Benefits and opportunities arise by choosing to live on campus

Upperclassmen students can reap overlooked rewards by deciding to live on campus another year

Students+of+all+ages%2C+even+upperclassmen%2C+can+enjoy+the+many+benefits+of+living+on+campus.+Chancellor%27s+Hall+is+an+upper+campus+apartment+living+option+available+for+upperclassmen.

Photo by John Mattison

Students of all ages, even upperclassmen, can enjoy the many benefits of living on campus. Chancellor's Hall is an upper campus apartment living option available for upperclassmen.

“Home is where the heart is.” This saying is evident wherever one lays his or her head at night, and it is incredibly true when it comes to UW-Eau Claire.

For most upperclassmen students, home is at an apartment or house off campus, but for others it’s the dormitories or apartments on upper campus.

This is my third year living on upper campus; freshman and sophomore year I lived in Towers Hall and this year I’m living in Chancellors Hall, an apartment-style dorm. Contrary to popular belief, staying on campus can offer many benefits.

A positive aspect of living on campus is the sense of community and family. Last year I was blessed to live on a floor with all of my close friends where everyone’s doors were always open and welcoming.

The dorms were a great tool for me to initially make friends and get to know a variety of students. They also provided the luxury of always having something to do; whether it be going down the hall to hang out with friends, heading down to the lobby or walking to the cafeteria to grab some food.

One thing is for sure: dorms are the place to be if you are a social person.

However, not everyone enjoys the open living and social aspect of college. Some people would prefer to have their own privacy. Having your friends in your dorm room 24/7 can be fun for the most part, but when 2 a.m. rolls around and there are still four guys huddled around the television yelling at each other while playing Madden, it can be difficult to sleep.

In this case, if you are generally a more quiet person who prefers having time to yourself in peace, then off-campus living is the way to go.

Living in your own home away from campus can give you a feeling of separation when it comes to school and living though.

I like to separate my day into two segments: the school day and the rest of the day. In other words, I have my studies on lower campus and my social life on upper campus. After my school day is over, I make the treacherous journey up the hill where I can relax and take my mind off school.

Plus, by living on campus I have everything easily accessible to me. Being just a short walk away from McPhee Strength and Performance Center is one of my favorite aspects of upper campus living, as well as the cafeteria for when I don’t want to cook my own meals.

Over the time I’ve spent at Eau Claire, I have taken full advantage of the caf. During my freshman and sophomore years, I could be found there at least six different times during a single day.

No joke.

The buffet of endless cheeseburgers, ice cream and pizza was and still is appealing to me anytime of the day.

Along with a variety of food, the caf is also a great place to connect and create friendships. I have always thought of the cafeteria as a social gathering spot where you can wind down and enjoy yourself, plus you don’t have to do your own dishes.

Intramural sports, student organizations and campus events more often than not happen on upper campus near the dorms, and being exposed to these activities is beneficial for anyone who is trying to make new friends and get the most of their college experience.

Before you make the decision to sign your first lease, make sure you are ready to leave behind living on campus. Yeah you might not be able to escape the daily “R.A. on duty knock” when your room is getting a little too rowdy, and having to use shower shoes when bathing, but you’ll be missing out on friendship and the welcoming sense of community.

I know one thing for sure, and it’s that I am blessed to have met such an incredible friend group that I wouldn’t have met if I hadn’t decided to live on campus an extra year.