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The Truth About Living on Campus

By Brittany N. Gaddy

Spectrum Staff Writer

Freshman Lawryn Williams was excited when she was accepted to Bowie State University and secured housing on campus. She was ready to decorate her dorm and experience the freedoms that come with living away from home.  

When entering a new semester of college, students have to decide whether they want to live on or off campus.  And this can be difficult because they don’t always know what to expect from living in the dorms.

Williams wished that she had an idea of what living on campus would be like instead of having to rely on movies that only give limited clues about the college lifestyle. She said that she had an image in her mind of what she thought living on campus would be like, however, her actual experience of living on campus has been much different: “It’s just...not that image.” 

Williams pointed out that living on campus can help students academically. “Do it 'cause it could benefit you and your school work,” she said. "There are other places that you can the library [and the] computer lab.”

Leaving home to live on campus is not an easy transition for every student. The fear of not getting along with your roommate, not liking the campus food, and being away from home can be nerve-wracking. But according to some freshmen, leaving the familiarity of home to live on campus is an experience worth having.

Williams enjoys the freedom that living on campus brings.  “You can come back in whatever time you want” and “You don’t have to tell your parents where you’re at,” she said.

Freshman Jabria Shade shares the same view.  “It’s more freedom [than] living at home,” she said.  “Cause when you’re at home, you gotta worry about your parents asking you where you’re going, what you’re about to do [and] what time you’ll be back.”

However, not everyone feels completely ready to enjoy the freedom that students get from living on campus.  According to, “up to 70 percent of students will experience homesickness in their early days at university.”

Briona Vennie, a freshman, was a part of that statistic.

“It gets lonely,” Vennie said about living on campus. “I miss my family and friends.”  But as she adapted to college life, she became less homesick. “You get used to it after a while. You meet great people to hang out with.”

Shade encourages everyone who wants to live on campus to learn to take responsibility for themselves.  She said, “I came in knowing that I would have to wake myself up ... and do everything for myself without my parent or guardian being there for me.”

Living on campus is what you make it, Vennie said. "You have to make it worth your while."