OPINION

Campus guide' 17: Head to Head: We all have to live somewhere

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Daniyal Arshad | The Daily Wildcat

Villa Del Puente, a dorm located on Highland Avenue in the historic district. Dorm life offers students a chance to meet new people going through the same growth process encountered at college.

Columnists Alec Scott and Aurora Begay go head to head to debate the best place to live as a student, on-campus or off-campus. 


On-campus life offers structure and community

Alec Scott

A college is much more than the classrooms amenities provided to the students; it’s also the culture and atmosphere that is encouraged and enjoyed by the faculty and student body alike. More than a place to be educated, it’s a place to explore life paths you didn’t entertain before, as well as discover opportunities that would otherwise not be experienced. 

Dorm life offers a sense of structure and community to incoming freshmen and transfer students that off campus living does not.

The college experience allows students who wish to continue their post-high school education to do more than simply confirm and support their worldview; it instead challenges and expands that worldview by allowing for opportunities to challenge your comfort zone. You enter a world that may be as constructive as it is frightening to enter.

Often dorm life is looked down upon in favor of immediately moving off campus in pursuit of an entirely new level of liberty that living by oneself can offer — but exploring and engaging in the residential life on campus, even if for a short time, is an integral part of the college experience. Living with a roommate who you have no prior relationship with allows you to reflect not only the way people can be different, but also how well you can facilitate relationship with others.

My personal experience with campus living has made me realize just how important this step is while going through the complicated self-discovery experience that college fosters. I transferred from the University of Denver to the UA this spring semester, and the transition between school cultures was made easier by total immersion in my new environment. 

Rather than feeling like a foreign element in the massive campus I found when I arrived, my residency in the historic district with people who experienced similar anxieties and confusions made me feel at home almost immediately. 

RELATED: Campus Guide '17: Advice for navigating the road to living off-campus

Had I not lived on campus, I wouldn’t have been able to feel at home in my new school so quickly, where classes were held in buildings I could hardly spell, let alone point out on a map. I was able to find common ground based around a shared experience with those around me. I could at once feel welcome on the campus I had just weeks before felt intimidated by.

It was living on campus at my first college that made me realize it was not the right school at the time, and it was living on campus here in Arizona that convinced me I had made the right choice to switch. I could place myself in relation to the activity and culture of the university without losing my sense of self in it. This gave me the confidence to branch out and experience an entirely new world that was set right in front of me.

Dorm life opens your comfort zone wide enough to accept the differences between you and your fellow students, who may be going through the same self-doubting race to the finish line you are. As a transfer student, I was also able to see the important role of immersion in campus life on my sense of place. 

Just close proximity to events at the Student Union Memorial Center inspired me to walk down and get free food, and even the subtle background information offered by fliers let me know which clubs were planning meetings or making moves to change campus life.

If living on campus can be seen as the first step of the college experience, living off campus can certainly be seen as the second — although it’s a step that must be made when you are ready —  jumping prematurely from the dorms can leave the relationship between yourself and your fellow student body underdeveloped. 

Where do you fit in, and why are you here? You may find it easier to answer these questions when experiencing it with those just as confused as you are, and who may have opinions and perspectives that never would have been exposed to you otherwise.

In short, I found my decision to live on campus an integral step of my college life, and I feel all the more confident for having made the jump into something at first new and frightening. 

By going through it as others around tackled similar issues, I felt as if I was not just a student of the classes I was registered for, but a student of the university itself.


Follow Alec Scott on Twitter


Selena Quintanilla | The Daily Wildcat

Campus Crossing, located on Eighth Street, is just two blocks south of the UA campus. The apartments are one of the many off-campus housing options available to students.


Off-campus life is freedom and comfort

Aurora Begay 

A college is much more than the classrooms amenities provided to the students; it’s also the culture and atmosphere that is encouraged and enjoyed by the faculty and student body alike. More than a place to be educated, it’s a place to explore life paths you didn’t entertain before, as well as discover opportunities that would otherwise not be experienced. 

Dorm life offers a sense of structure and community to incoming freshmen and transfer students that off campus living does not.

The college experience allows students who wish to continue their post-high school education to do more than simply confirm and support their worldview; it instead challenges and expands that worldview by allowing for opportunities to challenge your comfort zone. You enter a world that may be as constructive as it is frightening to enter.

Often dorm life is looked down upon in favor of immediately moving off campus in pursuit of an entirely new level of liberty that living by oneself can offer — but exploring and engaging in the residential life on campus, even if for a short time, is an integral part of the college experience. Living with a roommate who you have no prior relationship with allows you to reflect not only the way people can be different, but also how well you can facilitate relationship with others.

My personal experience with campus living has made me realize just how important this step is while going through the complicated self-discovery experience that college fosters. I transferred from the University of Denver to the UA this spring semester, and the transition between school cultures was made easier by total immersion in my new environment. 

Rather than feeling like a foreign element in the massive campus I found when I arrived, my residency in the historic district with people who experienced similar anxieties and confusions made me feel at home almost immediately. 

RELATED: Campus Guide '17: Eight great places to sit down and hit the books

Had I not lived on campus, I wouldn’t have been able to feel at home in my new school so quickly, where classes were held in buildings I could hardly spell, let alone point out on a map. I was able to find common ground based around a shared experience with those around me. I could at once feel welcome on the campus I had just weeks before felt intimidated by.

It was living on campus at my first college that made me realize it was not the right school at the time, and it was living on campus here in Arizona that convinced me I had made the right choice to switch. I could place myself in relation to the activity and culture of the university without losing my sense of self in it. This gave me the confidence to branch out and experience an entirely new world that was set right in front of me.

Dorm life opens your comfort zone wide enough to accept the differences between you and your fellow students, who may be going through the same self-doubting race to the finish line you are. As a transfer student, I was also able to see the important role of immersion in campus life on my sense of place. 

Just close proximity to events at the Student Union Memorial Center inspired me to walk down and get free food, and even the subtle background information offered by fliers let me know which clubs were planning meetings or making moves to change campus life.

If living on campus can be seen as the first step of the college experience, living off campus can certainly be seen as the second — although it’s a step that must be made when you are ready —  jumping prematurely from the dorms can leave the relationship between yourself and your fellow student body underdeveloped. 

Where do you fit in, and why are you here? You may find it easier to answer these questions when experiencing it with those just as confused as you are, and who may have opinions and perspectives that never would have been exposed to you otherwise.

In short, I found my decision to live on campus an integral step of my college life, and I feel all the more confident for having made the jump into something at first new and frightening. 

By going through it as others around tackled similar issues, I felt as if I was not just a student of the classes I was registered for, but a student of the university itself.


Follow Aurora Begay on Twitter



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