites/Square, we have two small lots near the buildings along with the fourth floor of Brady Garage. 

When the lots are busy, the walk to and from the fourth floor of the parking garage can seem burdensome, but it’s truly not much of a hassle. 

There is also a wonderful and irreplaceable social aspect that comes with living on campus. 

There is an automatic sense of community between residential students at Boise State. Resident Assistants (RAs) and other housing staff often organize events for communities to engage together. 

My first year RA hosted weekly tea parties for our floor. This became a great way to build a community and relationships with students I otherwise wouldn’t have met.

The roommate system is another plus to living on campus. When room selection nears, a website for roommate matching opens up. Students can then fill out a questionnaire surrounding living habits and preferences. 

Once finished, the system matches you with other students deemed compatible based on the questionnaire. This makes it easy for students to meet potential roommates, or similar to my case, it makes it easy to find and match with a pre-planned roommate group.

Despite the number of pros I have already mentioned, there are always downsides to wherever you live. So far this year, I’ve had a few issues pop up in my dorm. 

Our AC and washer/dryer unit both broke for a few days after moving in. However, maintenance staff has been understanding and helpful in solving these issues. Out of my two prior years living on campus, this has been the first issue where we have needed to put in maintenance requests.

Though apartments near campus may offer similar amenities, I think it’s hard to find a place that truly beats out my experience living on campus.

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