OPINION | Freshman should be required to live on-campus

Freshman move in at Campus View Suites I during freshman move in day 2019. Photo curtesy of UMAC.

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Freshmen should be required to live on campus because it allows them to navigate through responsibilities with a guiding hand while making friends along the way. 

Fresh out of high school entering the adult world, being a college freshman is a lot of responsibility. You’re not old enough for a lot but you are old enough to move out and start your life on your own. Being guided with the help of your school should be a requirement for every freshman.

When I was a freshman at Dixie State University, living away from home for the first time was not only scary but hard. Learning how to pay rent and be responsible for a home was a lot for an 18-year-old, but it was a great learning experience. 

Only now, at 21, have I been able to live in regular housing and feel like I know what I’m doing, but it’s still difficult at times. There’s so much more that goes into moving out, deposits, insurance, budgeting, etc. It would be crazy to expect students to navigate through all of these responsibilities, without help from their school.

Living in student dorms allowed me to meet new friends and experience college in a completely different way that I don’t get living in regular housing currently.

Making a home for yourself in the first year is necessary. A sense of community while experiencing something so frightening and new can teach responsibility and independence. 

“Some colleges argue that living on campus is critical for students, especially freshmen because it allows them to fully participate in all of a school’s activities, social networks, and academic support while fully immersing the student in the school’s culture,” The Washington Post writer Danielle Douglas-Gabriel said.

Freshman year is exhausting in itself. When living with other students experiencing the same “firsts” as you, it’s likely school will become easier. For me, roommates were a resource. Having someone else to navigate campus and college life for the first time kept me on track academically. 

“The recommendation to live on campus isn’t just an arbitrary decision made by universities — it’s because we know that students are more likely to stay in school and be successful in their studies when they live on campus their first year,” Arizona State University’s website stated.

I found it motivating when my roommates were doing homework in the living room, there wasn’t anything else to do. Because everyone I lived with was busy doing homework, I was motivated to do mine.

I found an opportunity in living with people who had academic strengths that I didn’t and vice versa. We were able to pull from each other, allowing my freshman year to go by steadily. 

Living on-campus freshman year aids a helping hand. By being so close to campus, everything you could need is right across the street. For example, staying on top of homework is a whole lot easier when the library is just a 5-minute walk away.

“Statistically speaking, a study done at Brigham Young University showed that freshmen who live on campus tend to have higher first-year GPAs than those who don’t,” The State Press stated.

Living on campus should absolutely be required for freshmen because it allows for growth in independence all while finding a community. Moving out is a huge responsibility, doing so with fellow students can reduce can lend a helping hand.

DSU should require freshmen to live on campus, and priority needs to be given to freshmen when it comes to housing. Upperclassmen don’t need the help that first-year students do. The first year is vital, and making sure freshmen feel supported can ensure academic success.

At the end of the day, freshmen are kids straight out of high school, receiving some guidance and help to navigate college life should be provided by DSU by accommodating housing to newcomers.