Calvin University's official student newspaper since 1907

Calvin University Chimes

Since 1907
Calvin University's official student newspaper since 1907

Calvin University Chimes

Calvin University's official student newspaper since 1907

Calvin University Chimes

Dorms are better than commuting

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

Let me preface this by saying that one cannot generalize about all of Calvin’s commuters nor all of the students living in the dorms. My opinion on this might differ greatly from yours, and that’s because I’m not you and you aren’t me.

With that said, for those who are from Grand Rapids, I think that living in the dorms for your first two years at Calvin is a much better experience than the alternative: commuting.

I came out of high school as a regular introvert. I enjoyed spending hours by myself, and would be fine if I spent a day without interacting with anyone.

My family didn’t have the money for me to live in the dorms, but student loans are a hell of a drug. So when it came time for my family to decide between commuting and the dorms, I was told that I had to live in the dorms (future debt notwithstanding).

On move-in day I was absolutely terrified, having to meet an entire building full of strangers, and then live with them. Everything ended up all right, but living in the dorms was a huge first step towards independence and breaking out of my vacuum of comfortability.

I ended up making friends in my dorm, but I noticed something odd: I also made friends outside of the dorm. The purpose of this piece isn’t to tell my story; however, this turning point in my social life gave me a different perspective that I wish I could have offered to the younger me who was dying to not live in the dorms.

I didn’t even need to go to all of the dorm or campus events to feel as though I was ingrained in the campus itself. I could have had the opposite reaction to the dorms and become more excluded from the world around me.

Living in the dorms isn’t all about friends or social life, though. Practically speaking, living a minute away from everything that you need to do well in school is incredibly useful.

You could be a hermit in your room (as your roommate avoids you incessantly) and still reap plenty of benefits from living in the dorms, such as having a meal plan included in your costs, not having to worry about transportation, enjoying the amenities provided by the laundry room and studying spaces and much more.

Before you think that I can’t come at this from an objective place, I have been both a dorm resident and a commuter.

As much fun as it was taking out student loans, I had no choice but to live at home for the first semester of my sophomore year. During that time I saved a lot of money, and I recognized some of the advantages of commuting.

I was able to avoid the temptations of hanging out with friends as opposed to getting school work done. I was also forced to work more efficiently while at school because if I left, I would only be able to work on what I could take home with me.

I know plenty of people who don’t care for the dorms, but most don’t have a choice if they didn’t grow up ten minutes from campus. If you do, though, as a first-year student or a senior in high school, then deciding to live in the dorms could have a positive impact on the rest of your college career.

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