By Erica Batyko
The college experience gives you a wide variety of opportunities. At times, it can be a little overwhelming trying to decide what to do and what your priorities should be. One of the first decisions you’ll have to make is where to live. You can live on campus or commute from home if you live close to campus. It’s a big decision to make. There are a lot of advantages for each to both choices.
Living On Campus
Living on campus is like nothing you’ve ever done before. It’s quite a change going from living with your parents to living with hundreds of other students. The great thing about living with so many other students is that it’s very easy to feel like part of a community. Residence halls give you the unique opportunity to meet a lot of other students that you normally wouldn’t meet by just going to class. Every residence hall on campus also has multiple resident assistants, who are there to assist you and foster a community on every floor.
Kent State’s residence halls also have living learning communities (LLC’s). Living learning communities offer students a chance to live with people of the same major or interest. Students in the College of Communication and Information (CCI) have two great options for living learning communities. They can either live in Eastway or the CCI Commons.
Eastway is the living learning community for first year students. Students can choose to live in Eastway if they want to be with other students who are going through the same transition from high school to college. Only freshman students are allowed to live in Eastway, so you will not be able to live in the complex as an upperclassman. The Eastway complex is made up of a dining hall, market, and game room. There are four residence halls attached to the complex and one across the street that form this living learning community. Residence assistants in the Eastway residence halls are trained to help students with the college transition. They organize several events to build a community among their residents and allow everyone to get to know each other. Eastway is not separated by majors so you will be able to meet a variety of students from all different concentrations.
CCI students can also choose to live in the CCI living learning community, the CCI Commons. The Commons are housed in Olson Hall, which is centrally located on campus. It is right next to the MAC center and the Student Center, and is a short walk away from all the buildings in which the three undergraduate CCI schools are housed. The Commons houses students from the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, the School of Visual Communication Design, and the School of Communication Studies. Olson hall is made to suit every students’ needs with a studio, computer lab, and the program coordinator’s office. Students also have the convenience of being able to meet with their academic advisors and professors in the residence hall. Students in the Commons not only have residence assistants, but they also have peer mentors to help them with their coursework and anything within their major. The Commons host several events including guest speakers and movie nights geared toward CCI majors. Students also have the opportunity to attend multiple social events with everything from an ice cream social to tie-dyeing t-shirts. Students may also contact their academic advisors to be placed in special CCI sections of their classes, so that they’ll attend classes with other students in the Commons.
Many students on Kent State’s campus choose to live off-campus. Some students live at home and commute, while others may have an apartment just across the street. There are many appeals to living off campus. You’ll be able to save money and choose exactly where you want live. Campus also offers many resources to commuters to help them feel at home on campus and make their commute as stress-free as possible.
It is important to stay connected to campus, even if you’re not living on it. You’ll want to build up a community and be involved on campus to truly get the most out of your college experience. Kent State students can achieve this by joining the Commuter & Off-campus Student Organization (C.O.S.O.). C.O.S.O. provides programs, services, and events that coordinate with commuter schedules and help students stay involved on campus. The organization holds weekly meetings on Mondays at 5:15p.m. on the fourth floor of the library. It’s a great way to get involved and meet other students.
Commuter students have access to many great places on campus where they can relax between classes. The fourth floor of the library, known as the “Fab Fourth,” has been completely renovated into a place where students can relax, work, and connect with others. It is also home to UCommute, a center for off-campus students which provides a “home away from home.” UCommute is open whenever the library is open. Students can also go Eastway and relax in the Eastway lounge, which is conveniently located next to the market and game room. The Student Center offers the Nest, a student lounge on the second floor, and a Cyber Café on the lower level where students can relax, work on a computer, or play pool. There are also lockers on the lower level of the Student Center that commuter students may use.
Regardless of whether you decide to live on campus, get an apartment with friends, or continue living at home, get involved on campus, step out your comfort zone and make the best of your college experience.