The best college experience I have had so far is moving on campus this year. I was a commuter student my first year, so this is a major game changer! My roommates have become really great friends of mine. I have been able to develop a much better social aspect to my college experience. Also, everything is so much easier compared to how things were at home before.

I was really terrified of living on campus because I had a bad experience with living with people for two weeks in the summer of 2017. I know I can be a bit complicated to live with, so maybe my bad experience was not entirely their fault. After that experience, I decided that living at home for my first year was best. I was actually planning to save the money and live at home for all four years, but I decided to live on campus this year and it is by far the best decision I have made.

Let’s begin with my roommates.These girls are by far the absolute best! Luckily, I was placed with not only my perfect roommate matches, but also my new lifelong friends. I have been able to develop a really tight friendship with these girls over the course of the past two and a half months and I cannot be more thankful. We go grocery shopping together, we sit in the living room watching Grey’s Anatomy together and do homework together, and one of them has even taught me to cook. I have been able to develop a sort of sisterhood I was never able to have at home since I don’t have sisters my age or even close to my age (I do have an 8 year old sister who I do adore though). These girls help me keep my sanity and provide a support system I did not have at home.

The social aspect of my college experience has definitely expanded since I have been living on campus. I am able to actually spend extra time with people at school because I can go home after class and come right back for a gathering or for a student org without dreading the amount of gas needed to be used to get back to campus. I used to hate when my classes ended at 2pm and the meeting would not be until  7:30pm because it would be a debate of stay in the library for the next 5 hours or waste gas going home and coming back for an hour. That was a big reason I did not join student organizations my first year. Now I am in 3 and I love them! I am also able to show up to late evening study groups. In general, I have a better sense of the VCU community. It’s definitely a different “vibe” compared to going to class and going straight home or to work.

Things have been so much easier now that I live on campus compared to when I was living at home. I have Lainx parents and they have always wanted the best for me to succeed, but at the same time they don’t always know what’s best. They never realized that just because I still live at home, I don’t run on their schedule. I have my own school, meeting, job, homework and social life schedule. So, no mother I cannot clean X, Y and Z at this certain time because i’ll be doing this and that. They never understood that I am not a teenager anymore and that I am also not a full blown adult. I am an adult in the sense that I have my own set of responsibilities such as school and work. They either saw me as a 13 year old with many rules to follow or a 30 year old with BIG responsibilities. No in between. It was also hard when I would not be able to take my sister to school or pick her up to help my mother out. I had classes or I wanted to go to the gym, but of course in her eye’s I was just not trying to help around the house. There were many times where I thought I was seen as the “bad guy” at home, so I spent a lot of time in my room or at the library at school to avoid arguing with my parents. My brother and I constantly argued as well over who gets in the shower first in the morning because he decided he wanted to go to school late all the time. All together, it was just constant stress. School stress. Work stress. Now, home stress? Come on now, how much harder can it get, right? So, moving out has definitely made my stress level drop as well as has allowed my family and I to understand each other more.  

Overall, moving on campus has been one of the best experiences I have had since I have started college. If I would have known how awesome my roommates and the experience would be I would have not hesitated to live on campus! Now, I just have to worry about school and work stress no more home stress… except for having to make my own dinner. I do often miss my family, but I see them almost every weekend, so it’s okay. I just think finding my “space” was much needed and I cannot be happier with how housing on campus has turned out.