The benefits of on-campus living extend to pretty much every corner of a Shenandoah student’s life.
Students who live on campus:
- get better grades
- more easily build social networks
- save money
- reduce commutes
- get support from peer staffers like resident assistants (RAs)
- are more likely to graduate
Learn more from Dahlia Ashford, MS, CPC, Shenandoah University’s assistant dean of students for diversity, inclusion, and residential services; sophomore Alyse Bragg, a nursing major and dance minor who lives in Edwards Residential Village; and sophomore BFA dance major Hannah Mikulecky, who lived in Parker Hall during her first year and now calls the university’s Edwards Residential Village home.
Keeping It Close
I love that there is so much to do so close by, it makes everything super accessible. Getting to class on time is stress-free because I am a short walk or drive from campus and campus safety is always there to make sure I get around safely, especially at night! Living on campus makes pretty much everything easier for me as a busy student! I have three places to go for meals less than five minutes away that are a part of my meal plan, restaurants close by that take Flex dollars (which are a part of certain meal plans), my classes are so close so I don’t have to stress about being late.”
Alyse Bragg ’23
No Need for a Car
“One of the best perks of living on campus is that you don’t need a car to get around because everything is within walking distance,” Ashford noted. “It’s not just classes that are close by – the Brandt Student Center and dining halls are all on campus. SU has its own public transit system for students so there’s no need for any journey to take longer than 20 minutes. Plus, you’ll save time and energy by not having to find parking spaces, and it’s better for the environment!”
“Since I’m from Tennessee, I had to drive my car up here so I could make it home during breaks and such. I saved so much money walking on campus rather than driving my car long distances,” said sophomore BFA dance major Hannah Mikulecky, who lived in Parker Hall during her first year and now calls the university’s Edwards Residential Village home.
I think living on campus made me more social in terms of walking to the dining hall every day or seeing one of my professors on my walk to class. I feel like if I were to live off campus, then I would’ve missed out on so much and wouldn’t have met half of the people I know now.”
Hannah Mikulecky ’23
For first-year students, getting a roommate is particularly meaningful. “My roommate is one of my very best friends and we found each other in our first year while living on campus!” Bragg said.
Ashford adds, “Your roommate (and everyone else in your residence hall) will also be adjusting to living away from home for the first time. This means you’ll have someone to share that experience with. Students often form close friendships with their roommates and the other people in their halls.”
“You form great relationships with your peers in the same class, because you are living in the same space, as well as the upper-level students who are your RAs,” Bragg said of the on-campus living. “It brings you a sense of comfort knowing that you are surrounded by others going through the same experiences as you!
Those peers include the Resident Assistants (RAs), who live in the halls with students and are available to help anytime, Ashford said. “Whether you’ve lost your keys or want some advice about living in the halls, they can guide you or send you to the right person to help. RAs are usually older students so they have already experienced campus life. This makes them perfectly placed to support you when you need it.”
For first-year students, part of the experience is becoming more independent. “There’s a good chance this will be your first time living away from your family,” Ashford said. “This comes with the responsibility of looking after yourself and managing your time. By living on campus, you get to learn these skills alongside many other people learning the same thing. You’ll also be in an environment that doesn’t expect you to have it all figured out yet.”
And this feeling then continues into subsequent years. “Since moving to Edwards for sophomore year, I’ve felt more comfortable and independent,” Mikulecky said.
A Great Way to Save
Living on campus can also be a money-saver, Ashford said. “Campus accommodations include utilities like electricity, gas, water, and internet access in the price. This works out cheaper than paying for these separately and makes it easier to maintain constant service.”
Better Grades and Improved Graduation Rates
The benefits extend into the academic realm, as well. And, students who live on campus have higher graduation rates, too.
Research has shown that students who live in residence halls achieve better academic outcomes during their degree, even if they live on campus for just one year. This has been attributed to being closer to classes, faculty, and facilities like the library, enabling you to be more engaged. The chance of graduation increases for those who live for at least two years on campus.”
Don’t Miss Out!
For Bragg and Mikulecky, the experience of living on campus has been an excellent one.
Having so many peers and resources to go to is what makes on-campus living so fun. You never feel alone because you always have someone who is experiencing the same things you are. On-campus living is just a part of the college experience you don’t want to miss out on!”
Alyse Bragg ’23