Home is Where Your Heart Is
Your neighborhood can define you. It can give you a sense of belonging and a sense of purpose. Think about the different areas from your hometown. Perhaps there were families that enjoyed having backyard parties and invited the whole block. Maybe the next street down no one talked. All of these areas influenced the community experience. How someone defined their time in the neighborhood: good, bad, fun, exciting, engaging, silly or boring. These terms are all from their experience and the people that were part of it.
The same holds true for campus experience. The people that surround you define your experience. For example, many students decide to live on or off campus. This helps them create their campus community. Students may have different neighborhoods that define their educational journey from where they spend their time outside of class.
The Comfy Campus Experience
Personally, I would say living on campus helped me create my campus community. I love living on campus and I credit it to being the most influential factor in why I did well, in school. It has been an amazing chance to spend time with my peers, be connected to resources and gives me a connection to my campus. I personally feel that my perceptions of university administrators are more positive because of the community of people that surrounded me while I lived on campus.
Now, I have never lived off campus, but I did research common benefits as well as speak with my friends who are self-proclaimed student leaders on campus who live off-campus. Now remember, these do not have to be your primary or only community, but is a really good example to consider.
A Family of Options
Here are some top listed reasons for living on campus:
Here are some top listed reasons for living off campus:
Here is a really great infographic that charts the benefits of living off-campus.
Coming Home to Conclusions
Now, you campus community may not center completely around where you spend your evenings and fall asleep. But, the people you interact with can influence your perception of others.
I like to think of the “student leader effect.” This is the idea that being aware and connected to your campus may influence how you view it. Perhaps students who have met the president of the university are much less likely to accept overarching comments by their peers. They may be more likely to challenge the comments or share another fact.
Creating Other Communities
Aside from where you live, there are other forms of campus communities:
- Organizations you’re involved in
- Places you work
- Peers in your classes
- Things you spend your time doing
- Professional staff members you interact with
And, according to Lifehacker, the people around you influence your success. Lifehacker writes that “All that counts if you want to be successful in life is the people you surround yourself with.”
With this logic, it’s hard to think how a campus community and experience would not influence you. From being engaged and connected to your campus, to knowing the names of the administrators, your peers influence who you are.
Not convinced? Here’s some more information supporting the idea.
Community Engagement and Student Success
When you feel part of something, you want to participate. The same goes for your campus community. If the people around you are engaged and share educated opinions about a subject, you may follow their lead. It is not a question of if you do or do not live on campus, it is a question of are you connected to the right people, resources and offices to help you succeed as a student.
What do you think? Do you think the community a student lives in, creates, supports and engages in influences their experience and perceptions of university administrators? Does it have to be where they live or is it where their hear is? What created your campus community? Who did you spend your time with? Did it change your perspective of professionals on campus?
Interested in learning more about the law of average? Here’s the original video from Jim Rohn.