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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

Your housing situation determines your college experience

Katerina Parizkova

College is known as the time when you meet lifelong friends and dorms are notorious for bringing people together. Where you live bonds you, for better or for worse.

Think back to your first year of college. Do you think that you would be friends with half of the people you are with now if they didn’t live close by?

In the weeks before I left for college, I didn’t realize the importance of where I would live. During Quinnipiac’s summer orientation, I found out I would be in a suite with seven other women. At first, I was nervous about sharing a space with that many people. But now, in the middle of my second semester, I could not recommend living in a suite enough.

In the beginning of the semester, I met so many people, especially living in the 3+1 Communications Living-Learning Community. It was a great way to get out of my comfort zone and get to know everyone. More conveniently, the people in the surrounding suites on my floor were also the people in my classes, fostering an instant community.

Location means everything. Living in a forced quad room versus being in a suite creates two completely different college experiences. Having three other roommates in one room compared to one roommate with a common room and bathroom to share with seven other students is entirely contrasting.

Students of the class of 2027 who were placed in forced quads due to overcrowding went into the housing process thinking they would just be with one roommate, either of their own choosing or at random, only to be blindsided and placed with two additional random roommates.

Living in a quad, you have limited privacy and limited space to grow as you start to live on your own. With no common area, students living in quads live in the same room with little to no time to themselves.

Your living situation has a significant impact on your mental health and your overall college experience. Having your own space is crucial as you begin to live independently, and it’s important to have a safe place to retreat back to. The environment in which you live creates a routine that surrounds you with the people you see daily.

A roommate dynamic can have a direct impact on your quality of life and living experience while at school, according to The Washington Post. It can cause you to become anxious about your home away from home, somewhere that is supposed to be your safe space. This puts all the more emphasis on finding an alternative space that is just yours.

In the beginning weeks of the fall semester, the people you cross paths with the most based on where you live and spend most of your time are the most likely people to become your friends. One of my best friends is the only person in my suite who is not a communications major. If she hadn’t been randomly placed in our LLC dorm, the chances I would be friends with her are much slimmer.

It all comes down to personal preference, but regardless, not being in your preferred housing choice can negatively affect your mental health, education and social life. Feeling isolated or overcrowded and not knowing how to fix a situation you’re permanently stuck in for the rest of the academic year can spoil your experience at school.

As the deadline approaches for housing selection next year, I am concerned about being placed in a housing situation where I feel cramped. Because of the random lottery system, I have little control over where I live.

The guidelines surrounding the housing selection process are flawed. There is no guarantee that you will get your preferred living choice. This becomes an issue, especially when Quinnipiac requires students to live on campus for three years. I am crossing my fingers to get another suite next year with a shared common room, bathroom and possibly our own kitchen.

Fundamentally, social life is more important than we give credit to. While picking colleges and deciding where I wanted to go, I mainly focused on the educational benefits and economic standpoints, not knowing that social life would mean just as much as an education.

College is filled with academic pressure, homesickness and stressors. Having a support system is essential to feeling happy at school. It’s so important to understand how much your living situation impacts that support system and your social circle. Social life in college can be the reason you stay and the reason you leave.

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About the Contributors
Grace Conneely-Nolan, Associate Arts & Life Editor
Katerina Parizkova, Associate Design Editor

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    Terrence NolanMar 28, 2024 at 7:22 pm

    Great points. I agree – it would be great if it could be based on something more predictable than luck.