Living in residences halls provides academic and social benefits to students

Lauren Biertempfel

Kent State University’s Residence Services offers many programs and services to help students’ transition into life on a college campus.  Students have the option to request to live in communities that surround them with peers going through similar changes.

Director of Residence Services Jill Church said it’s important to help with the transition to living in the residence halls.

“We believe that living on campus helps students transition and adjust to college life because it puts them in proximity and puts them living right there with other students who are seeking the same goal as they are,” Church said. “They’re looking to matriculate to the university and looking to come and get a college degree.”

One option for student housing is a living-learning community, or LLC. There are 12 LLC’s within Kent State that give students the opportunity to live with peers who are studying the same field. These communities offer programs and tutoring that are specific to the students’ field of study, said Church.

 “The living learning communities offer a sense of academic purpose beyond the classroom, support and resources and those could be academic as well as field related and also advising hours that are contained within each of the residence halls,” said Josette Skobieranda Dau, assistant director of Residential Communities.

For students who do not live in LLC’s, there are a number of resources to help them with class work. Tutoring is offered in the residence halls along with group study sessions, said Church.

RA planned activities help students to socialize with one another and get to know their peers, said Church.

One way residence services helps students adjust to living with a roommate is having students sign roommate agreements and helping with conflict management when there are conflicts between two students, said Church.

The transition from home life to life on a college campus can be difficult and stressful for some students.

“It was very difficult at first, but then I got to know everyone and we became a lot more social,” said Alyson Horn, a sophomore criminal justice major.

Making friends that live in her residence hall helped Horn to stay motivated to do classwork before having fun on weekends.

 Na’Kayla James, sophomore international relations and fashion merchandising major, had a different experience when adjusting to living on campus.

“My freshman year I went home every two weeks,” James said. “It was a big deal because I’m a family person, but other than that it was not that big of a deal.”

Some students may struggle to adapt to moving away from home, while others have a smoother transition.

“My transition was really easy and I found it very relaxed because I’m not the kind of person who is homesick a lot,” said Anna Siergiej, sophomore nursing major. “My floor was a giant family so we were always doing something and I never got sad about it.”

Activities planned by her RA made Siergiej and her floor feel like a closer community that she expected.

For the list of Living Learning Communities at Kent State, visit http://www.kent.edu/housing/living-learning-communities

Contact Lauren Biertempfel at [email protected]