So we know you go to school in Chicago, but where do you live? Are you a commuter student? Do you have an off-campus apartment or do you live on campus in a residence hall? Living on your own for the first time comes with its challenges and experiences you will never forget. Moving away from home was an exciting, but challenging experience for me. I was shy as a freshman and living in the residence halls was one way that helped me to meet new people since I lived on a floor with 60 other freshman! I also got involved from the start with residence hall leadership organizations. These have helped me not only to develop as a leader, but also as an individual. It also helped me to meet a solid group of friends and learn how to live on my own! As a veteran campus housing resident (and resident assistant), living in a residence hall community on-campus at your institution can have its perks.
Rent. Yes, money can either be very important when considering where to live. Unlike an off-campus house or apartment, student loans can be used to fund your housing experience. It’s also great because all utilities are included and paid with housing fees, so there is no worry month to month about making rent.
Transition. Those first couple days away from home can be tough. Your parents aren’t there to make you dinner or to talk to after school. You are on your own now and need to do things for yourself! It’s convenient to live in campus housing just for the fact that housing staff is there to help you as you learn how to live by yourself. Resident assistants and academic mentors are current students who live on your floor and are there to answer questions and help you adapt to living in the away from home.
Community. Yes, it’s cool to get an apartment off-campus with a bunch of friends. However, how cool is it to be placed on a floor with a lot of new people? There are so many opportunities to meet new people and learn about yourself while gaining exposure to people of different cultures and backgrounds. In on-campus housing, resident assistants plan programs and events to help you meet new people, create bonds and build friendships.
City living. We know how awesome living in the city is, but did you know that resident students can get awesome discounted tickets to major city attractions? As a way to build community, housing staff will put on programs and get group rate tickets to a lot of city attractions like movie, theater, and sporting event tickets (you have to support your Chicago teams, and how better to do that than at a discounted rate?).
Safety. All residence halls are locked and secured 24/7. Living in Chicago may have you and your parents concerned about your safety. With on-campus housing, all doors have to be accessed with keys and guests have to be checked into residence buildings. There are also desk and security workers who monitor who enter and exit the building to insure a safe environment for students. Each Chicago campus also have blue light systems on their campus. These units are located every 10-25 feet and each is equipped with a push button to talk directly to campus police.
Leadership. There are so many leadership opportunities available to on-campus residents. Student leadership groups such as your school’s Residence Hall Association (aka Residence Hall Council at DePaul) and the National Residence Hall Honorary provide social, leadership conference and service learning opportunities. Also, after living in the residence halls for a year, you can apply to be a resident assistant or academic mentor. Getting involved in these organizations helps you to network and make new friends, all while building your resume!