Opinion: Living Off-Campus

Brisa Ramirez

Brisa Ramirez

Throughout my time at Southwestern, I’ve been living at home with my parents. We moved to Keene in 2007, and it seemed convenient (not to mention cheaper) to continue living with them while attending college.

I quickly learned about some of the pros and cons of living at home. For me the biggest con has been that I often feel left out. I’ve been told many times that I should socialize more or that I need to spend more time on campus. Honestly, I’m on campus almost all day already. Sure, I’m usually in class, work, or the library, but isn’t that where most people spend their days as well?

From my first morning class to the time the library closes, I’m on some part of campus. Still, on-campus friends often tell me the reason they don’t always invite me to their spontaneous hangouts or random outings on the weekends is that they assume I’m with my family or busy.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I do have close friends both in the residence halls and living off campus. I hang out more with those living off campus, though, simply because we have similar schedules.

Maybe it’s because I don’t eat in the cafeteria or because I don’t spend very much time in the residence halls. I’ve been told that living on campus would give me the full college experience. I don’t know if that will ever happen, but I know as long as I live at home I will feel to some degree left out.

I’m not saying all this to make you feel sorry for me. I’m content with my life and with my group of close friends. But I want you to know that off-campus students want to feel like they are a part of the school as well. Sometimes, feeling included is a struggle for us.

So if you have friends who don’t live on campus, make sure you include them in your activities. It might not seem like a big deal, but sometimes including people, even in the little things, is the best way to show them you care.

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