COLUMN: To dorm or not to dorm

Joanna Williams

I recently heard someone say we’ve been in school for a month — a fact I can’t wrap my head around because I still haven’t adjusted to my schedule. It seems as if this semester is going to be flying by, and before I know it, my sophomore year of college will be over.

 As I approach the end of my sophomore year, moving off campus is something that has been coming up more and more often in conversation with my friends who are the same year as me. 

“Where are you going to be living next year?” my roommate asked me the other day.

“I want to live somewhere close to campus, but that’s safe,” a friend expressed to me over lunch.

“I don’t want to live in the same apartment everyone moves to,” I heard another friend say.  

Clearly, this is contemplative stuff. 

I won’t lie — after two years of living on campus in a dorm, having the opportunity to get my own place, to do what I want and when I want, is very appealing. Having to check someone into my dorm and room checks once a month where my RA takes my vanilla-scented candle because it’s against policy has gotten old. 

With my own place, I’ll have all the candles I want and as many people over.  

However, after an early and annoying process of looking for places that are in a convenient location and in my price range, I already feel like throwing in the white flag and yelling, “Forget it! I’ll stay in a dorm for the rest of my life!” 

Yet, something that has been slightly bothering me is what if I really do decide to stay on campus next semester? How will I be looked at as the upperclassman who still stays in a dorm? And will my friends even come visit me at my dorm room now that they have their own place?

The stigma of staying on campus after you’re eligible to move off is one that more than a few upperclassmen have experienced.

Whether it’s having to explain that you’re not a freshman or your reason for staying on campus, you’re not going to get through a semester without some speculation. 

But who says you need to give them an explanation? 

Whatever your reason for moving off campus now that you’re able to, don’t do it because you feel you have to. Do it because you’re comfortable with your decision.

I don’t know if I’m going to choose to stay in Southwest Hall once February 21 — the day to choose my dorm for next year — rolls around, but I do know that I won’t let the stigma of being “too old” to stay in a dorm dictate my decision and neither should anyone else.