Friday, February 28, 2020

Living On Campus

A Student's Experience

As Housing Selection quickly approaches, many students begin to wonder what else they can do as a resident student, and the answer is: A lot! Take it from Pamela Vallejos, a Sophomore Biochemistry/Pre-med student who has gained so much more than just a place to live while a resident student.

***

Starting college, whether you are a first year or transferring student can usher anxious and exciting emotions all at the same time, especially when making decisions about housing. Being an international student, one of the first decisions I had to make was, with who am I going to spend not only my first semester of college outside my country with, but also an entire year of what is going to make up my first college experience. For incoming students, residing on campus is more than just getting a room and roommate; it becomes an experience in which helps shape you into the future working adult you’ve always wanted to become. With my personal experience, I believe residing on campus is among the top benefits college has to offer. It not only gives incoming students, but everyone who lives on campus, an opportunity to really get that college experience that we have waited and prepared ourselves for all throughout high school.

One of the most important benefits is that most campus resources are less than a 10 minute walk away from your room! Even resources that you had no idea you needed are present all around campus. Each dorm has a resident assistant who helps you in at any time of the day, who in addition works with resident directors who help guide you towards any path you want to take. Public Safety arrives immediately for any emergency and always responds to any students who request their help. Within the residence halls, they all have lounges, study areas, kitchens, some even a workout area where students are welcomed at any time. The RAs make programs that help students connect to resources on campus, and some programs even involve them with faculty and administrating members who reach out to students as well for them to really let them know that they are not alone and they will always have someone on campus they can talk to.


Living on campus gives students the opportunity to make strong friendships in a way that they become their second family. My first friend on campus ever, is someone I now call my little brother. We have become so close to a point where people actually believe we are related. Both of us living extremely far from our families and childhood friends bonded us to a point where we created a family setting between each other and our other friends. This strengthened our friendship and was one of the main reasons I was always excited to come back to campus. My suite mate became one of the closest friends I never thought I would make within the first months of college that even during vacations we always plan on spending time together whether it is me visiting her or the other way around. As all college students, we were able to support each other academically as well. Living on campus made it easy to make friends in and outside my major in a way that we could all spend time studying at the library or in our dorms together for certain classes throughout the week and weekends. In times of stress, such as finals week, we were there to support each other and push one another to keep working hard through all our upcoming exams. Once we all got through our finals, sharing the happiness of making through our freshman year together was very sentimental and a true bonding experience.

Living specifically in the Living Learning Communities (LLC) that Hofstra has to offer gives the opportunity to students to really grow in a community where everyone is there to support each other as we are all going through similar situations our freshman year. Living in the First Generation housing was something that really shaped me as the second year student I have become. Even though it was just one year, it was the beginning of a new life, my future career, and the person I am becoming and always wanted to be. The LLC not only helped me stand proud of who and what I represent, but also allowed me to meet others who do the same. It is one of my favorite experiences of my freshman year and something I am very grateful for having. The friendships and bonds I have made within the LLC still stand strong through the end of my sophomore year, and I know they’re something I will always be able to count on.

One of the biggest difficulties I had in high school was maintaining my academic life, social life, and work life together on top of my parents driving me everywhere I needed to be. Living on campus, made me view Hofstra as my new home. I eventually began to feel comfortable to reach outside the residence halls and participate in on-campus activities. By the first semester of my second year I have become treasurer of Hofstra’s Organization of Latinx Americans, and work with the wonderful staff of Student Affairs, and the on campus catering Hofstra offers at our new Starbucks, everything being a 5 to 10 minute walk away!

As much as I miss my family and friends back home, if I had the option to drive everyday to campus from my house to college I would still choose to live on campus. It really helped me grow not only as a student, but also as a person. Living on campus gave me the opportunity to really know where I decided to begin my future, and I do not regret making that decision. The more you live on campus, the more you become to enjoy and get more involved. Next year I will be joining the resident staff at one of the first-year residence halls and will have the opportunity to make an impact on students as an RA, as did mine for my first year and I could not be more excited to be a helping hand to incoming and transferring students!"

***

Housing Selection begins March 2 with the Housing Deposit. For more information about living on campus and the many facilities available, you can visit Hofstra.edu/Reslife




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