As students move on in their lives after high school to college, many think that their lives will become paradise. With many house rules abandoned and without a curfew, students get the first taste of adulthood. Many think everything will be easy; however, from the dining halls to having no money students learn that being an adult is harder than parents display. Campus life shows students what they perceive is very different than the reality of life. In my opinion, living on campus in a dorm, supplies a student the full experience of the college life.
When I imagined living in a dorm room, I imagined a very small room and hardly having any space to walk around. However, the rooms are actually quite big. There is plenty of room to walk around and even play some crazy, goofy games with a roommate. I thought the most exciting part of living on campus was going to be able to meet new people and live in a new environment. Because I am so far from home, my biggest hope was having a roommate who was easy to get along with and could have fun, and I definitely got that. The bathroom situation, I thought, was going to be the worst part of living on campus.
However, in reality, it is not as bad as I had thought. As a student-athlete living in a dorm where the entire floor houses athletes, the bathroom has a maximum of five people using the facilities at a time. This works because of each athlete on a different schedule. In actuality, living on campus is very exciting and there should be no worry considering the problem with space, meeting new people, or the bathroom being very full to the point of not being able to use it. As an athlete living on campus at Western Nebraska Community College the athlete receives a dorm family.
A dorm family is a family around town that “adopts” the student for the two years while attending the school. The family opens up their hearts and lets the athlete come into the family. The family attends sports events that the athlete plays and supports the athlete. I have a dorm family, and I love them. When I first thought of having a family that would open up their home and family to me I thought it was going to be awkward. However, having a family in town that has opened up their home and hearts has been great.
It helped me know that there are people here in town who are willing to help and support me. Additionally, living in the dorms and living on their own, without parents, helps students find many new found freedoms that they did not have before. With living in the dormitories many students stay out late on all nights of the week, because they had a curfew at home and now they do not. The first week of school I stayed out late when I could. However, this staying out late situation did not last long, because I had been slammed with homework and after I was done with my homework all I wanted to do was sleep.
With these newfound freedoms I learned very quickly how I was going to manage my time and make sure I got my sleep. When first living on campus I learned how easy I had it while living under my parents’ roof and the responsibilities that I didn’t have that I have now. When thinking that I was moving out of my parents’ house I thought it was going to be great. The freedoms I would have were going to be tremendous compared to what I had back home. However, when thinking of the freedoms I never thought of the responsibilities that I was going to have.
When at home, laundry was done and living on campus causes me to do my own laundry and pay a dollar fifty for it. At home I always had someone harping on me to do my homework, make my bed, and clean my room, but on campus there is no one around to do that except myself. I had to learn to manage my time wisely and make sure I stayed up in my schoolwork. As a new freshman in college, like myself, sees his or her schedule and thinks, “man this is going to be a tough year. ” This was my reaction when I saw mine at least.
As a new student at any school I thought classes were going to be hard, one, because I didn’t know anyone; two, because I want to accomplish a difficult degree; three, because I didn’t know how I was going to manage the homework load and basketball at the same time. Although, when I got to the campus and started the school year I found out that staying caught up with school really was not as hard as many people make college seem. College classes are a lot like high school classes, just a lot more homework. Once I figured out how I could manage my time with basketball, study time, and have somewhat of a social life, my days became easier.
Furthermore, expecting high quality food when entering into a college is putting a lot of confidence into the cooks that have to cook for hundreds of people everyday, three times a day. As a freshmen student entering into the college experience, I expected the food to be very good. I understood that the cooks had to cook for many people each day, but I expected that the food was going to have a lot of taste. When I first came to the campus and had my first meal the food was very good. The food on campus did not necessarily get any worse; it had gotten old.
When I say old, I do not mean spoiled or rotten, I mean boring. The food all ends up tasting the same each and everyday. By the third week of living and eating on campus at the dining hall I began to realize how much I loved my mother’s home cooked meals. Lastly, money is a big problem for many college students. When I thought I was going to save all my graduation money for college, I thought that I was going to have a lot of money, but as reality turns out I have no money. Living on campus and living on my own made me realize the things I need to buy and the things I just want.
The difference between what I needed and what I wanted was crucial for me to determine what I should spend my money on and what I should not. As a student-athlete I go to my parents a lot for money still, because I do have not time for a job considering homework, school, and practice time. In conclusion, campus life shows students that what they perceive is very different than the reality of life. Students living on campus have to share a dorm room with someone, the room is big, and there is not a lot of girls in the bathroom at once.
Athletes have a dorm family who “adopts” them and welcomes them into their home. Students have a lot of freedom and can stay out late, but might have a lot of homework so it would be smart to not stay out. Many students also have a schedule with classes that may seem tough, but if they manage their time they will be just fine. The food is not high quality food, and it gets old. Students living on campus begin to miss the home cooked meals. Finally the money problem, I thought I was going to have a lot of money but turns out, I do not have a lot of money, I will buy what I need and not what I want.