On-campus living is like a cocoon

Matthew Carroll's view

Despite popular belief, college isn’t just about studying hard and getting good grades. Sometimes it’s about figuring out where in the heck you’re going to live the following year. In an effort to push my own agenda I will offer you my completely biased opinion on the subject.

Next year I will be a junior, which means I have the choice of living on or off campus. While I was mulling over this decision, I came across an ancient Chinese proverb that said, “You dance with the girl who brung ya.” I’m not quite sure if it was really Chinese (although the Internet has never lied to me before), or even what that actually means, but it convinced me to continue living on campus.

For those of you who are still in doubt, I have conjured up a few more reasons that will hopefully carry me through the rest of this column.

A lot of people I know have concerns about cost. If you can find a couple people to live in an apartment with you, it definitely costs less than your typical two-person dorm room. But all heightened-risks-of-communicable-diseases aside, the benefit of living on campus most certainly outweighs the cost.

Take for instance the security guards. They may seem like horrible people when they are busting you for some petty offense, but you are just looking at it the wrong way. It’s better to think of them as your best alternative to dealing with real authority figures — authority figures who wear badges and carry guns, and throw you in jail instead of writing you up.

Parking your car at the stadium or some nether-region of campus can be annoying at times, but I would much rather do that than deal with the headache of trying to scour the campus for a parking spot every morning. Not to mention the fact that before you even got to school you had to find someone with jumper cables to jump-start your old beater of a car, after which you drove through slow-moving traffic on pot-hole ridden streets before finally reaching your destination.

College dorms also come with the added benefit of free stuff (yes, I know it’s not actually free, just humor me). Dorms are just like the warm cocoon of home. You don’t pay for anything. It just magically appears. As far as I know, the cable TV and Internet access in my dorm could come from magical little fairies who wear checkered print leotards and whistle Air Supply songs. No matter how it happens, it still comes at no extra charge to me.

The most important thing dorm life gives me is connectivity. I feel like I am much more a part of Kent State than I would be if I didn’t live here. Even though I don’t know half the people on my floor or a tenth of the people on this campus, I have a sense of community and shared experience. I step out of my door and I am right in the middle of everything. Who cares if I have to pay a little extra to live here? I might as well get as much out of these four years as I can.

Matthew Carroll is a sophomore magazine journalism major and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].