Traditional Dorms

A community restroom and a shoebox-sized room for two people do not sound appealing. Personal space is cherished, and carrying a myriad of personal hygiene products in a shower caddy can be tiresome and inconvenient. However, they are mild inconveniences when considering the many advantages that come with living in a traditional dorm.

Living in a traditional dorm allows residents to truly live out the college experience. In a traditional dorm — one in which a student has a roommate or more — there are a large number of residents living on the same floor.

It allows for other residents to socialize and meet one another. At Texas State, it is common for residents to reside in Living-Learning Communities (LLC), communities where residents often have the same majors and interests.

Residents have the opportunity to meet others while in the communal bathroom, walking out of their rooms to go to class or while sharing common spaces. They gain familiarity with the people they live with, allowing them to feel more at home.

Some might enter college skeptical about sharing a bathroom with others. After all, the thought of sharing toilets, sinks and showers with at least 20 people is not very appealing.

Amelia Castruita, a psychology freshman, says she was dubious about the cleanliness of the bathrooms, especially with rising COVID-19 cases. However, her experience was nothing like she expected.

"Thanks to the custodians and students taking precautions, everything has been running smooth," Castruita says. "Plus, everyone has been courteous, and we haven't run into any issues with the bathrooms."

In traditional dorms, residents are also required to share a room with other students, which has benefits. Sharing a room can alleviate a resident's loneliness that comes from moving away from their parents for the first time. Roommates can serve as a support system.

Should students opt to live in suites or non-traditional dorms, their experiences may not be as close-knit. This is because the resident's social interactions are confined to only their suitemates.

Further, the locations of the traditional dorms at Texas State make campus easily accessible to students, whereas the newer and more luxurious dorms are far from resources on campus.

Charlene Maniwang, a pre-nursing freshman, agrees that living in a traditional dorm is beneficial because it allows students to live in the middle of campus. Maniwang says it has allows her to have easier access to Alkek Library and the Student Recreation Center.

"Living in a traditional dorm as a freshman does make it easier in the beginning when trying to learn where everything is located," Maniwang says. "Also to be surrounded by peers around the same age as you is very cool, too."

The cost of a traditional dorm is also significantly less than the cost of other dorm options. The cheapest dorm option at Texas State is $2,909 a semester — an amount considered amazing compared to a whopping $5,157 a semester.

A resident only lives in their dorm for 10 months before they move out elsewhere or go back home for the summer. Students should opt-in for traditional dormitories because they are cheaper and provide a more intimate experience with the university and its students.

In 2019, a study found that residents who lived in traditional dorms earned a higher GPA than students who resided in a suite or apartment-style dorms. Out of 800 students surveyed, those who lived in traditional dorms had an average GPA of 2.3 compared to other residents with an average GPA of 1.9.

Surveys conveying such a stark contrast explain why Texas State requires first-year students to live on campus: It benefits students. Students should look at such evidence, along with the other great benefits, and take it seriously.

It is understandable that many students value their privacy. However, college is a time for students to step out of their comfort zones and try new things.

Living in a traditional dorm is the best available option when required to live on campus. Residents benefit socially, academically and financially while doing so.

- Nadia Gonzales is a public relations junior

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