Some students have to make the decision to stay on or off campus and, for a freshman, this could be a big challenge.
Diana Karol, director of Auxiliary Services and Residential Housing, sees advantages for students living on campus.
“By staying on campus, this allows the student to attend a small college but gives them the full experience of going off and living in the residence halls and adapting to college life,” Karol said.
Tyler Junior College has 1,050 students who live in on-campus housing, Karol said.
Dormitories on campus are co-ed Ornelas Hall; male-only Lewis, Holley, Claridge, Sledge and West halls; and female-only Bateman, Hudnall and Vaughn halls. The dormitories provide a wide range of activities to attend and people to meet while living on campus.
Sophomore Dominique Traylor, 19, a resident of Ornelas Hall, described her first year of on-campus living as “a money saving opportunity.”
She said that when she lived off campus last year, it was difficult to save money because she had to travel back and forth from school and spend money on gas and food. Now that she lives on campus, she is able to walk to her classes. She also has a meal plan and job in Tyler that is nearby.
Corey Shackelford, 40, a sophomore education major, sees other advantages to living on campus.
“Staying on campus is great for a student because security is heavy on campus, classes are right at your doorstep, and if the student is wanting to go to the gym, play sports and be involved in school activities, they can,” he said.
However, Shackelford chooses not live on campus.
“Even though I have trouble making it to class sometimes, I would rather have the comfort of my own home with no rules,” he said.
Sophomore Keona Chalk, a 19-year-year old nursing major, also chooses to live at home.
“Living at home gives me privacy, plus no distractions,” she said. The only thing that she feels would be an advantage to staying on campus is being able to attend study groups and be closer to class.
Assistant Director of Residential Life Patti Light said cost and convenience are often reasons why students live on campus.
“Students (who have lived with their parents) don’t really know what it means to pay their own light, water, rent, and buy their own food to survive,” said Light, who added that living in a residential hall also creates a built-in community that can help students meet friends and a have connection to the college.
“It’s a proven fact that students who live on campus, have a better connection to the school and have a better college life,” she said.