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What I’ve Gotten Out of Living on Campus

November 28, 2016

by Giancarlo Montes

Typically when I give tours, I feel the energy drop as we walk into the sample  residence hall room we show to families. People sometimes seem dismayed that two to three people live in one space or that you can’t have your own microwave. I felt just as uncertain about the situation as most people do when I was in their shoes a few years ago. BUT, I did it. My tour guide said that living on campus would be a smart choice, something about community life, blah blah blah.

At home I had my own room and my parents would cook delicious foods. I was living comfortably. When freshman year started, that comfort kind of just left. I was sleeping in a room with a stranger (my first roommate), I had to feed myself, and keep track of my own time with a schedule.

I had a lot of independence growing up and we moved around a lot so I was used to change, but this felt different. Living on campus, I began to realize how pampered I really was! – how good home meals taste, how great it feels to turn on loud music right as you wake up and get ready that way (instead of tip-toeing in fear of waking up your roommate). But I also started to value all of the compromises. I learned to lead my own ship. I immediately had a support system at school, with my roommates and peers in class. I came to learn that throughout this education and in life generally, compromises and flexibility would get me through a lot.

The most difficult part was finding a balance between compromising and not, for your own interest. There came a lot of discoveries about myself and about others, a lot of which had to do with living with peers, finding my own space among them while profiting from shared spaces.