Take advantage of west campus

Mia Ciardi

As high school students graduate, the inevitable separation from home and journey into college life quickly approaches. Incoming college freshman dedicate June, July, and August to making sure they have purchased everything they will need for classes and their new rooms. Most universities require freshmen to live on campus, however, UT allows for the option to live off campus — something every freshman should be taking advantage of.

Transitioning from living with parents who provide for everything to living in a new place where there are no adults can be very difficult for some students. Dorm life is considered a happy medium where students live away from home, but do not truly feel as if they are living on their own. This hinders the transition by allowing for the continuation of the coddling that high schoolers receive from parents.

Living off campus gives the opportunity for freshmen to learn responsibility and understand what living alone is truly like. Rent for an off campus apartment is not included in tuition. Even though some parents pay for their children’s rent, it still is able to show students the process of needing to be financially conscious and how to spend money while remembering that there needs to be enough left over for necessities.

Apartment life also teaches social awareness, which is something that is absolutely essential in a classroom and workplace. There are no RAs wandering the halls making sure residents are behaving or are in their rooms. There is no one to write a student up if they are making too much noise during quiet hours. Freshmen build social awareness by being forced to regulate their social lives with their academic lives while being conscientious of the people living around them.

Maintaining an apartment is hard work. Some adults out of college even have difficulty keeping up with rent, utilities, and the other parts of their lives while living in an apartment. People living under their parents’ roofs take advantage of how much is done for them. Living in a place without an RA, with a personal bathroom and kitchen and basically no rules is the best way to become comfortable away from home.

Students are so lucky that UT is one of the few colleges to allow for the growth and maturity that on-campus living simply cannot offer. Incoming freshmen should jump at this opportunity and learn the ins and outs of living solo.

Mia Ciardi is a journalism junior from Bernardsville, New Jersey. Follow her on Twitter @mia_ciardi.